Always Inspect first
The trust attorney says, "You want to inspect the property before listing the client's estate for sale?”
Common Answer: “We'd rather not. We don't want responsibility for what might be found."
There is a flaw in the aforementioned logic, it can end up being a financially draining reputation killer. A sure way to limit the potential of the deal. For me, pre-listing inspections are a best practice for trust administration sales.
Here are my top 5 reasons to Conduct Inspections, first:
Shows Forethought And Planning
Tells the buyer the trustee is organized and deliberate in approaching the sale
Signifies It's Not A Distressed Sale
A professional presentation shows that the estate is not desperate and expects to do well
Eliminates On-The-Fence Buyers
Knowing the true condition of the home helps rule out buyers who are not equipped to take it on
Garners Meaningful Offers
Lessens or eliminates the need for inspection contingencies, so the seller gets cleaner, more significant bid’s and a faster close
Avoids The Emotional Rollercoaster
Shields the trustee and family from nasty surprises mid-escrow, such as price renegotiation or a failed transaction because of late-stage revelations
As-is doesn't mean undesirable
For these trust homes, I always recommend a quick resurfacing. My team paints and makes cosmetic fixes to please the eye, but no structural repairs or anything that requires a permit.
Even so, most of these homes are considered as-is sales. The as-is addendum to the contract removes only the seller's obligation to remedy deficiencies.
So if we do inspections the traditional way, during the escrow period, finding deficiencies will prompt the buyer to ask for credits, a lower price or wish to cancel the contract.
Inspection contingencies expire 15 days into a 30-day escrow period. Who wants to start over at that point?
“During the escrow period, finding deficiencies will prompt the buyer to ask for credits, a lower price or wish to cancel the contract.” - Craig
Mysterious properties are a tough sell
I do a full 90% of my negotiating up front, based on complete disclosure and the terms of the listing.
Through the magic of inspections, I erase the as-is mysteries and risks that hold a buyer back. They gain the ability to, quickly, confidently say yes, and the estate gets the highest return on their asset.
“Erase the as-is mysteries and risks that hold a buyer back.”
A sale with no inspection contingencies
For a Marin County trust home I listed not long ago, the attorney balked at having the estate pay for the pest and contractor inspections. I presented my case, and we ultimately went ahead and did them.
No one was sorry.
“The offer we received on the home was $141,000 over the asking price. With no inspection contingencies.”
The offer we received on the home was $141,000 over the asking price. With no inspection contingencies. The trustees accepted the offer and were very pleased. Because of that success, the estate asked me and my team to upgrade and sell a property in San Mateo County.
Escrow is not the time for surprises
Helping the attorney and trustee avoid an unexpected bombshell is at the top of my list. Pre-inspections are a great place to start. After all, when you receive an offer softened by 5 inspection contingencies, is it really an offer?
The Future is Now
Fears around pre-sale inspections are felt mostly on the realtors’ side. Those fears are usually unwarranted.
I witness an evolving trend with my clients, that is: the expectations of sellers and buyers have evolved. They know everything is out in the public eye. Our clients have both a self-supporting and selfless interest in being forthright. This social media age provides for an easily accessible public opinion. Therefore, the general attitude that “transparency is greater “ is assumed by all parties involved.
All of this proves lucrative for the Real Estate industry.
When everything is upfront:
Less serious offers decrease
Time spent in escrow decreases
Overhead expenses decrease
All the while, the non-contingent offers increase.
Save time. Save the money. Put your client’s first. Do pre-listing inspections.