Sorry to be the bringer of somewhat scary news, but the following scenario happens all too frequently. A seller lists their home for sale believing the roof , AC, plumbing, wiring, appliances, etc. are in “good working order.” Normally, the seller completes a seller disclosure testifying that these items are in good condition. Seller disclosures are often given to prospective buyers. This is not a legal requirement in Florida, but it is common practice.
After a contract is accepted from a buyer, the buyer hires a very thorough building inspector. After walking on the roof and crawling around in the attic, he reports to the buyer, “This home has a roof leak in the northwest corner of the roof over the kitchen.” There is no evidence of a leak inside the home, since the water is draining into the eve of the home. Unless the seller had been crawling around in the attic with a flashlight, he could not have known about the leak.
The problem is—now the buyer knows there is a roof leak and may be wondering whether there are more leaks coming in the near future. The buyer is calculating the cost of a new roof and the contract is in real jeopardy.
Roofs are not permanent. The intense heat, UV rays, and windstorms we get in Florida are very destructive to our roofs—no matter what type of roof we have. While tile, concrete, and metal roofs seem very sturdy, the water barrier beneath is still subject to damage from the elements. When this water barrier begins to fail, leaks begin to show up as dark stains on the underside of the plywood. This is what inspectors look for and report. Also, some leaks are caused by incorrect installation of the roof or gutter system. We have seen roof leaks on fairly new homes
Similarly, while owners think their AC systems are in great condition, inspectors frequently report that they need coils cleaned, filters changed, tune-ups, new insulation around refrigerant coils, etc. The buyers are now thinking, “Wow this home needs a new $6,000 AC system!” Also, it is not uncommon for buyers to walk away from a home that has a list of minor plumbing & electrical or appliance problems that could have been inexpensively repaired by the seller.
The question for sellers is “when do you want to know what defects are going to show up on an inspector’s report?” Sellers should not be naïve enough to believe their home could not possibly have any defects. It’s much wiser to get an “up-front” building inspection to take care of routine maintenance and repairs before a list of needed repairs scares off a well-qualified buyer. If this happens, the defects are still there, and likely to be discovered by the next buyer’s inspector!
This is precisely why we recommend an up-front building inspection. By getting the home inspection up-front, sellers can have necessary repairs made before the home is put on the market. This prudent approach will save sellers a lot of grief and frustration over buyer obtained inspection reports.
If you are considering selling your home anytime soon, please give us a call. We have the experience and knowledge to get the job done while helping you avoid common problems and pitfalls. We promise to do our best to get you “top dollar” for your home and make the experience as simple as possible for you!