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The quick sale at Via Mariposa fell out.

The emotional swings of falling in love with a staged home and winning a bidding war were quickly brought back to earth by the home inspector.

I don’t have a problem with the defects found by any home inspector – that is their job. My beef is with their bedside manner – it’s how they explain the issues that cause problems. The over-zealous inspectors who are only concerned with CYA will lay out every problem as if the house is falling down.

The only hope is that the buyer’s agent can offset the concerns with sound advice about how to solve them. Because if the buyers are going to keep looking until they find a perfect house, they are going to be in for a long wait.

The industry has had this topic backwards since the beginning of time, and it’s not going to change. We’re going to negotiate the sales contract first, and then worry about the repairs later. When defects are found in a house during a seller’s market, most listing agents are going to expect the buyer to eat it and in many cases they do.

But we’re in a maturing market now, and buyers are less willing to pay top dollar AND incur a repair bill too.

In this case, the buyer’s agent was a recent licensee working for a big team, which happens a lot. Because they don’t have the experience of knowing what to say in the moment of impact, they push the panic button and join the cancellation parade.  If these issues aren’t addressed in the moment, it takes a miracle to resuscitate it later.

What can be done?  Provide a written home inspection prior to the property hitting the open market.

The buyers are welcome to hire their own home inspector, but there are immediate benefits to all:

  1. Any potential issues are on the table before negotiating.
  2. Buyers might be satisfied with the first inspection.
  3. Buyers may question their own inspector’s opinion.

Providing an inspection report upfront will help to smooth out the highs and lows of the homebuying experience.  While I’m all for the enhanced first impression created by staging, it’s not enough to get buyers to the finish line.

Meanwhile, back on the case!

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