The C.A.R. legal department issues contract revisions twice a year, and they tend to be ticky-tack minor changes.

But the 2016 listing agreement will include a new paragraph that has sellers agree to pay for pre-sale reports!

When used correctly by listing agents, these reports should provide major benefits to all parties:

  1. Enable sellers to make strategic repairs prior to going on the open market.
  2. Provide preliminary findings for the buyers to consider when negotiating the sales price – giving them more comfort, which should mean higher price.
  3. Alleviate any major hurdles at the repair-request stage – the second negotiation that happens about two weeks after the original deal is consummated.

I think buyers will still conduct their own home inspection with an inspector of their choice.  But if all that does is confirm what they already knew, then they will be hard-pressed to convince the sellers that there are repairs to negotiate – heck, they were already baked into the price, weren’t they?

The current purchase contract already says that the property is sold ‘as-is’, and that the sellers aren’t obligated to complete any repairs.

If our standard practice shifts to providing HOA, termite, and home-inspection reports to all buyers (by simply attaching them to the MLS listing), then we should see all homes actually sold ‘as-is’, and the price paid by buyers better reflect the actual condition of the home (at least better than current practice).

It will also give listing agents a few more days to find their own buyer too, so we’ll probably see more ‘sold before processing’.

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