Rozansky Group Home Selling Process: Review Offers & Ratify Contract

The Home & Termite Inspection Process

You're a Washington DC home seller who recently received a purchase offer on your home.  Now, you've reached the home inspection phase.  

For many home sellers, this can be a nerve-wrecking process because they have no idea what the home inspector is looking for.  Here, we're going to demystify what takes place during a home inspection and what the inspector is really looking for. 

First a Few Basics

The inspector will be examining the structure and basement, the grounds (including walkways, decks, stairs), the windows and doors. He will look at the roof, through binoculars. He won’t offer opinions on roof leaks but will look at gutters/downspouts and flashing to ensure that they are doing the job of taking water away from the foundation and home.

Home Systems Checked

He’ll look at the garage, and then will look at the plumbing (supply lines, location and condition of water heater, heat and air conditioning system). He’ll check the bathrooms for water pressure, ventilation and overall condition. The electrical system and electrical panel is checked . All of the kitchen appliances and laundry appliances will be tested (run through a short cycle) as well.

The Inspector's Report

The inspector will provide the buyers with a full report (with photos) and any recommended repairs.Their agent will then prepare a Home Inspection Notice and list any repairs (there may be many or there may be a few minor things), and they will forward that to us along with a copy of the complete home inspection report. As the seller, you then have 3 days to respond to their requests. You may either accept the terms in their notice (agree to make all repairs), continue negotiating (agree to make none or some of the repairs), or declare the contract void.

Considering and Negotiating The Repairs

Unless you are one of the 1% of home owners who makes regular, detailed home inspections (and then fixes the findings), there is a good chance that there will be some requested repairs that come up when your buyers conduct their inspection. Whether your home was built in 1915 or 2010, the reality is that we all live with leaky faucets and tricky garage doors; rarely looking at our house through a buyer’s eyes. The point is, even if you are presented with a long list of requested repairs, don’t panic. Sometimes the requested repair is a $25 chimney sleeve or a new filter on an HVAC system. Conversely, the buyers may identify extensive (and more expensive) repairs. Again, don’t panic. We will give you professional guidance, which we have gleaned after years of experience in negotiating this part of the sales contract. We’ll help you determine the difference between their “must do’s” and their “wish list” and will negotiate with your best interests at the forefront.

Keep Your Repair Receipts

Should any repairs be agreed to, you will need to keep copies of the receipts that you have for the work that was done. You will need to provide them to us so that we can send to the buyer agent and title company 7 days before the scheduled closing. The receipts for repairs will then become part of the contract files.

Termite Inspections

Most buyers make a termite inspection part of the contract. Normally, the buyer pays for this inspection and selects the pest company, who calls us to schedule the inspection. Most lenders require that the termite inspection is no more than 30 days old, so this is usually the last inspection on your home (by a party outside the transaction) until settlement.

This is a very quick (30 minute) process and the inspector will walk around the outside of the house, looking for termite tunnels (which looks like sand com- ing up the side of the walls). He’ll need access inside the home as well, where he’ll use a screwdriver or other simple tool to check the joists for any softness or pliability, which would indicate termite (or other wood-boring insect) damage.

The buyer receives a written report noting which areas of the home were examined, and any termite activity. The termite report is shared with sellers when there is damage noted, and any treatment becomes the seller’s responsibility.

Here To Help You At Every Stage of the Washington DC Home Selling Process

We hope you found the above information helpful as someone planning to list their property soon on the Washington DC real estate market.  There are a lot of nuances to selling your home that most home owners are not even aware of until they're in the middle of it.

Luckily, you don't have to go through the home selling process alone.  We here at The Rozansky Group would be more than happy to walk with you every step of the way, offering straight-forward advice and valuable resources.  Contact us today to see how we can help you!