Part 2: Why the Pre-Listing Inspection Report is Critical to Home Seller Success

April 14, 2022
We continue our conversation with Dylan Chalk about the importance of understanding the pre-listing inspection report, and getting down to the bones of the house.

Transcript: If you're thinking about pre-listing inspections, whether you're dealing with them for as a buyer or a seller, to me, the quality of the report is sort of the whole shootin' match. A friend of mine's son that was buying a house and he said that he had a pre-listing inspection and he asked if I would go over with him and I didn't do it.

It was somebody else. And so I said, Well, send me the report and we'll read through it and I'll help you kind of digest it and. Right. And there is truly if you if one could create a document that was completely devoid of information, that had been achieved in this case. So, you know, I and honestly, I would encourage every home buyer to try to procure your own home inspection.

I really think that's important. But the reality is there's often not time and if you're looking at a home inspection, I would look at the information and I would ask myself, how detailed does this seem? Does it even seem written about the house? Because a lot of home inspectors use software systems and it's quite transparent that they're sort of just checking on some boxes and stuff.

So to me, that and I must say, I've been doing pretty listings for so long, it's completely transformed how I do a home inspection, not so much the data that I'm gathering, but how I report on it. Because in the old days, if you hired me to do a home inspection, we might go through the house together. You're buying it, you know, and I'll show you all these things.

And my report would sort of reflect that it would be a written documentation of the things we talked about on site, you know, and it would basically be defects only, you know, and fast forward to today. I mean, think about it from a home inspector's perspective. I might be doing a house that has three heating systems and four sub panels and two main panels and four roofs and three decks.

And if if I don't create some kind of version of an owner's manual for this, it doesn't exist. And my report might be read by 20, 30, 40 different people who all bring different sets of expectations to this transaction. You might, you know, it could be that your grandmother's going to be living with you. And the guardrail for the stairs is really important.

Or the graspable handrail, you know, it could be that you've got you know, triplets who are in their diapers. And we've got all kinds of other safety issues, you know. And so now I'm trying to write a report where I don't even really know who's going to be using it. Right. And so I call them descriptive reports, but I try to write reports that really describe, hey, that roof looks new. It actually looks professionally installed. And here's some pictures of why I think that. And, you know, and my I have I call them recommended disclosure items.

So if you're selling your house, let's say, you know, I recommend you disclose receipts of who put this roof on and are there any warranties around it, you know? And again, it's all about trying to kind of assemble this data for people so that they can get as close as humanly possible to having a sort of owner's manual for the building.

And if the furnace dies, who are you going to call? You know, well, I'd like to call the person that was out servicing it last time. That makes sense. Yeah, absolutely. And it it also I think that there's a tremendous aspect of this where homeowners are if they're thinking about listing a home, they and we talk about this a lot is the to the pre listing investments, how much they're willing to invest, what they're investing in.

And a lot of times that directive that they're given is you're investing in things to make the home more appealing to a potential buyer. Well and that that that can be interpreted in many different ways. That's that's that's a very, very interpretable suggestions. What you're talking about goes that much further in that can be these can be other pieces of that pre listing investment that they're making to make the home uniquely appealing to everybody, not just to some.

It's not, oh, I changed out the kitchen. Well that the potential buyer that comes in and says, you know, I really don't like the kitchen that you put in, whereas if you're updating things that make the home more efficient, safer, they all of those things add up to be something that is so much more critical and so much more valuable than just like you said, than just the bling.

Right. Updating the bones that creates that's that there's so much more value there. Correct. Now, I love I love that. And especially if you're a confident house hunter, right? Sure. You know, that's that was the whole purpose of my book. Is because I think people often make these purchase decisions based on bling and kind of miss the bones.

And that can be painful in this industry. You know? So, no, no, great point. And frankly, if you've made a lot of investment in the bones of your building, a pre-listing inspection is a great way to showcase them because that's what the home inspectors do. And you know where bones people. Yeah. And what more than the bling anyway.

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