June 12, 2012 15:08 ET

HouseMaster Debunks Myths Surrounding Home Sellers' Inspections

Home Inspection Expert Explores the Reasons Why Sellers Continue to Resist Getting Their Own Home Inspection

BOUND BROOK, NJ--(Marketwire - Jun 12, 2012) - Signs are pointing to a more promising real estate market, according to the home inspection experts at HouseMaster, but sellers still need to do all they can to find a qualified buyer and get the deal to close. To this end, experienced real estate agents often recommend the home owner get a home inspection to make sure there are no problems that will pop up once a buyer comes along and there is a contract on the line.

"Most home sellers cannot look at their home with the objectivity and trained eye of a professional home inspector," says Lenny Rankin, President of HouseMaster. "Professional real estate agents may encourage homeowners to make cosmetic updates and possibly even stage their home to better position the home on the market. However deals are often derailed at the last minute when a buyer's inspection reveals a major problem with the house or even a multitude of smaller issues, that combined seem to add up."

Unfortunately, the timing of the buyer's inspection in the real estate selling process is certainly not ideal because the buyer brings the inspector in after they have already negotiated the listing price, Rankin continues. It makes more sense to have a home inspection before a buyer comes along to give the home seller the opportunity to fix things and take the condition of the home into consideration in the pricing of the home. "Interestingly, although it makes great sense, most sellers opt not to get a pre-inspection," notes Rankin. "Although the numbers have increased, less than 10% of our business is seller inspections and that's consistent throughout HouseMaster offices in the US and Canada."

So why don't sellers, particularly in a difficult market, choose to have their home inspected? Cost may be a consideration particularly for a seller who is underwater or already strapped. However, misconceptions about what to do with the results of the inspection may be the bigger reason sellers resist. "Many sellers believe that they will have to fix whatever the inspector finds, which is not true," Rankin explains. "Sellers can fix smaller issues and then disclose the bigger issues and let the buyer know that they have taken the bigger issues into consideration in the pricing of the home."

For example, if a home inspector finds some loose tiles, clogged gutters, and leaky faucets as well as an older roof that is need of replacement, the seller can fix the minor issues and then disclose the older roof. The timing of disclosure is an important factor. Once the aging roof has been disclosed, the seller can make it clear that their pricing has taken the aging roof into consideration, taking the roof off the table as a point of renegotiation when the buyer's inspector comes along.

The other area which concerns sellers is disclosure. Rankin explains that, while laws vary, generally a seller or real estate professional is only required to disclose conditions they are aware of, so they may prefer not to discover problems that a home inspection might uncover. This attitude may be short sighted, however, because existing defects that do not turn up on a buyer's inspection will eventually surface. In that case, the overlooked issue may become a problem for the home inspector, but the seller and real estate agent can and often will have exposure as well.

"More than ever, today's home buyers want to feel like they are making an informed decision. An older roof or aging system or even a more serious condition may not scare them off as long as they feel that the price reflects the less-than-stellar condition," Rankin adds. "The alternative is to find out about the problem after initial negotiations and when there is a contract on the line and that can create new barriers to sale." Homes that go "back on the market" because a deal fell through due to a problem found often have somewhat of a stigma and tend to get less interest and showings, Rankin states, so pre-inspections should really be something every seller considers.

For more information on the kind of defects found in the homes inspected by HouseMaster, visit For more information on HouseMaster, please visit or call (800) 526-3930. For more information on HouseMaster franchise opportunities, please email

About HouseMaster:
Headquartered in Bound Brook, N.J., HouseMaster is the oldest and one of the largest home inspection franchisors in North America. With more than 365 franchised areas throughout the U.S. and Canada, HouseMaster is the most respected name in home inspections. For over 30 years, HouseMaster has built upon a foundation of solid leadership and innovation with a continued focus on delivering the highest quality service experience to their customers and providing HouseMaster franchisees the tools and support necessary to do so. Each HouseMaster franchise is an independently owned and operated business. HouseMaster is a registered trademark of DBR Franchising, LLC.

For more information please visit or call 800-526-3939.

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