Common myths about seller inspections:
Q. Don't seller inspections kill deals by forcing sellers to disclose defects they otherwise wouldn't have known about?
A. Any defect that is material enough to kill a real estate transaction is likely going to be uncovered eventually anyway. It is best to discover the problem ahead of time, before it can kill the deal.
Q. Isn't a home inspector's liability increased by having his/her reports seen by potential buyers?
A. No. There is no liability in having your seller permit someone who doesn't buy the property see your report. And there is less liability in having a buyer rely on your old report when the buyer is not your client and has been warned not to rely on your report, than it is to work directly for the buyer and have him be entitled to rely on your report.
Q. Don't seller inspections take too much energy to sell to make them profitable for the inspector?
A. Perhaps. But not when the inspector takes into account the marketing benefit of having a samples of his/her product (the report) being passed out to agents and potential buyers who are looking to buy now in the inspector's own local market, not to mention the seller who is likely moving locally and in need of an inspector, plus the additional chance of re-inspection work being generated for the inspector.
Q. A newer home in good condition doesn't need an inspection anyway. Why should the seller have one done?
A. Unlike real estate agents whose job it is to market properties for their sellers, inspectors produce objective reports. If the property is truly in great shape the inspection report becomes a pseudo marketing piece with the added benefit of having been generated by an impartial party.
Q. Don't seller inspections and re-inspections reduce the number of buyer inspections needed in the marketplace?
A. No. Although every inspection job an InterNACHI member catches upstream is one his/her competitors might not get, especially if the buyer waives his/her inspection and/or the seller hires the same inspector to inspect the home he/she is buying, the number of inspections performed by the industry as a whole is increased by seller inspections.