John interviews David Estes about what to expect from a home inspection. David is a former general contractor so he can provide some unique insight in this conversation.

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JOHN:  Hey, guys.  John Jones with another edition of Tuesday Morning Coffee.  I’ve got David Estes with me.  He’s a sale associate that’s been with us for a little bit over a year.  Dave and I have been in the business about the same amount of time, about 17, 18 years ago.  Very knowledgeable.  Was in the building industry for five, six, seven years.  Knows a lot about homes, construction. 


Today, we’re going to talk about a seller’s expectations on what to expect or prepare them for what happens when the home inspection takes place on their home.  So David, you’re talking to a seller; we’ve got the contract; we’ve negotiated price; and you’re talking to them about that clause in there that says, “The buyer has 10 days to do a home inspection.”  What do they need to expect?


DAVID:  The need to expect that the home inspector will find something.  He’s getting paid $300 to $400 to find stuff.  He will find something on the house.  And it’ll probably be an issue to a buyer.  So they’ll want it fixed.


JOHN:  And bottom line, it comes down to money.


DAVID:  Mm-hm.


JOHN:  They’re going to come back with a list of a few things they want fixed.  What do you try to set up a seller for maybe the average Rutherford County home inspection repair list?  What’s that going to run somebody?


DAVID:  We try to set them up for about $1,500.  Usually under that but...


JOHN:  Kind of a worst case scenario, and it’s definitely something they can use in their negotiations if they kind of have that figure in mind.  So that’s in the back of their head while they’re negotiating.  All right.  Another question.  What is the number one and number two or one and two deal killers?  What are the most harsh things that usually blow up a deal due to home inspection?


DAVID:  The biggest deal killers are usually water under the foundation and structural issues, cracks in the foundation. 


JOHN:  All right.  I would agree with that.  We have a lot of water in Rutherford County.  We’ve got high water tables, a ton of clay.  It just happens.  If you could give a seller any type of advice, what would you tell them to do as far as when they put their home on the market or prior to putting their home on the market?


DAVID:  Try to at least get a home inspection done.  Go ahead and do it up front.  It makes it look like you took care of the maintenance on that house, you took good care of it, and were concerned about it and you can lay that out for the buyers that are coming through.


JOHN:  That’s a great idea.  You’re kind of like just getting it all out on the table.  Hey guys, we had it checked out.  These are the four or five things they found and we’ve already corrected them for you.  I think that’s brilliant.  When that happens, when you get a seller to put that out there, do you think it decreases the chances of a buyer actually paying to get one?


DAVID:  I would say probably 50/50.  They may still want to get their own but then that home inspector has access and probably knows the other inspector.


JOHN:  Right.  I would say out of every 10 homes that sell, I would say probably nine are going to get home inspections.  I would say if you put a list out there and go ahead and say, “Look, we had this done 30 days ago, guys” I’m going to say it’s going to take it down to maybe out of 10, five or six would still have them done, but they’ll be two or three that will say, “Hey, look.  That sounds good to us.”  And so then you don’t even have to go through it again.  That’s great stuff.


DAVID:  Maybe even add a warranty to it on top of that. 


JOHN:  Peace of mind.  Buyers want a peace of mind.  Good stuff.  Thank you, guys.  We have a great home maintenance list that we would love to e-mail anybody.  At the bottom of the screen will be David’s e-mail.  If you want this list or a copy of it, just e-mail David and say, “I want your monthly maintenance list” and we’ll send it to you.  Thanks so much.  We’ll see you next week.