Colorado homes are going under contract in record time, which is excellent news for sellers. But after sellers are done high-fiving each other and their agent, the realization slowly creeps in that their home must first pass a home inspection that lives up to the buyer's standards. Seller elation is quickly replaced with a decent amount of anxiety, even amongst the owners of the best kept homes. After all, in the Boulder/Denver Metro area, it may be a "Seller's Market" right now, but in Colorado it is a buyer's contract. In other words the contract that all real estate agents are required to use by the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA), is exactly the same - and it is VERY buyer friendly!
So, dear Seller, what to do? If you find yourself in exactly this situation, there are a few things you can do to help ensure your home passes inspection and even in the event that there are issues, I have some recommendation for how to handle them.
What Can Sellers Expect?
In Colorado it is not unusual for a buyer to want to hire a professional to inspect and test all the following: appliances & HVAC system, electrical systems, roof, attic, windows, fireplace and locks, radon levels, fire hazards such as tree and brush proximity to a home, check foundation and walls for cracks, scope sewer, septic, propane and well (if applicable).
Typically in Colorado, a buyer adds an objection period in the contract that states the home must pass inspection. In the event that the buyer decides that, based on the inspection report, he or she wants some items fixed or credited at closing, the sellers can decide if they want to agree to negotiate in order to keep the transaction alive. Usually sellers are far enough down the timeline, that they don't want to kill the deal at this point. Here are three ways you can make your home's inspection a smooth one.
1. Seller's Property Disclosure - your agent will provide you with a form that is called the "Sellers' Property Disclosure", which you should complete truthfully. If a buyer learns that seller have not been truthful in their disclosure, buyers have up to two years after time of discovery (not closing!) to sue the seller. If your buyers are genuine, they just want to know what they are getting into and likely won\'t be dissuaded by a few items here and there. As a seller, put yourself in the position of a buyer: these folks have maybe spent an hour in your home and fell in love with it! They likely just want to make sure they are aware of any health and safety issues that did not arise during their first visit.
2. C.L.U.E. Report - This report is a history citing the following facts of insurance claim(s) filed by home owner(s) in the past five years on a particular property, dates of any claims on the property, any insurance company(ies) involved, policy type used and more. Imagine sharing this history with your buyer (or even prospective buyers!). This report can help you get your home through inspection faster because the buyers see that you have nothing to hide. Think of it as a Car Fax but for your home! Ask your agent how to order your homes's CLUE Report.
3. Home Warranty on Appliances & Systems - If you know that your appliances and plumbing and electric are aging, consider purchasing a home warranty. This is not insurance, but rather it is coverage of specific components of the home. If you are feeling self conscious about your appliances, then for about $75 you can purchase a warranty to get your through closing, with the option for the buyers to purchase the entire package for about $400 at closing at companies like American Home Shield. That way if one of your appliances does break before you close, you are covered for a new replacement.
If you have been following Louisville Realty Associates on social media you will know that we provide regular updates on what we think home owners and home buyers may be like to know. We also provide snapshots of market data for East Boulder County. While it is easy to get lost in the multitude of statistics available for everyone to look at online, we always keep our data sweet and simple. At Louisville Realty Associates, our wonderful agents have the experience, energy and depth of knowledge to help you list your home for the best price.You can reach me anytime at 303-961-6031 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.