Home inspections & appraisals, what sellers should know

As a top Realtor living in The Glen, I sell a lot of homes here.  The Glen is an upscale community with single family and attached homes in Glenview Illinois on Chicago‘s North Shore.  Whenever I get a new listing I visit with my clients about two pieces of the sales process that they often know little about.  Here is what I tell them.

Inspection:  Buyers hire a home inspector to look for physical problems with your home.  Unless it’s brand new, it’s likely he will find problems.  Most problems will minor, but some may be more problematic.  The buyers may decide to ask you to fix the problem at your expense.  Often negotiations will follow.  You can agree to make the repairs or not; or perhaps you will offer to reduce the purchase price to satisfy the buyers.  This is normal.  It’s part of the process.  You should not be offended.  If you do not agree to make the repairs or find some other accommodation, the buyers can decide whether to move forward or to back out of the deal.

Appraisal:  In most cases there will be a formal appraisal of the market value of your home.  This will always occur if the buyers are obtaining financing.  Even if they are not getting a mortgage they may want an appraisal to ensure that your home is worth what they are offering to pay.  Appraisals are not done by realtors; they are done by professionals who are licensed and impartial.  They will look at comparable sales near your home (known as “comps”), and they will consider other factors such as your home’s condition and whether there is an appreciating market or a depreciating market. If the appraisal is lower than the agreed upon purchase price, the lender will either refuse to make the loan or require the buyers to come up with a larger down payment.  It’s then up to the buyers to piece together their financing; or if there was a mortgage contingency in their offer, they can back out.  This may open up the contract for renegotiation.

As a seller it is important to understand the steps between the offer and the closing.  The inspection and appraisal are critical, and they require buyers and sellers to be flexible and cooperative.

Margaret Ludemann, Glen homeowner and Coldwell Banker Realtor

Margaret.Ludemann@cbexchange.com    847-401-1802