Property Inspection Guidelines for Sellers

December 16, 2016

Brought to you by the Sioux Falls Board of REALTORS®

What is a Property Inspection?
A property inspection is a professional, objective, visual evaluation of the current condition of the property and its major systems, and does not include cosmetic improvements. It is important to understand that a property inspection is not necessarily a guarantee of any kind, nor a municipal code inspection. Property inspection reports may also indicate areas of preventative maintenance for the buyer’s information. These maintenance items are not typically a reason to renegotiate contract terms.
Types of Property Inspections

  • Structural
  • Mechanical
  • Electrical
  • Hazardous conditions
  • Pest infestation and/or damage
  • Environmental – lead, radon

There is No Perfect House
Buyers and sellers involved in the transaction should be aware that existing houses are less than perfect. The inspector may report that some items are defective or not working properly. These may or may not be major concerns. In most instances where there is a major concern, the buyer and seller may negotiate the cost of the correction. Where there are items that are not a major concern, most buyers will very likely take care of the correction. Talk to your REALTOR® about what and what not to expect.
Seller’s Responsibility

  • Seller’s Property Condition Disclosure

The seller must furnish a signed, detailed disclosure statement regarding the condition of the property in accordance with laws established by the state of South Dakota.

  • Utilities

In order for an inspection to be done, sellers are to have the utilities (i.e., gas, electricity, water) on at least 24 hours before the house and systems are inspected.

  • Accessibility

Access to interior foundation walls, furnace, water heater, electrical panel, attic, crawl space, and garage walls all need to be made ready to allow for a thorough inspection.

  • Seller’s Prelisting Inspection

It is recommended that the seller have a home inspected prior to putting the home on the market. This will help identify typical deficiencies which could appear on a buyer’s inspection report. Correction of these problems may increase the home’s appeal and stability, and could help identify unknown problems. Payment of this inspection is the responsibility of the seller, and should be paid at the time of inspection completion.
The Inspector’s Role
The inspector’s role is to inspect the condition of the property and the home’s major systems. The inspector checks that systems are installed properly, functioning as intended, and operating in a safe manner.
The inspector may advise the buyer of the potential life of certain major systems in the home, and may make recommendations so that the buyer may budge for maintenance or replacement.
The inspector should not be expected to give an opinion regarding the market value of the home.
Liability Limitations
The home inspection is normal conducted for the buyer, and is the property of the person paying for the inspection. It is a report of the condition of the home on the day of the inspection, and is not meant to be a warranty or guarantee of the systems of the home.
The inspection is the educated and experienced opinion of the inspector of the visible and readily accessible portions of the house or systems inspected. Limits of the inspection are detailed in the inspection contract or disclaimer.
Please note: These Guidelines are purely information in nature. The Sioux Falls Board of REALTORS® does not make any representations as to the accuracy or completeness of the Guidelines. You are urged to consult with an advisor of your choosing concerning property inspections and any questions you may have about property inspections. The decision to use or forego a property inspection is left entirely to the parties to the sales transaction.
 
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