Is it a Real Remodel or just a Fix

You’ve seen those television programs and magazine articles that offer tips on how to increase the selling price of a home with quick cosmetic fixes. Knowing how to hide existing problems with a little ”lipstick and mascara” obviously helps the seller, but what about the buyer? As too many home buyers later discover–a coat of fresh paint can hide a world of grief.

To know if a home’s asking price is fair, you need to know what shape it’s in, and most people don’t know what to look for. A home inspection gives the buyer some leverage to renegotiate the price – especially if the inspection report discloses a major deficiency. If the problem with the home is something like a leaking roof or leaking foundation, the repairs can be tens of thousands of dollars.

When buying an existing home it’s a good idea to also buy some peace of mind by first having it looked over by an independent professional, to make sure it’s as good as it looks. The first person buyers often look for is a certified home inspector, and often your real estate agent will recommend one.

But—keep these points in mind: Your real estate agent wants to make a sale. The amount of your real estate agent’s commission is also based on the final price. Your home inspection report can be used to renegotiate or lower the final price. It’s not impossible to imagine some home inspectors turning a blind eye to certain problems — to keep the selling price up and to keep up a good relationship with the realtors who give them referrals. You might start to see why it’s best to have a separation between these two parties – the realtor and the home inspector. There could be a conflict of interest, and you need to have independent, unbiased advice.

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