Sponsored: Sellers want to know if they should hit the market without making fixes or wait for building inspectors to return to work

Q: In preparation to sell our home, we learned that the roof needs to be removed and replaced. We bought our house right before the Great Recession in a hot real estate market, devoid of inspections or contingencies. Now that we are becoming sellers, our seller’s agent insisted we obtain pre-listing reports from local inspectors. We had no idea what was going on in the crawl space or in the attic. In other words, there are three roofs on our house designed for the weight of one. So we hired one firm to tear off the old roofing shingles, another to reroof, and a third to replace the downspouts and gutters. These firms acquired the proper building permits online. However, a week later, one of the contractors learned that the building inspectors had a backlog of inspections at least “30 days out.” A day later, our county’s shelter-in-place (SIP) order was in force. Now with building inspectors sheltering in place, who knows when they will start to address their backlogs. Should we wait to clean up any potential permit shortcomings that building inspectors are reputed to “call out”? Or list and sell the house with the roof and roof system as is?

A: Homebuyers, sellers, agents and vendors are always navigating competing or aligning narratives. If you wish to sell now, you and the seller’s agent should provide a nonfictional story of what you have to offer. And include the plot twist of the SIP and its effect while readying the property for the market. A seller’s sequenced inspections, reports, repairs and receipts form into a chapter with scenes. That way, SIP buyers and their agents can quickly understand the property in its present condition in reverse chronology. COVID-19 has created a captive audience of homebuyers and buyer’s agents starved for the three-act story structure as they search for properties. It is hard to satisfy your entire homebuying audience when the building inspector’s final scene is missing. An unknown ending will be off-putting to some homebuyers because it keeps them guessing. Conversely, if you wait to finish your roof’s permits, the final script you produce for the sale of your home will be dramatically more bankable.

Realtor Pat Kapowich is a career-long consumer protection advocate and Certified Real Estate Brokerage Manager. Contact him at 408-245-7700, Pat@SiliconValleyBroker.com DRE# 00979413 SiliconValleyBroker.com  YouTube.com/PatKapowich


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