Let me be honest, when it comes to selling homes, it’s not always smooth sailing. It can be a stressful time, filled with uncertainty. Once you have an accepted offer, there is a period of relief, but now the worry shifts to the possibility of the Buyer’s backing out.
One of the best ways to ensure a smooth deal is to have a pre-inspection done on your home. Even if you don’t intend on fixing anything. It helps to uncover any surprises and helps to set the expectations between buyers and sellers. There are a number of advantages as to why as a seller, you should get your inspections done upfront.
It Prevents Delays
Picture this: You have found the perfect buyer for your home. The offer is clean, the buyer is making few demands, and the transaction begins humming along. Everything is going smoothly…until the home inspection results come in. The buyers aren’t happy and, to your horror, the progress comes to a screeching halt. What a nightmare!
The home inspection has the potential to be the biggest hurdle for the seller. The process can be painfully slow, and extremely stressful for both the buyer and the seller. Usually, a professional home inspection is completed by a prospective buyer before the buyers seal the deal and the agreement to purchase the home is finalized. It’s not uncommon for a sale of a house to fall through due to the results of a home inspection. Home inspections can be a massive source of stress for a seller, as they hold their breath and hope that the condition of their home is up to the standards of the prospective buyer.
Another possibility is that, after a home inspection, the buyer can request a decrease in price because of the problems identified during the inspection. Alternatively, the buyer can ask the seller to repair the issue within a specific time frame, which usually hits the seller with the dangerous duo–pure panic and a pile of unexpected costs.
A proactive step to selling your home is getting a pre-sale home inspection done. Although you’ll have to fork over about 500 bucks, the inspection can identify problems that may prevent a future sale. It puts the ball in your court; you are in control. Once you have a pre-sale home inspection done, you can fix or repair the problems before they become an issue for future buyers. By reducing problems beforehand, you will reduce stress and have more confidence as you move forward with the process of selling your home.
By doing a pre-sale inspection and sharing the reports wih the buyer you are disclosing all the material defects and condition of the home. The buyer may still elect to do their own inspection, which is fair and advisable. However, acting in good faith the buyer should not come back to the seller and request repairs for items already disclosed in the seller’s inspection. When the buyer made the offer to purchase, they were purchasing the home in its AS-IS condition as it was disclosed to them by the sellers and the seller’s inspectors.
It Helps You Set the Prices
The price you set for your home is one of the most critical parts of the sale process. If the price is too high, and you’ll scare buyers off. If it is too low, you’ll lose out on a big chunk of change. So how do you settle on the final price tag?
With a home inspection, you will have a much better understanding of any flaws of the house and, if you don’t plan to fix them, you can price accordingly.
Use the Pre-Sale Inspection as a Marketing Tool
Buying a home is buying something from a stranger–a big, expensive something. Having the inspection visible to the potential buyer is a golden selling feature. First of all, a buyer that knows you have the home inspected is going erase a good bit of the suspicions and fears they had with considering the home purchase. You can also share receipts for repair costs, showing them you fixed any issues. This honesty will give confidence to the buyer when they go to make an offer.
Who Should have a home inspection done?
Any seller, regardless of the type of property–from new construction to homes that have seen better days–should consider a pre-sale inspection. Sellers will be able to convey a greater sense of quality and accountability with the results. Those are not easy things to do, especially if the buyer is suspecting the seller has something to hide.
Also, in our local market, buyers are conditioned to expect to receive the seller’s inspections reports prior to making an offer. Not having those reports may raise suspicions of buyers who would otherwise be interested in your home.
What to Expect from a Pre-Sale Inspection
A pre-sale inspection will generally consist of a general property inspection, a termite or pest inspection, and roof inspection. You may need additional inspections depending on if you have a pool, chimney, septic system, or some other unique aspect of your home.
The inspection should include a check-up of the roof, chimney and fireplace, heating and air conditioning systems, attic, electrical hookups, foundation, plumbing, and exterior features such as the sidewalk and visible drainage.
Once a pre-sale home inspection is complete, a report will be shared with the seller and the listing agent. If the inspector finds issues with the property, the seller has the option to fix problems before the property is listed on the market. If they plan to sell as is, the results could prepare the seller for the price negotiations that are sure to come.
We all know there is no such thing as a maintenance-free house. Some things are just quirks or charms, but others are more severe problems. Results of a pre-sale inspection provide the honesty a buyer is looking for, and the peace of mind a seller needs.
For more information about inspections, check out our blog post Home Inspections, Which Should You Get?