Should I have my home inspected before I put it up for sale?
Home inspected first? Yes! Yes! Yes! It will show better! Feel better! Sell better!
In this difficult real estate market for Sellers, there are several advantages for having your home inspected before putting it up for sale. It seems very few Sellers seem to want to spend the money, usually about $400.00, to uncover problems in their home. These same problems are still there and they will be uncovered when the Buyer has an inspection. They still have to be dealt with. It is far better to be pro-active and control the situation. Contract deadlines put pressure on the Seller to settle, usually in the Buyers’ favor. Pre-inspections reduce the Buyers’ negotiating power. Negotiating repair issues is often emotionally and financially draining and can be a stumbling block to completing the sale of your home. Many home sale contracts fail over inspection issues. Additionally, in the present real estate climate, Banks are far less willing to loan on a house that needs to be repaired than they were in the past. Loans that allow “holdbacks” in escrow to do repairs after the sale are difficult to find right now.
Some real estate agents contend that it is better to be ignorant of property defects, because known defects need to be disclosed. Smart Sellers realize that this is short sighted because these defects will become known when the Buyers have their own inspection. A pre-inspection report creates good will and trust with the Buyer. Imagine the rapport you can establish with the Buyer when you provide a list of all the repairs you completed prior to the sale. A pre-inspection sets your home apart from the majority of the homes that are for sale and attract better and higher offers.
By having your home inspected before the sale, costly surprises are reduced. You have the time to get reasonable bids from contractors. When Buyers get their bids, they always go with the highest. Sellers give this credit and then the Buyers get it done for less. You are armed with the knowledge of what it truly costs. Knowledge, in any negotiating situation, allows you to negotiate from a solid position.
A home inspected before the sale could uncover an expensive repair that you were unaware of. An example would be a badly deteriorated sewer line that is a party line with your neighbor. You never knew you were on a party sewer line. Local laws here do not allow party sewer lines anymore and the fix could be very expensive. If you have already made an offer on a new home that was contingent on your present home selling or if you have already bought another home, you may not have the funds to proceed.
Having your home inspected reduces the likelihood that the Buyer will have their own inspection. Buyers like to save money like anyone else and don’t see the point in wasting money on something that has already been done. My experience has been that if you share the report with them and they see that you have corrected many items and are not trying to hide anything, they do not get their own inspection. Once again, you are distinguishing yourself from the other homes you are competing with.
Smart Sellers realize that a pre-inspection offers these benefits:
- Better and higher offers
- Less time on market
- Easier negotiations
- Better financial planning
- No surprises
As you can see, having your home inspected before you list it has many benefits and no down side. Spend the money! It’s a tiny investment that you will get back many times over when your house sells.
To read a related article see A home inspection is not optional.
Wayne Pruner is a Realtor in Tigard Oregon who is ready to help you with all your real estate needs. Ask me any question. You will get straight answers with no sales pressure. I can be reached at 503-891-0795 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.