Pre-Listing Inspection? What's the Point?
Occasionally I get asked about pre-listing inspections, and I've been recommending them more and more lately. A pre-listing inspection is in fact a home inspection done by the seller prior to listing their home.
Now why would you inspect your house before you have a buyer? That I have many good answers for!
1. If there's a large problem with the home that you were unaware of, you can then decide whether you can price accordingly or whether you might be able to move at all. Much better to find this out now than when you're in the middle of selling with a buyer on the hook and possibly involved in your next property as well. I have had a buyer inspection discover something so severe that there was no way the seller could fix the home and still afford to sell.
2. It gives you a chance to fix items on the list at your own time and leisure, meaning that you can shop for repair bids or get it done yourself. When a buyer finds it at their inspection, you may only have a week to get items done before closing and they may ask for specific contractors, which could easily cost you more than the inspection would in the beginning.
3. Fixing items before listing helps your home show better as it will appear obviously well maintained and there will be less items that buyers and their agents will notice. Therefore they are more likely to give their best or better offers than if they saw unrepaired items from the get-go.
4. Being able to market your home as pre-inspected gives a nice warm, fuzzy confidence to a buyer that there shouldn't be any big surprises lurking down the path. You can easily provide the home inspection and evidence of repairs, which again should lead to better and higher offers. Lots of offers hedge against the unknowns that may be found at inspection time.
5. Already having an inspection and repairs done, the buyer's own home inspection contingency should be a breeze. There may be minor discrepancies between what everyone finds, as inspectors are human and each may miss or catch something the other doesn't, but anything of big concern should already be known. Since many contracts fall apart at inspection time, having already been through an inspection means that you're much much more likely to keep your deal together and get to closing.
6. Even if you're not making any repairs from the inspection, being able to provide this report up front should still mean better offers as buyers see what they are up against. Many buyers who purchase as-is or TLC properties come in quite low because they don't know the extent of the problems until inspection time.
I know, I know! Inspections can run you hundreds depending on the size of your home. But it may be better for you to spend a few hundred now than to lose a few thousand on the offer side of things. And the peace of mind from knowing exactly what you're up against is great. Selling a home is nerve-wracking enough just trying to find a buyer and wondering why all those other ones didn't like your house. With a pre-inspection, you can negotiate with your buyer in the confidence that you know what's going on with your home and with a higher likelihood that the deal will stay together and close!
The above article was written by Sheree Wilkerson of Realty World in Wichita, KS but it applies to real estate across the country. For a list of inspectors in our Sacramento Valley area feel free to contact me.