Why should you get a home inspection before selling your house?
The home inspection is a significant step in the home buying (and selling) process. Generally performed after the buyer has made an offer and before the closing date, this contingency period gives the buyer an opportunity to uncover any problems or potential issues that may affect their offer. If an undisclosed issue is discovered, the buyer can renegotiate their offer or request that repairs are made. As a homebuyer you should always opt for a home inspection, but what about if you’re selling your house? Also known as a pre-sale or pre-listing inspection, this strategy could pay dividends and the experts at Amy Stockberger Real Estate (ASRE) are here to show you how.
Back on the Market
You’ve come so far! You listed your house, you found a buyer, and they’ve made an offer. Then, during the home inspection, it’s revealed that your house has roof damage or bad plumbing. This can lead to major headaches on your end, including (but not limited to) a renegotiation of the original offer, a negotiation to make repairs, or having the buyer back out of the deal completely. This is one of the most frustrating things that can happen as a seller and doubly frustrating for the real estate agent because they have to explain why your house is back on the market.
Most people have heard the phrase "killed the sale." If a home inspector finds a significant problem with the electrical system, plumbing, HVAC, roof, foundation, or structural components, any one of these issues could do just that: kill the sale. If you've lived in your current house for a long period of time—we're talking a decade or longer—regular maintenance gets easier and easier to overlook. Why have the rug pulled out from underneath you right before the closing date? Opting for a pre-sale inspection will let you know of any potential roadblocks and that way, you are able to make the necessary repairs or reduce your listing price on account of the maintenance issues.
Speed Up the Process
As we previously mentioned, after a home inspection, things can really get stressful if the licensed professional finds any undisclosed problems. Negotiations (and renegotiations) can get contentious whether you're trying to work out a new offer or who will cover certain repairs. With a pre-listing inspection, you are already aware of any problems and take care of them. Not only will this allow you to raise the asking price, but it will also help speed up the process. Fewer negotiations; fewer back-and-forths; fewer unwanted surprises; plus, if it's a seller’s market with multiple bids, some potential buyers will acknowledge your pre-listing inspection and bypass one of their own.
Avoid the Stress
You made the wise decision and decided to have a pre-sale inspection done. If the licensed professional uncovers any major issues don't worry, it's not the end of the world. Even if it might be an expensive repair, knowing now is much less stressful and will cost you less money than if the homebuyer's inspector discovered it. When this occurs, you have two options and neither one of them is very appealing. One, the sale price will go down due to the unresolved maintenance. Two, you agree to make the necessary repairs before the closing date. The second option can be both costly and demanding because the seller has to fix any problems in a timely manner, which might put you at the mercy of whatever contractor is available at that time.
Increase Your Profit
At the end of the day, you're trying to get the best possible price out of your house. The pre-listing inspection will show you any maintenance that needs to be done, big or small, giving you an opportunity to repair, renovate, and refresh your home. If you follow the inspector's suggestions, not only will you get to increase your listing price, but your hard work will also reassure buyers that your home has been well maintained. Additionally, home improvement repairs made to your house prior to selling are deductible from the profit of your home's sale (in most states).
A pre-listing inspection puts you ahead of the game. It will help eliminate unknowns, streamline the sale, and potentially increase your profit. There’s a lot at stake when selling your home. Why leave anything to chance? Just remember, as beneficial as a pre-listing inspection can be, you must be prepared for the consequences. If the licensed professional discovers anything during their inspection, it is your legal responsibility to disclose any issues that were found. For more information, contact the specialists at Amy Stockberger Real Estate (ASRE). We can discuss the pros and cons of a pre-listing inspection, and if it’s right for you.
- Samantha Benson