When people put their homes on the market, they usually don’t learn that anything is wrong with them until the home is under contract and the potential buyer performs a home inspection.
Sellers do themselves a disservice when they allow the buyer to be the first one to discover any problems with the home.
While it may seem like an unnecessary expense to hire your own home inspector before putting your home on the market, doing so can really pay off. Here’s how.
Put your home on the market in top condition
Chances are there are several problems with your home that you’re unaware of.
Your roof may have loose shingles that you can’t see from the ground. There might be evidence of termites in the attic. An innovation in shut-off valves might have made the ones currently installed on your natural gas line seem unsafe.
If you have a professional home inspection before you put your home on the market, you can learn about all the problems that only a professional can spot. Then you can fix these problems, confidently list your home as being in excellent condition and ask for a top price.
Advertise that your home has been inspected and that you have repaired existing problems
That your home has been recently inspected and you have repaired the problems identified in the inspection report will be a major selling point to buyers looking for a top-notch home and a quick, smooth transaction.
You’ll almost never see a real estate listing advertising a recently completed home inspection. Taking this extra step will help your listing stand out.
Avoid ugly surprises when the buyer does their own inspection
Almost any buyer is going to perform a home inspection. At that point, you will have already negotiated a price.
If the home inspection reveals any problems -- and it will, unless you’ve already completed your own and followed the inspector’s recommendations -- the buyer will ask you to complete the repairs or lower the purchase price.
There’s a chance that if you refuse, the seller will still buy the house at the originally negotiated price, but there’s also a chance they’ll walk.
Have realistic expectations and price your home correctly the first time
Everyone is used to the condition their home is in. Problems that don’t bother you or that you no longer even notice can be glaring to buyers.
If you don’t have your home inspected before you list it, you might overprice it, thinking that it’s in better condition than it really is.
Overpricing your home can delay your sale; what’s more, once a home has been on the market for a while, buyers will assume they can get the house for less than you’re asking.
Choose to sell your home as-is
If you don’t have the money to perform any repairs, why would you want to find out what’s wrong with your home when you’ll have to disclose those defects to potential buyers?
All buyers have limits on the number of repairs they can afford to make and are willing to manage.