Have your home inspected prior to selling

I’ve been asked the following question several times: Should you have your home inspected prior to selling?  And my answer to that is yes, it’s a good idea to have your home inspected prior to selling and I’m going to tell you why this is a good idea.

Inspections in advance can save a lot of money and hassle in the sales process.  Selling your home “as is” is not as easy as it used to be.  Often sellers are faced with expensive repair requests from the buyers and the prospect of re-negotiating not only the sales price but possibly many other terms of the sale that are affected by what could be found during a physical inspection.  Why not eliminate this potential headache?

Having general inspections, sewer line inspections, electrical, plumbing, chimney, etc., in advance, provides a different way of valuing a home.  It gives the owner an opportunity to make minor corrections and improvements prior to listing the home and to perhaps get a better return on their repair dollars.  And it gives the sellers confidence that they will not have to negotiate a second time.

The Facts of Why Home Sales Fall Apart:

1.    The buyer failing to qualify, and/or

2.    The property not meeting a buyer’s expectations at the time of a physical inspection.

A clever seller can avoid both occurrences by taking an assertive stance before entering escrow, or even before listing the home for sale.

Have your home inspected prior to selling

Have your home inspected prior to selling

At this point, most sellers are insisting on a pre-qualification letter for the buyer, but few sellers are providing adequate information to a buyer regarding the physical condition of their home.  What often ends up happening ten days into escrow is the introduction of “new information” based on the buyer’s physical inspection.  Sellers argue, “Why to pay $300 out of their pocket for an inspection in advance when the buyer is going to do that anyway?”  The answer is short and simple.

By providing the buyer with a copy of the seller’s physical inspection report during the negotiation, the buyer can be asked to agree to the items contained in the report remaining, “as is”, without either the buyer or seller having unrealistic expectations.  Even though the buyer will likely still have their own inspection, it is doubtful that there will be anything so different that will come up,  potentially causing a loss of the sale or any major adjustment to the price and/or terms of the transaction.  This is a compelling reason why you should have your home inspected prior to selling.

A Small Price to Pay

An “inspection in advance” is a small price to pay for the security and peace of mind it provides.  Falling out of escrow can be costly and inconvenient.  It is also a negative incident remembered by real estate agents that might cause reasons for concern and perhaps may even impact the desirability of the property and the frequency of broker showings.   Also, your prospective buyer is generally much more forgiving during the negotiating process rather than later when they are feeling a little “buyer’s remorse”.