Selling a home is a big undertaking. When you decide it’s time to put your home on the market, you are hoping for a good sale price that reflects the full value of your house and a reasonably fast sale. Depending on the area your home is located in and the current state of your local real estate market, these factors can vary.
There are many things you will need to do before listing your home that will help facilitate the selling process and maximize your selling price. Hiring a good Realtor
should be first as they will have the experience to guide from start to finish. Prepping, cleaning, making repairs, and staging are some of the other essential steps.
A home inspection before selling is not required but can be beneficial. It has its pros and cons and is definitely something you should consider. Below, we’ll discuss everything you need to keep in mind when deciding whether to invest in a home inspection before selling.
Having your home inspection before listing definitely has its upsides. You need to consider this when making a decision.
It lets you know what repairs are necessary
A house doesn’t stay pristine as you use it. Weather and daily living activities can cause damage, small or not so small, over time. Having an inspector come in to thoroughly go over your home will alert you to where repairs are needed and how extensive they will be.
Having repairs done upfront can increase your asking price. You can easily fold repair expenses into what you list your house for. If you wait for the buyer to inspect, they may request repairs before buying, and that can cost you money in repairs as well as drop the selling price.
It could increase your listing price
In addition to adding the cost of repairs to your listing price, you could raise it as your home will be more attractive and appealing after repairs. Buyers love to hear that the roof, furnace, and hot water heater are new. Updated kitchens and appliances also significantly increase the value of a house. Even things like cleaning mildew out of a basement or off of bathroom tile can allow you to add to what you ask for your home. A higher listing price generally leads to a higher sale price.
It could lead to a faster sale and closing
Any interested buyer is going to have your house inspected before closing. However, if you have already had a home inspection before selling, you will know for sure that no unexpected problems are going to pop up. The buyer will get an inspection report that shows no major repairs are needed. That can lead to a faster offer, a prompt agreement on a sale price, and a quick closing. What seller wouldn’t go for that?
There are also cons to a pre-listing home inspection, and these should be considered before going forward with one. Any big decision should be made after looking at the upside and downside.
It costs money
Home inspectors don’t work for free. A typical cost for an inspector with a solid reputation would be about $400 for a 2,000-square-foot home. The larger your home, the greater the cost. Older homes may need a more extensive inspection which will also cost more.
This may not seem like a lot of money to you and if it's affordable, then don’t let it stop you from getting an inspection. Keep in mind that the inspection may point out minor repairs that you decide to pay for. Many buyers would have been willing to pay for them after their own inspection so you could end up spending money you didn’t have to.
It could find big problems you must disclose
There are significant issues, such as termite or other pest infestation, water damage, or cracks in the foundation, that you must legally disclose to the buyer. These are expensive to repair, and only some buyers will buy a home with these kinds of problems and pay for the repairs themselves. If they agreed to that, you would take a big hit in the sale price.
Naturally, when the buyer has the house inspected, they will discover these problems then.
It could end up creating more work for you
You may feel compelled to take care of minor repairs on your own. This takes time and effort and you may find a buyer who is handy and would have done the repairs themselves. You also never know what a buyer may be willing to pay for especially in a seller’s market where there is competition for the available homes. If the demand exceeds the supply, you may not want to pay for an inspection, as buyers will often purchase as-is to beat the competition.
So, there are pros and cons. How do you decide if having your home inspected before selling it is a good idea?
Your financial situation is something to consider. If the cost of the inspection and repairs are within your budget, having the inspection shouldn’t be a problem, especially if your home is new or has had recent repairs and you are confident in its condition. If the cost of repairs will be less than the amount you can tack on to your selling price, that’s another point in favor of inspection.
Older homes that may be in need of more extensive repairs may not be worth the cost and trouble of an inspection. Also, consider market conditions and whether they favor sellers or buyers. That is a major factor in this vital decision. Your realtor will be helpful in making the right choice.
FAQs on having a pre-listing home inspection
How is a home inspection schedule?
The first thing to do is to find two or three reputable inspectors. You can do a Google search and look for reviews. It’s also a good idea to ask family and friends in the area who have used an inspector for recommendations. Your Realtor may also have a recommendation, so it’s a good idea to ask them.
When you have your candidates, call and ask what they charge and about their schedule and availability. Use this information to choose an inspector and then book a date and time.
Which repairs must legally be done?
There are problems, which, if discovered in an inspection, must be either repaired by you or disclosed to the buyer. These include structural issues such as foundation problems, sagging load-bearing structures, or weaknesses in the roof. Water damage, mold, and any kind of toxic issues, such as radon or carbon monoxide, must also be disclosed or dealt with. Infestations of insects, rodents, or other pests are also on this list.
What should I do to prepare for an inspection?
There are several things you can do to make the inspection process go smoothly and quickly. The inspector will need access to every area of your house so a thorough cleaning and decluttering is in order. This includes the basement, attic, storage areas, and under sinks as well as in utility closets.
It’s also a good idea to make minor repairs on problems you are aware of such as loose cabinets.
Ready to get started?
There are many steps to getting your home ready to put on the market. A home inspection, in some cases, is helpful. Consider the pros and cons to decide if it’s right for your situation. In the San Francisco area, contact Pacific Edge Real Estate
. Their agents know the local market as well as the ins and outs of the selling process and can help you decide if a home inspection before selling is a good idea.