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The Pre-Listing Inspection- A Small Investment That Can Save a Seller Thousands of Dollars

The house you're selling is finally under contract. Congratulations! Now on to the "fun" part- your home inspection contingency period. This is when your prospective buyer has a certain amount of time, specified in your contract, to hire a home inspector and to request remediation of potential defects in the home. So what happens now? No home is perfect. Likely, your buyer's home inspector will find things that need repaired. Your buyer will then likely request you either pay to have those items fixed, or that you reduce your asking price for the buyer to repair once the deal is complete. This puts you, the seller, at a fork in the road. Do you spend or lose money to fix these problems for the buyer, or do you do nothing and potentially risk them backing out of the deal?


One not-so-common tactic that is often overlooked by homeowners and real estate agents is getting an inspection before your house is even up for sale. This strategy can pay for itself both financially and mentally when it comes time for price negotiation.


Here are five reasons why YOU should get a home inspection before your home goes on the market:



1.Knowledge of Potential Issues


A pre-listing home inspection can help homeowners identify any potential issues that could affect the sale of their home. This knowledge allows homeowners to address any problems before they are discovered by potential buyers.


Easily corrected issues, like a furnace filter that needs replaced or a missing service disconnect cover are often overlooked by homeowners, but will be found by a home inspector


As previously mentioned, most homes have issues. It is extremely rare for a home inspector to enter a home and not find reportable defects. They can be big issues or little issues. Either way, having an idea of what is wrong with your house before you put it on the market affords you the time to repair it, or go into the deal with the knowledge that you may have to negotiate a little harder to get the deal to go through. In the wise words of G.I. Joe- "Knowing is half the battle". Even a long list of "minor" things in need of correction can be a headache for a seller when the house is under contract.


2. Accurate Pricing


A pre-listing home inspection can provide homeowners with an accurate idea of the value of their home, allowing them to price it accordingly. This can help to attract more serious and

qualified buyers. If you and your real estate agent know from an inspection report that there are no major issues in your home (or that there were and you fixed them appropriately), its much more likely that the value your home sells for is much closer to your original asking price. Let's look at two scenarios to illustrate this example:


Scenario 1- Your home is listed for $300,000. Your buyer agrees to the price and your home is now pending. The buyer hires a home inspector, who discovers two windows in the home are faulty or have broken seals. They also discover an issue in the crawl space that can be fixed, but can also be costly. The buyer then asks you to replace the two windows and crawl space issue, or you can drop the price to $285,000. You're then left to decide whether to arrange for a qualified professional to repair it all as fast as possible, take a $15,000 reduction in price, or decline to make any repairs or adjust price and risk having to relist your home if the buyer walks away from the deal.


Scenario 2- Prior to listing your home, you have a pre-listing inspection completed. The home inspector finds the same issues outlined in Scenario 1. Time is on your side, and you go ahead and replace the two windows. You also hire a reputable contractor to fix the issue in the crawlspace. You're happy you had the extra time to price shop, because it ended up only costing $9,000 for all the work to be done after getting multiple bids. You then have your home listed with the original asking price of $300,000, which you can confidently ask for knowing there are no major repairs. Since your buyer's inspector doesn't find any glaring issues, the house sells for your original asking price.


In this scenario, its clear which option is usually best. Taking the time to have your home inspected and to fix any repairs needed prior to listing will save you time, money, and stress.


3.Competitive Advantage


A pre-listing home inspection can give homeowners a competitive advantage over other sellers and buyers. A home with a clean bill of health is more likely to attract serious buyers and may sell more quickly than a home that requires extensive repairs. If you list your house knowing you've repaired the majority of issues found by your inspector, you've taken the advantage away from your buyer. They can't come in and ask you to reduce your price, and you certainly won't feel pressured to budge on your listing price based off what may or may not need fixed in your home. To not get your home inspected prior to listing, you are quite literally giving your prospective buyer more negotiating power than necessary. If you capitalize on this competitive advantage, you keep the ball in your court and you will likely have your pick of preferred buyers.


4.Transparency


A pre-listing home inspection can increase transparency between the buyer and the seller. It can help build trust by providing buyers with an honest assessment of the home's condition and any potential issues. By listing your home and making the inspection report available to the buyer, you show them there is nothing to hide. You'll likely find the transaction goes smooth with few hiccups, potentially resulting in you closing on your home faster than going through a long, drawn out inspection contingency and re-negotiation phase.


Buyers, just like sellers, want an easy process. They may even thank you for the transparency and be more willing to give a higher offer due to their increased confidence in the soundness of the home.


5.Reduced Stress


A pre-listing home inspection can help reduce stress and anxiety for both the buyer and the seller. As a seller, the buyer's home inspection period can be extremely stressful. Suddenly somebody is in YOUR home, looking over repairs that YOU had done while you lived there,


picking everything apart. Often, a seller doesn't know what is wrong with their house until they read it in the report (if the buyer/buyers agent even allows them to see it). At this point, the seller is backed into a corner while the buyer is having to explain what's wrong with the home and what they want repaired for the deal to go through.


Paying for a pre-listing inspection can reduce the overall stress of the selling process. Which is great, because you're likely dealing with your own stress of buying a new home for yourself. To make even a small part of the real estate transaction as stress free as possible will go a long way in feeling better throughout the process.


Final Thoughts

Everyone looking to sell their home wants to do what they can to get their maximum return on investment, and most people enjoy a smooth selling process. Spending money early in the process on a pre-listing home inspection will likely pay for itself several times over- both financially and for your mental health.


If you or someone you know are looking to sell your home soon, consider scheduling a pre-listing inspection with Sighthound Home Inspections, LLC by visiting our website at www.SighthoundHomeInspections.com or by giving us a call at (850) 296-8329. We would be honored to help you prepare!

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