Many an agent and seller have been in this position: the sale of a home is just about to close, when the deal suddenly falls through after a disheartening discovery during the home inspection. This is frustrating for everyone involved, but you can make this entire process faster and smoother by taking advantage of pre-listing inspections!
A typical home inspection is paid for by the buyer and is conducted towards the end of a home’s closing. In contrast, a pre-listing home inspection is paid for by the seller or listing agent and is conducted before the home is even listed for sale. This leads us to the first advantage of a pre-listing inspection: time. Pre-inspected homes tend to sell two weeks faster, saving the seller two weeks of worry and saving the agent two weeks of advertising and showings.
Probably the biggest advantage to a pre-listing inspection is the forewarning of possible buyer concerns. Your home inspection provides you with a written report on the home’s condition, thus uncovering any flaws that could compromise a sale or alert you to a serious concern requiring immediate attention. Of course, there is no way of knowing what problems a buyer will be concerned with since every buyer is different. However, with knowledge of the home’s issues, the seller can take that information and make an educated decision on what to repair.
With the inspection completed and your list of important repair items, there are two more significant advantages: lower repair costs, and not being pressured by a potential buyer to repair items quickly and for an arm and a leg. The home owner has plenty of time to either fix these problems themselves, or to hire a trusted and reasonably priced handyman. Either option saves the seller money, and keeps defects from becoming an obstacle during negotiations.
This knowledge helps in realistically pricing the home. Additionally, when a potential buyer visits a home and sees the owner has recently had it inspected and the owner has receipts for repairs and improvements, it helps to justify this asking price. It also shows buyers and the agents showing the home that it is well cared for and is worthy of the asking price.
With all these advantages, it’s no wonder that home sellers are beginning to lean towards getting the home inspected themselves. Some real estate agents are even recommending to their clients to get this done; after all, it avoids some nasty surprises, making pre-listing inspections of huge value to both sellers and agents.