Unless you have been living under a rock for the past two years, you already know it is a buyers market out there and sellers of owner occupied homes need to do everything they can to gain an edge. Sales of owner occupied homes have dwindled significantly in recent years due to the ever expanding foreclosure market, and recent studies indicate that it isn’t going to change anytime soon. So what can you do to help sell your home in a reasonable amount of time and for the price you need?
Without question the best thing home sellers should do is to have a pre-listing home inspection performed prior to placing their home on the market to gain a better understanding of the true condition of your property and give you an edge over your competitors. Many homeowners are simply unaware of the issues in their home in need of repair. The pre-list inspection will provide valuable information and the opportunity for you to address any repairs needed in order to price your home correctly and place your home in better selling condition. It will also help to prevent the unwanted surprise that typically occurs after the buyers home inspector finds a long list of items that will be used for re-negotiation of purchase price and delays in closing. Obtaining a pre-listing home inspection will also serve as an addendum to the sellers disclosure list you are required to fill out, as well as show the potential buyers that you are serious and acting in good faith during the entire process.
Much like a buyer-seller inspection, a pre-listing home inspection is a visual examination of your homes systems, mechanicals and structure. Everything from the foundation to the roof is inspected to ensure that everything is in proper working order. Any defects, damage or deferred maintenance issues will be noted in a comprehensive home inspection report.
One of the key benefits of having the inspection done early, is that if there are any problems discovered that need to be repaired, you can have the repairs done on your own terms, on your own schedule. When a problem isn’t found until the buyer has a home inspection performed, the deal you have worked so hard to get, and waited so long for, may fall apart unless you act quickly to get the repairs done, or even worse, you may have to lower the purchase price of your home, in order to keep the deal moving. In either case, you’ll almost certainly have more headaches, and spend more money, than if you’d known about the problem before hand and had it repaired before negotiations began. You could save yourself thousands of dollars by simply being able to take your time and shop around to get competitive bids from contractors, rather than being forced into paying for a rush job at the last minute.
You can also benefit from simply offering certain items as is, but that same buyer may walk away from the deal if the conditions come as a surprise, after an offer has already been made. If the home is inspected before the house goes on the market you will have the upper hand. There won’t be any surprises and the deal is far less likely to fall apart. If the buyers home inspector turns up problems that you were unaware of, the buyer will most certainly want to negotiate a new deal and that second sales agreement is typically not in your favor.
By having a pre-listing inspection done, you can identify any problems early on and it will give you the opportunity to address those issues before the buyers home inspector finds them. It will help the sale move quickly and smoothly to closing without delays or costly surprises. In this real estate market, sellers of owner occupied homes need to do everything they can to stand out in the vast sea of home inventory out there. Having a pre listing home inspection done is the best way to help facilitate a quick and smooth sale of your home.
Mike Chamberlain, Owner
MICP, CMI, CRT, IAQCP
MC2 Home Inspections LLC