If you want to streamline the selling process you should have the home inspected before listing. Many sellers don't do this and they come to realize when it's too late that it was indeed the reason why their home sale fell apart. With a pre-listing home inspection, you'll have all the information needed about the state of the house. This includes any problems that may interfere with the sale process. You can then go ahead and have them fixed before you list the home. On the same note, you are likely to price your home reasonably when you know it's exact condition. The benefits of having a pre-listing home inspection include:
Selling a home can be stressful, especially when the buyers keep pulling out at the last minute. Unless the home is brand new you expect it to have some problems. A pre-listing home inspection will identify problems that can derail the process so that you can have them fixed early enough. Additionally, you can schedule the pre-listing inspection at the time most comfortable for you. If you are doing it after the listing you'll have to adhere to the sales agreement even if it doesn't favor your timetable. Thus, having a pre-listing inspection ensures the process is less stressful for you. Although the buyers will most likely one to have the home re-inspected you will have the peace of mind knowing that most if not all of the issues have already been addressed.
A lot of people will check the price of the property before anything else. If it is not favorable they will move on to the next one. Therefore, if you have overpriced your home most buyers will shy away. Consequently, underpricing the home means you will end up getting less money than the home is worth. It can be tricky picking the price when you don't know the state of the home. A home inspection allows you to better understand the positive and negative aspects of the home so that you can price it accordingly. Not all home inspections will pick out negative aspects and in such a case you can confidently price the home slightly higher.
If you can present the potential buyers with a home inspection report the moment they express interest in purchasing the property you can easily hasten the process. Anyone who has gone through the pre-listing home inspection and realized the home is in perfect condition will be confident in making the offer. No one will be eager to buy a home that hasn't been inspected because it means there is a possibility of hidden issues.
With an inspection report at hand, you can even be upfront about existing issues and let the buyer know that you have adjusted the pricing to reflect that. Also, you'll have done the major home repairs that can affect the price if need be before you list the home as opposed to doing it once they have been discovered too late in the process. Additionally, you won't delay the closing just because the home inspection is taking too long or some major issues have just been uncovered.
The inspection may bring to light some problems that can possibly keep buyers away. The best thing is to handle the repairs before listing the house. You'll have enough time for that and even having the home re-inspected before you list it to assure the buyers that everything is in order. If you ignore a pre-listing home inspection you'll end up discovering the problem during the final inspection when money is supposed to be exchanging hands. This will be a big blow to the sale.
Home inspections aren't just about mechanical items and the structure but also other things like radon or mold presence. Removing radon in water is expensive and most buyers will back out of the sale once they discover that no matter how excited they were about the property. Starting with a pre-listing inspection will prevent such scenarios.
The initial offer becomes null and void if the buyer's inspection uncovered serious issues with the home. It will be frustrating to watch as the deal you were excited about crumbles because the home had not been inspected prior to the listing. Salvaging such a deal isn't easy and that is how you end up having to renegotiate. Since the favor will be on the buyer's side there isn't much you will be able to do. These are problems you won't have to deal with if only you are keen about pre-listing home inspection.
Given the amount of money the buyers will be putting towards the sale, it's normal for them to have some degree of suspicion in the home purchase. The buyer will have to think about the purchase price of the home, the maintenance costs and even the cost of repairs that may be necessary for the future. In the event that there are hidden problems it means it will even be more expensive for the buyer. This is why he or she is likely to back out in such a case. However, a pre-listing home inspection can assure the buyer that there are no hidden problems and the purchase will be a good financial investment for him/her.
Danny Margagliano is a seasoned realtor in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida. He works with 30a Local Properties, and his primary focus is investment and vacation rental properties. Having started his real estate career in 2008, Margagliano has seen the market shift from record low prices to today's all-time high real estate prices.