Pre-listing inspects advantages
“Pre-listing inspections, along with pricing homes properly, will result in a sold homes 100% of the time. Some of my most successful agents will only list under those conditions.” Judd Richardson Vice President and Managing Broker Beverly-Hanks Realtors Hendersonville NC March 26, 2013
Home inspector’s green light could give you the edge in a competitive market article
By Kara Wahlgren, FrontDoor.com | First Published: 7/10/2008
Find and repair flaws in your home before marketing the home.
According to the U.S. General Accounting Office, more than 85 percent of homebuyers who applied for a mortgage also requested an inspection — not too surprising, since home inspections can reveal hidden flaws and potentially pricey repairs. But even though an inspection can make or break the deal, most sellers wait for the buyer to take the initiative (and chew their nails while awaiting the results). Here are a few reasons why you might benefit from getting your home inspected before you put it on the market.
Seller’s inspections are home inspections that are conducted before or shortly after a home is listed. Robert Bruss, noted real estate columnist writing recently in the CHARLOTTE OBSERVER stated that, ”The smartest home sellers have their homes professionally inspected before signing a listing. Then the home seller knows about the home’s defects and can either have them repaired before putting the house on the market or they can be disclosed to prospective buyers up front. Prelisting Inspections (Sellers Inspections) are becoming very common.” Associated Press writer David Bradley reports in the Hickory Daily Record “The usual approach is to wait for an offer before an inspector scopes out the home. Once inspectors for buyers get involved, though, it can open a Pandora’s Box of costs and demands. Buyers push the envelope: sellers, sometimes panicked by lack of offers, capitulate.” He goes on to say “(the pre-listing inspection) path is a proactive course. It’s important for a basic, crucial reason: (the sellers) inspector represented their interest, not the buyers.” Without the information that a pre-listing inspection provides, the buyer is in the driver’s seat in terms of repairs and, possibly, repairs costs.
Five reasons why a pre-listing inspect is a good action.
Reason #1: Reassure prospective buyers.
Even after a walk-through or two, buyers rarely know exactly what to expect from a home inspection — there’s always the possibility of termites gnawing on that rustic log cabin or faulty wiring lurking behind those faux-finished walls. Providing a pre-inspection assures the buyer that no major surprises are in store; while they might not waive their own follow-up inspection, they’ll at least feel more comfortable about placing a bid.
Reason #2: Buy time and save money.
Even in a relatively new or completely renovated home, chances are a home inspector can find a red flag or two. After all, that’s their job. When a fault is found during a typical home inspection, you may only have a few days to decide whether to make the repair or adjust the sale price appropriately — and you’ll need to find a solution that satisfies you and the buyer. A pre-inspection gives you more time to compare prices and treatment options from a variety of contractors. The money you save may easily be more than the cost of the inspection.
Reason #3: Know where you stand.
Generally, your final selling price is determined long before the inspector ever sets foot inside your door. That leaves a huge question mark lingering over your negotiations — are you going to be forced to drop your final figure again if a major problem is uncovered? By getting an inspection early, you’ll know what concessions a buyer might request. That allows you to set your asking price accordingly and find out whether or not you’re in a position to play hardball.
Reason #4: Prevent repeat repairs.
No matter how handy you are, there’s always a risk of misdiagnosing a problem. But getting your home pre-inspected could help you avoid wasting money on unnecessary repairs. Say your toilet hasn’t been flushing quite right, so you pay a plumber to replace it — only to learn upon inspection that the problem was in your septic system. A pre-inspection helps you avoid doing double-duty, since the inspector can pinpoint the problem and recommend the right repair.
While the average home inspection costs a few hundred dollars, it likely will save you time and money in the long run.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (AND ANSWERS)
FAQ’S ABOUT INSPECTING YOUR HOME BEFORE YOU LIST:
1. HOW EASY IS SELLING A HOUSE WITH A SELLER’S INSPECTION?
After the listing is signed, a Sellers inspection is performed. If significant damage or defects are found, there will be disappointment, but no hysteria or regret. No deal about to go sour. The agent will discuss the problems with you and will determine if this listing is “AS IS” with full disclosure, or if any repairs need correcting to expedite the sale. You will then correct any problem areas, and call for a re-inspection of the home. The home inspector returns, cleans up the report, and uploads the revised report to the internet (if that is your wish) link so when a potential buyer looks at your listing they can also view the report. Next, a buyer enters a contract agreement with their inspector. The Buyer will choose to trust the home inspection or, will have another inspection performed. The transaction proceeds as planned.
2. WHY SHOULD I SPEND THE ADDITIONAL MONEY FOR A PRE-LISTING INSPECTION?
The future Buyer will bring a home inspector and will list defects or problems, which may cause renegotiation and/or anxiety. To be forewarned gives you an opportunity to be prepared.
3. ARE SELLER’S INSPECTIONS JUST AS THOROUGH AS A BUYERS INSPECTION?
A home inspection is only as good as the home inspector. A thorough inspector who wants business, not lawsuits, will perform an unbiased inspection with integrity.
4. BUT MY HOME IS “CLEAN” AND HAS NO PROBLEMS SO WHY DO I NEED A SELLER’S INSPECTION?
Most of the problems discovered during the home inspection are unknown to the home owner. If your home has no problems then let’s prove it and get that house sold fast!
5. IS THE HOME INSPECTION TRANSFERABLE FROM THE SELLER TO THE BUYER?
The home inspection should reveal the condition of the home at the time it was inspected. Components and materials age and can fail at any time. The information is naturally transferable to anyone who the owner (the seller) allows to view it. There is no warranty or guarantee and components will fail regardless of whether or not a home inspection was performed with the Seller or the Buyer.
6. WHAT IF THE PRE_LISTING INSPECTION FIND PROBLEMS? At that point, your agent and you are at the best advantage point in the whole process. If there exist some significant damage or a major defect you both know something has to give. Either the price or repairs. Once you make the necessary repairs the home inspector can return and send a new report with clean pictures and comments. Now, you are set to coast downhill to closing!
The above steps are for when there is significant damage or a major defect found. However, when the home is clean, the report will be a selling tool. When a Buyer is intrigued about a home their looking to buy, a main reservation is wondering the condition of the home. Viewing the report right then, may produce a phone call for more info instead of moving on. It’s a great sales tool if your home checks out! And if your home needs repairs, then why not fix them on your terms and not the Buyers?
More Good News about Pre-listing inspections
- A Seller’s inspection will virtually eliminate all the hassle a buyer’s inspection causes:
- No more renegotiations.
- Less likelihood that the agreement will ‘fall through” when the buyer’s inspection discovers the problem(s).
- Cost saving by having more time to select best contractor.
KNOWING WHAT DEFECTS PRESENT AT THE INITIAL ARE LISTING CREATES ENORMOUS BENEFITS:
- It will allow the agent and you to discuss what items should be fixed and what should not.
- It will substantiate your price, or may convince you to rethink the asking price.
- It will be full disclosure protection for you and your agent.
- It streamlines the process.