As you prepare to sell your home, you might consider a home inspection before you list it for sale. Knowing what's right and wrong with the condition of your home could save a sale from falling apart.
Whether or not you're familiar with the process of selling a home, it's expected that the buyer will order a home inspection before finalizing the purchase. A licensed home inspector examines the home to determine its condition and report the findings to the buyer. If the inspection reveals significant problems, the buyer may want to renegotiate the sale or completely back out of the contract.
As the homeseller, you may want to consider getting a home inspection before putting your house on the market to stay abreast of any problems. Knowing what problems exist, you can tackle any necessary repairs ahead of an offer, or you can wait for the buyer to hire an inspector. Waiting might lead to a good amount of anxiety and a list of problems you had no idea existed. By getting a pre-listing home inspection, you'll feel confident knowing the current condition of your home and which repairs to undertake before your home sells.
Another benefit of having a pre-listing inspection is to make your real estate agent's job easier. Your agent can price the home more accurately and confidently negotiate the contract if necessary.
You might be wondering if there are any cons to getting a pre-listing home inspection. Yes, there are. Home inspectors charge for their services. Expect to pay $400-$1000 for the inspection, depending on your location. There may be additional charges if you wish to have well water tested for quality or have tests performed for radon or lead paint.
Another consideration is whether or not you are legally required to disclose all of the problems to the buyer. Some states require full disclosure while others only require that you disclose the presence of lead paint. Before hiring an inspector, talk to your real estate agent to determine the laws for your state and what needs to be disclosed to buyers.
If you are required to fix the issues discovered by the inspector, you may be faced with a financial burden. For example, replacing a roof will typically cost a minimum of $10,000. If you aren't required to make all of the repairs, talk to your agent about the possibility of negotiating a lower final sales price to compensate for any repairs the buyer would need to make following the home purchase.
Finally, never assume the buyer's inspector won't present other issues or opinions. Every inspector is different and their findings can vary.
Having a home inspection performed before you put your house on the market will reveal any issues with your home and can put you a step ahead of the buyer. Making repairs to your home before it goes on the market may result in a higher sales price and less stress. Keep in mind, it's likely the buyer will order a home inspection too and it may differ from the one you received. Talk to your real estate agent, or get an option from a few, to determine if a pre-listing home inspection is favorable.