Any assumptions a buyer or seller has about a house, its listing price, and their respective ability to negotiate can be completely altered after a home inspection. Most times, the buyer initiates a home inspection with an inspector of their choice, giving them the upper hand when it comes time to negotiate and close on the property. If you as the seller are willing to have a home inspection upfront, “you gain control and are put back in the driver’s seat”, according to Jessica Edwards, a Coldwell Banker consumer specialist. Here are a few other reasons why a pre-listing inspection may be right for you:
A home inspection will identify any problems, major or minor, with the house in question. Sellers who schedule one prior to listing can and will be made aware of any defects in their home, which they then can choose to have repaired (or not) on their own dime. While this may at first seem like a difficult decision – to pay for both a certified home inspector, as well as major repairs even before your home is listed – taking the following into consideration makes the decision much easier.
- If you are made aware of major problems ahead of time, you can choose your own contractor to make repairs rather than paying the buyer’s contractor to do the work. This is often very cost-effective, as the buyer’s contractor (and the buyer) will be less concerned with the time and cost of making repairs since you, as the seller, will be the one paying for them.
- By fixing problems that are discovered during your pre-listing inspection, those issues may not arise while conferring with the buyer. Also, depending on the problem, you may not be obligated to disclose what was found and fixed. As such, the defects and their repairs become a non-issue during negotiation.
- If there are problems with the house that you were unaware of prior to the pre-listing inspection that you are not willing to fix, you can adjust your asking price accordingly. Knowledge is power, and that is certainly true when it comes to listing your home and determining a fair asking price.
In addition, buyers often have in mind which repairs they are unwilling to make and are deal breakers for them (unless the buyer wants a fix-up project). Deal breakers differ depending on the market, so if you’re looking for a home in the Seattle area, this is where your agent will be extremely valuable. Some common deal breakers across markets are those that result in costly or time-consuming repairs. These include foundation defects, mold, gas leaks, water damage, myriad roof problems, leaky plumbing, and more. By addressing these issues, your house will become much more attractive to the market even though the cost of repairs may be high. In many cases, these costly repairs are worth it so as to not to be listing a home full of deal breakers previously unbeknownst to you.
While deciding to hire an inspector for a pre-listing inspection will cost you upfront, it also means there will be fewer (or no) surprises that will affect the value of the house once it’s on the market.
Though no one wants to find out there are major problems with their home, the sooner you learn about any issues, the sooner you can address them. This provides not only options for you, but stress relief, as well, because you won’t be worrying about any surprises from the buyer’s inspection that could derail the entire sale.
Even though there are many reasons to get a pre-listing home inspection, only 10 percent of home inspectors are hired by sellers, according to executive director of the National Association of Home Inspectors, Claude McGavic.
If you’re thinking of listing your home in the Seattle area and are wondering if a pre-listing inspection is the way to go, contact us and we will walk you through the pros and cons for your specific situation.