by Janet Owens
on Tuesday, June 7th, 2011 at 10:48am.
I realize that some people may think an inspection done prior to putting a home on the market is just a crazy idea and a complete waste of money. These very same people may think that the less they know about something, the better, or have the,"I'll deal with it when we get there." attitude. But wait a minute. Let's look at this from another angle.
Selling a home in this economy is difficult. We have many more homes for sale than we have buyers. If you will be listing your home for sale in the next couple of months, you may want to consider a home pre-inspection. A home pre-inspection can identify potential deal killers, reduce repair costs with time for competitive bids, position the home to sell for maximum value, allows the listing agent to negotiate from a position of strength, and minimizes price reductions requested by the buyer.
Although this inspection would not take the place of the buyer having their own inspection, it does reveal to the homeowner any necessary repairs that they can take care of ahead of time, long before an offer is received. There is nothing more disheartening than to have the contract fall apart simply because the buyer and seller cannot agree on repairs. The seller has the opportunity to take care of things that could go wrong so it doesn't come back to bite them. A buyer will be much more likely to commit to a home with no major flaws.
The pre-inspection can reduce repair costs by giving the seller time to acquire competitive bids. The home seller will not be under contractual time constraints to find someone quickly to do the repair, eliminating the "I just got ripped off" feeling.
If both the seller and the listing agent know the condition of the home, they will be much more likely to price the home to sell for the maximum value. The pre-inspection helps the seller substantiate a higher asking price if problems don't exist or have been corrected. Even if the seller chooses not to make the repairs, they can offer the buyer a realistic, not excessive discount, off the listing price.
The pre-inspection can place the listing agent in a stronger negotiating position and lightens the 11th hour re-negotiations.
A home that can pass inspection may earn the seller more money. For every $1 of identified repairs , we often find that the buyer asks for double that in price reduction. For example, paying as much as $3000 for a leaky roof is cheaper than having to lower the selling price of your home by as much as $6000.
Finally, the home sale process proceeds quickly and smoothly with the pre-inspection. Everything is already out there. There's nothing to hide. The seller and the listing agent have greater credibility by creating an environment of trust and goodwill between the buyers and the sellers. The inspection report can often be used as a marketing tool to help sell the home and can help relieve the buyer's unfounded suspicions. The buyer feels more secure in making an offer. The stress level for all involved is reduced and many of the hick-ups that can throw the deal off track are eliminated