Why You Should Get an Inspection Before Listing Your Home
Most people fail to realize the home inspections are not just for potential homebuyers. Sellers can also benefit from a pre-listing inspection before you put your home on the market.
Although a seller's inspection is by no means required to sell a home, a recent report by the Zillow Group found that roughly 25% of all sellers elect to have their home inspected prior to contacting a realtor1.
Not only are pre-listing inspections relatively affordable, but they can also save you a lot of time and headache in not only prepping your home for sale, but also once your home is listed.
It's also important to note that agents representing buyers are also generally required to complete a walkthrough of your property to help identify potential issues for their clients.
Wouldn't you rather have your expert examine your home first so that you can address any concerns right out of the gate?
Selling your home can sometimes be a stressful process. Here are some reasons why getting a pre-listing inspection will provide you with peace of mind and make your sales transaction feel much smoother.
Identify Major Condition Issues
One of the biggest reasons why you should get an inspection before you list your home is to help avoid potential condition issues with your home once it's on the market.
According to the National Association of Realtors, 11% of the time, a contract was delayed due to a home inspection or conditions. Property conditions were also the reason 9% of the time a contract was terminated.
The great thing about getting an inspection completed upfront is that you then have the time to fix the issues that need fixing, which should help maximize your net profits from the sale.
Save Money on Home Renovations
The cost of completing a few basic home improvement projects can add up fast. Getting a pre-listing home inspection can help you avoid sinking a ton of money into significant renovations that you won't even get a chance to enjoy once your sale goes through.
Although the price for a seller's inspection can vary depending on the size and location of your home, on average most inspections only cost between $350-$500. That's way less than the average cost to replace the carpet in a 16x20 room or install new laminate countertops in your kitchen.
Doing extensive renovations before you sell your home can also really eat into your net proceeds. You also must factor in the time it takes to complete specific projects.
If you start your projects too early or late, it could have other consequences as well. For example, the peak season for real estate is usually in the springtime, around March6.
If work still needs to be finished and you delay your listing, it could miss out on the best chance to have hundreds of potential buyers see your home.
Have More Firepower to Negotiating With
Having a pre-listing inspection performed for the less direct seller may be taken as a sign of goodwill to the average homebuyer. It shows you are open about the current state of the property.
Disclosing a pre-listing inspection could motivate your potential buyer to waive their right to have their inspection completed and, instead, accept the results of your report. This could help you close on the deal faster than you might have originally intended.
However, some sellers try to be a bit slyer and more guarded by having a pre-inspection already completed but not sharing the findings with the buyer. In some circumstances, this can be a smoking gun if a buyer voices unwarranted concerns about the condition of your home.
Buyers will cite anything as a condition to help negotiate down a lower sales price or obtain a seller's credit. They may even want you to repair features of the property that don't require repair.
Your pre-listing inspection can then serve as evidence that due diligence has already been performed to identify the potential issue that the buyer wants to be addressed.
If work needs to be done but you have already completed it, you can demonstrate the steps taken to remedy the issue cited in your pre-listing inspection, rendering their request for a seller's concession mute.
Having a pre-listing inspection could also have the opposite effect in that, if disclosed, your potential buyer may waive their right to have their inspection completed and accept the results of your report. If this occurs, it could help you close on the sale faster than you might have originally intended.
1 Zillow. (2020, June 30). Should I Get a Pre-Listing Home Inspection?: Zillow. Retrieved June 30, 2021, from https://www.zillow.com/sellers-guide/pre-listing-home-inspection/
2 National Association of Realtors Research Group. (2021, January). Realtors Confidence Index Survey (Rep.). Retrieved June 30, 2021, from National Association of Realtors Research Group website: https://cdn.nar.realtor/sites/default/files/documents/2021-01-realtors-confidence-index-02-19-2021.pdf
3 Wood, G. (2018, January 5). Pre-Listing Inspections Put Sellers in Control. Realtor Magazine. Retrieved June 30, 2021, from https://magazine.realtor/sales-and-marketing/sales-coach/article/2018/01/pre-listing-inspections-put-sellers-in-control
Riha, J. (2019, July 26). Average Cost to Install Carpet Per Square Foot. Retrieved June 30, 2021, from https://www.hgtv.com/design/remodel/interior-remodel/average-cost-install-carpet-per-square-foot
5 HomeAdvisor. (2021, June 29). Learn how much it costs to Install Laminate Countertops. Retrieved June 30, 2021, from https://www.homeadvisor.com/cost/cabinets-and-countertops/laminate-countertops/
6 Zillow. (2021, June 04). When Is The Best Time to Sell Your House?: Zillow. Retrieved June 30, 2021, from https://www.zillow.com/sellers-guide/best-time-to-sell/