Should I Get a Pre-Inspection before Selling My Home?

When it comes time to sell your property, you want to get the biggest return on your investment. That’s only possible when a home is in showable, salable condition. Too many sellers overlook necessary preparations or refuse to do them for fear of spending money on a home they won’t own much longer.

It’s natural not to want to spend a whole lot of money on a property that will soon be a memory. However, it’s a one-way path to disappointment. What’s more, it can easily mean having to handle two mortgage payments at once if you buy another property. Such a precarious position can last far longer than any cash stashed in the bank or under the mattress and be a catalyst to bigger problems that last well into the future.

Why Homes Priced Fairly Don’t Sell

Even homes which are priced right, or even just below true market value don’t sell or sell for considerably less because the owners don’t make the necessary investments. The biggest mistakes home sellers make is believing their home is already in salable and showable condition. That’s more often than not a huge misconception. The reason being is they’ve become accustomed to little problems here and there, always intending to get to them at some point.

“Ordinarily, a serious buyer would pay to have a home formally inspected. The goal is to uncover any potential problems before signing on the dotted line, while there’s still time to negotiate. But sometimes, sellers will have their homes inspected before they even put them on the market.” —Forbes

Such thinking leads into a rationalization that any potential buyer will have the same mindset and won’t mind taking on a few small projects. Buyers form an impression about a home within 7 to 10 seconds. That means curb appeal is everything. Should a home look great from the outside, that’s precisely what anyone who sees a home will expect to see on the inside. Another big mistake is leaving pets and children in the home when it’s being shown. Other turn offs include dirty laundry in plain sight and unkempt basements and/or overstuffed attics.

What’s more, some so-called “improvements” actually do more to dissuade buyers than entice them. For instance, sellers who turn a bedroom into an office or into a media room make a big mistake because several studies have shown that buyers want a room to serve the purpose it is originally intended for, and nothing else. In addition, you risk attracting more people to see your property because they don’t want to deal with having to undo what you’ve done.

Reasons to Get a Pre-Inspection before Listing Your Home for Sale

A pre-inspection might cost a couple to a few hundred dollars, but likely staging, will pay for itself because the home will likely sell for the asking price or very close to it. Here are four good reasons to get a pre-inspection before listing your home for sale:

  • It sends a positive message to buyers. When you offer a pre-inspection report done by a licensed professional, you’re making your home into an open book. It not only gives buyers peace of mind, but it will save them a little money–something that’s a great benefit because buyers have to pay out so much during the home purchase process.
  • It reduces the timetable. A serious buyer who puts in a purchase offer will exercise their right to have the home inspected. Anything they find wrong they will want fixed prior to closing and that will be your responsibility. A pre-inspection will make for smoother sailing to the settlement table because there will be no surprise issues. Let’s face it, the last thing you want after receiving a good offer is to have to scramble to save the deal.
  • It reinforces your asking price. Buyer’s won’t have to worry about finding costly and unpleasant surprises when a pre-inspection is done. It also shows you’ve done more and reinforces the value of your home. A pre-inspection report, left right in plain view for buyers touring the property will get a lot of attention and will put your house well ahead of the competition.
  • It prevents surprises from popping-up. Say you had a toilet fixed but that wasn’t the root cause of a problem. A pre-inspection will uncover any surprises so you can address them before people start seeing your home.

Getting a pre-inspection is all about making your property sell in a quick manner and for at or near the asking price.