Sellers: Avoid these Home Inspection Pitfalls

So, you’ve decided to sell your home — congratulations! Now, the real work begins. To get the best possible price and highest return on investment, your house must be in tiptop condition. And, you’ll have to set the asking price based on your home’s true market value. Additionally, it’s necessary to get in-the-know about the actual condition of your house. While it doesn’t seem possible, too many sellers are unpleasantly surprised by the results of buyers’ home inspection reports.

Avoid these Home Inspection Pitfalls Sellers

When you are ready to sell your property, you’ll have to whip it into showable shape — that’s a given. You must declutter it completely, reducing all the junk substantially. The goal is to only leave closets, cabinets, pantries, and other storage spaces about a third full. Additionally, you need to depersonalize every single room. Any and all personal items, including pictures, personal effects, toiletries, and more must be totally out-of-sight.

“All states have mandatory disclosure laws that require home sellers to disclose any material property defect. In some cases, the sellers may not be aware of a defect they have lived with for years and are not trying to hide the issues. There may be problems that existed before the current owner bought the home or that were added inadvertently as a property was altered. Failing to disclose these can lead to lawsuits when the defects are eventually found. Material defects regulations can vary from state to state, which can further complicate the process of selling of a home.” —USA Today

Yet another part of getting a home in showable condition is a comprehensive deep cleaning and disinfecting. It’s completely necessary to have every single surface clean. But before you do all of this, you’ll need to be prepared for the inevitable home inspection. This is just part of the process. You’ll list your property and wait for a purchase offer. And, once a purchase offer comes in, you’ll probably be excited. But, it’s at this juncture of the transaction you can easily run into unexpected problems. To avoid the various home inspection pitfalls, do the following:

  • Put some extra money aside. You’ve heard the phrase, “It takes money to make money.” And, this holds true when selling a home. At the very least, you’ll incur miscellaneous expenses to get it into showable condition. But, you should have extra money set aside for contingencies. (You’ll likely need it and if not, it can go toward closing costs or other expenses.)
  • Go through your home thoroughly. It’s a good idea to go through your home from top to bottom, inside and out. Any problem, no matter how small, buyers will definitely notice. To help prevent objections, fix everything that’s broken or replace it. If you need to replace something, be sure it matches or replace in pairs.
  • Get a pre-listing home inspection. Smart home sellers make repairs before listing their properties on the local MLS. And, it’s very wise to schedule and conduct a pre-listing home inspection so you are really in-the-know. Use the inspector’s report as a to-do list and follow through with any recommendations.
  • Be sure to give buyers full disclosure. If you do come across something that’s either too expensive or just don’t have the luxury of time to wait for repairs to be done, be prepared to disclose the issues with your buyers. In the state of Florida, sellers are required by law to disclose any known issues with their properties.

If you’re going to sell your home in the near future and buy a new house, please don’t hesitate to phone me at 407-616-7286, I’ll be happy to speak with you.