By Lee Ralph
Pre-listing inspections are not new to real estate transactions but may become more popular with today’s competitive market. Traditionally our homes get inspected when there is a for sale sign on the front lawn and the house is open for the public to view. Some homeowners do prep their house for sale but typically in the form of staging, so it looks nice and appeals to your first impression.
Once an accepted offer is in place, the potential buyer will usually have a home inspection done to discover any issues with the home prior to final purchase. All too often the seller of the home is not even aware of issues that were found during the inspection, which now become renegotiation tools to adjust the sale price or to request the seller to make repairs. This seems like poor timing for the seller to find out what is wrong with their house. They also do not have access to the detailed inspection report that is the hands of the buyers.
What if the seller had an inspection done prior to listing the home? Having a qualified inspector go through the home with the seller can be quite educational and may help them develop a game plan prior to the for sale sign going on the front lawn. A homeowner may choose to repair a few select items that were found on their inspection for insurance concerns or to shorten the repair list.
Say the seller has a contractor repair two damaged roof shingles, install a missing guard rail on the rear deck, fix some grading issues near the foundation and extend some downspouts to keep water away from the home.
The inspection and repairs will cost the homeowner some money, but it will be well worth the investment. First-time home buyers can be intimidated, especially if a bunch of issues start to pop up during an inspection. Knocking five to 10 items off that list of issues can make a big difference. The home is more appealing to them and feels like it is being cared for properly.
In today’s market, more buyers are looking for turnkey properties that don’t require a lot of repairs right from the start of ownership. An advantage for the seller is that they are educated about the home and are not blindsided by issues that come up during the sale process. This can relieve a lot of stress for the seller during a sales process that is often hectic and disruptive. The seller now has a stronger position if the buyers try to renegotiate by making a bigger deal out of items found. Sellers can refer to their report and compare findings. When selling a home, the use of a pre-listing inspection can and will reduce surprises. It puts the seller in a better position to accurately list the home on the market.