Sellers Benefit From Ordering Pre-listing Home Inspection
It’s happened many times in the real estate world — a buyer is all set to buy what they perceive to be his or her dream home – only to discover (via a buyer-ordered professional house inspection) — that the home has major structural problems or has extensive roof deficiencies to the point of needing complete replacement.
The unsettling discovery casts a negative shadow in the buyer’s eyes, and just like that, the dream home doesn’t look so dreamy anymore. Obviously, a remedy will need to be worked out, which causes increased trepidation in the buyer’s mind – a mind already filled with a mixture of excitement and apprehension. All of a sudden, decisions have to be made as to who will pay for repairs/refurbishing or replacements, estimates must be arranged, a new price will have to be negotiated, and time frames may need to be considered. As a result, the buyer figures it’s just not worth the hassle and the uncertainty involved. He or she backs away completely, focusing the search on more promising properties.
When you originally purchased your home, you, in all likelihood, had a professional home inspection completed before signing on the dotted line. After all, being prudent consumer, you wanted to have some assurance that you weren’t about to dwell in a home where the ceiling wasn’t likely to collapse on top of you as Junior honed his jumping jack skills upstairs. And you certainly didn’t want to feel the need to reach for the umbrella whenever a light drizzle of rain happened along – due to a leaky roof.
And, although it’s a common practice in residential real estate for the buyer to order the home inspection, it’s extremely judicious to be aware that you can greatly enhance the marketability of your home by having a pre-sale inspection done before the first potential buyer ever sets foot on your property. The benefits are substantial, and greatly outweigh the costs of the inspection.
So, how do you, the seller, not to mention, the buyer benefit when you order a pre-listing home inspection?
Consider these advantages:
- Confidence is fostered: You can only increase your stature in the eyes of the buyer. He figures you are more conscientious than most home sellers, and will most likely equate your initiative with being an honest seller willing to take the extra step. This eagerness to assist the buyer will not go unnoticed.
- Promotes good faith: Your willingness to provide a pre-sale inspection report to the buyer shows the buyer that you’ve tried to eliminate any nasty surprises, which the buyer would have to discover on his own, either through his own inspection efforts or via a professional inspection (at the buyer’s expense).
- Prevents seller embarrassment: A pre-listing inspection can reveal problem areas of your home, which, you thought beforehand didn’t exist, without a doubt. For example, the revelation of a major structural defect or decaying roof, by way of the buyer’s professional home inspection, could leave you with that awkward “caught with your pants down” feeling, scrambling for explanations and decisions which haven’t been well-thought out.
- Simplifies negotiations for the seller: If you know, before your home goes on the market, what problem areas (if any) need to be focused on, you can make the determination whether or not to spend money on eliminating them yourself (keeping your asking price intact, or possibly increasing it a bit), or adjusting your price to reflect those needed improvements.
- Simplifies negotiations for the buyer: Likewise, if the buyer knows up front that the house has certain flaws needing to be corrected – already reflected by the home’s price — he or she can make a decision as to moving forward with the deal, or declining it and looking elsewhere. The buyer can also decide if he’s capable of making repairs himself or not.
- Saves time: A buyer who has your inspection report in hand can make a quicker, more informed decision about proceeding with the deal or not – thus, you don’t lose time by continuing with possibly-futile renegotiations, and can continue to show your home to other buyers.
- Saves money: Real estate pros say experience has shown that buyers tend to look harder for additional flaws – flaws that will cost money to rectify – once they find the first defect (via their own inspection). Realtors also add that buyers, historically, have the tendency to try to renegotiate two dollars for every dollar it costs to correct a flaw.
In addition, try to make arrangements for your home inspector to return for the purpose of discussing the inspection report with the buyer. This will add credibility to the report. Also, make available any documentation you have surrounding repair work or replacements you’ve made, such as receipts or warranties.