Like going to the doctor or bringing your car to a mechanic, home inspections can be nerve-racking and traumatic. When it’s your house in the hot seat, even a fairly clean inspection report might sting a bit.
News flash: no home is perfect. But you can take steps to ready yourself (and your home) for the home inspection to minimize unwanted surprises.
Remember, a home inspection is not a pass or fail the test. It does, however, open the door for renegotiation. You’re not obligated to fix anything, but the buyer can also walk away if they’re not satisfied. With these fragile dynamics, the last thing you want to do is go into the home inspection blind and risk killing a contract worth saving.
In a home sale, there are two types of home inspections: a buyer’s inspection and a seller’s inspection (or a pre-listing inspection). A buyer’s inspection occurs after the buyer has made an offer on the home, and before closing the sale. After a home inspection, the buyer may be able to renegotiate their offer or request repairs if certain issues come up.
A seller’s home inspection happens before the home is listed. Some sellers choose to get their home inspected as they’re beginning to prepare their house for sale, so they can fix any potential issues beforehand, saving time and money in the closing process.
A pre-listing inspection could make the whole sales process faster and easier for everyone involved. More and more sellers have opted for a pre-listing inspection in the past five years than they used to because they can catch things early on that might create roadblocks and delays later. It’s better to know ahead of time before you put your house on the market if your home has a defect or not.
If you choose to do a pre-inspection, we suggest putting the report out on the table when buyers come through. Check off things that you’ve fixed and provided receipts of service on the areas of concern. It just gives peace of mind and confidence to the buyer that this person cares about their home, they care about the process, and they want to make sure that their house is in good shape. And it speeds up the process for the buyer to buy the home.
Pre-listing inspections can take away the stressful element of surprise for the homeowner. It also helps prevent offer renegotiations, extensive buyer repair requests, and the possibility of buyers walking away while already in contract. Often times, the cost of repair can be built into the price of the home. A well-kept home usually sells for more in today’s market.