Selling Your Home: The Pros and Cons of Doing a Pre-Inspection
Selling your house can be one of the most stressful events of your life. You’re opening your home to total strangers, you’re facing the daunting task of moving in the (hopefully near) future, and you’re worried about the finances of selling your home. Blanketing all of these concerns is the uncertainty – will you find a good buyer in time, will you get a fair value for your home, and will the sale of your home go smoothly? One option to consider that alleviates some of these concerns is to have a pre-inspection done prior to listing your home.
Virtually all home sales will involve a home inspection. Lenders require them, and savvy home buyers will insist on them to ensure that they are getting a good buy.
Most home inspections run between $315 and $350, but the final cost will depend upon your market and the size of your house. A small condo may only cost $200; however, a large 3,000 sq ft home could cost up to $500. This out-of-pocket seller’s cost is an important consideration, as the buyer typically pays for the home inspection if done after a contract is in place. And remember that just because you have had an inspection completed, it doesn’t mean that a new buyer won’t want another inspection, just to be sure.
Despite the upfront costs, the advantages of doing a pre-inspection are numerous.
- A clean inspection can allay the fears and concerns of potential buyers. It gives them peace of mind knowing that a professional has reviewed your home’s systems, structure and condition.
- An inspection will typically cover your heating and cooling systems, plumbing and electrical, roof, water heater, basement, the home’s exterior, and some fire and safety concerns.
- Some inspectors even provide a “Move In Certified” feature for pre-inspections, assuring buyers that the home is ready to be occupied without the need for major repairs.
But even a home inspection that finds significant problems can be turned into a good thing. Being aware of an issue before listing can give a home seller options for how to address the problem. You’ll have the opportunity to fix the problem before listing, or your can take the issue into consideration when setting your price. A pre-inspection with findings can be a valuable tool to getting your home ready for the market. Buyers like to see sellers who are proactive in keeping up with home maintenance and repairs. You’ll have the option of sharing the results of your pre-inspection and subsequent repairs with potential buyers or keeping the information confidential. But please remember that most states have a property disclosure rule, so if you are aware of a significant problem with your home that has not been fixed, you’ll be required by law to disclose that information.
The decision to get a pre-inspection can be a complicated one, with many factors to consider. Ask your licensed real estate agent their opinion – they may have specific experience with the value of pre-inspections that can help you decide on the best course of action.