Why should I have a prelisting home inspection done when selling my house?

Selling your house? Have a prelisting home inspection done.

Here are 3 reasons why.

When selling a home, every decision comes down to what is going to get the biggest return on the money you have invested. We Realtors spend a lot of time talking about deep cleaning, a fresh coat of paint, dressing up the curb appeal; but while many of us suggest it, we don’t really talk much about how a prelisting home inspection can help maximize your selling price. So lets talk a little about the three ways a home inspection can help maximize the selling price of your home.

The first place that a prelisting home inspection can help you get the most money for the home you are selling is simply by keeping the deal together. I don’t think I am dropping any big real estate industry secrets when I say that nothing hurts the prospect of getting your list price more than a home that not only has been on market for a while, but one that has been on for a while AND has gone into escrow only to come back onto market for unknown reasons. This is especially true if the buyer finds out that the deal fell apart over inspection issues.

Now unless the home has serious problems, most of the time we can negotiate our way through anything on an inspection report (although we will discuss late in this article how doing it that way can cost you more than the prelisting inspection would cost.), but you have to realize that a good home inspector is quite frankly going to scare the buyer.

Yep, I said it.

Real estate agents talk about this all the time. They usually blame the inspector… but their job is to be part of the buyers due diligence, and some things they point out are justifiably scary to buyers.

The thing is even when the report isn’t that scary; buyers, and especially first time buyers are a bundle of nerves anyway. They are making an enormous purchase that will have a serious impact on the lives. Then comes along this inspector who gives them a 15 page report detailing every little thing wrong with the house. Unless they are working with a strong agent who will coach them through this, your home sale may fall apart at this point.

So how do you avoid having to hope the buyers agent is good enough to save the deal? You do a prelisting inspection and fix as many of the problems that are found as possible. The truth is, many of them are nickel and dime issues anyway. No sense in giving up $15,000 on a stale home listing when you could have paid $350 for an inspection and done $1200 worth of minor repairs. Speaking of the cost of repairs, lets look the second reason a prelisting home inspection can maximize your profit while selling a home.

The second place a prelisting inspection can increase the bottom line on your home sale is the cost of major repairs. Here is the thing. Sometimes the inspector finds a major issue that needs addressed. Something big enough that if the deal falls through, you will have to disclose it. So basically something expensive that you will have to fix to sell the house to anyone. Finding that out before you list the home could have saved you thousands of dollars. Here is how.

When a buyers agent writes an inspection response, they are almost always going to insist that all repairs are performed by a qualified contractor and they are going to want the invoice to show that the work was done. This isn’t cheap. Especially when most people are do it your selfers, know more than a couple of good handymen, and/or know a contractor or two who will do discount work off book given the opportunity. When you need it done in 7-10 days and it has to be invoiced, none of the savings that those options could have provided you will materialize. You will have to use licensed contractors, and you will be stuck paying full price.

On the other hand, when you are prepping your house to list and have an inspection done you; have the option of delaying the listing (if necessary) so cousin Bob who used to roof professionally to come put one on for you for half the labor cost plus home cooked meals while he is working. Maybe your nephew Mikey the electrician can take a weekend to address your outdated GFI circuit (and it is outdated, things have changed a lot in the last ten years) when he may not have been able to on short notice. Or… you get the point. Not having to make repairs on the spot can make a five figure difference in how much you make when you sell your home. Now lets look at the third way a prelisting home inspection can impact your net sheet when selling your home.

The third time a prelisting home inspection can make a major difference in how much money you take from the closing table is in negotiations. You do realize that most issues on that home inspection were noticed by the buyer and their agent right? You also realize that they used those issues to whittle away at your asking price, before they even spoke to you or your agent, right? Then to top it all off, they have the gall to ask you to fix them in the inspection report as well?

Yes, yes they do. You read it correctly too. You get the privilege of paying for that repair twice. First in the discount of your asking price, then when you pay a licensed contractor to actually repair it.

While this part of the savings will likely only just cover the cost of the inspection, it will almost certainly do that and I for one don’t like paying for things twice. Maybe you are different, its hard to say.

There are some other benefits of having a prelisting home inspection done, such as a potentially quicker closing, being able to market hat it has been done and such; but I am not here to sell home inspections. I am here to help you sell your house and walk away with the most money possible.

So if you want to work with a Realtor who takes your net proceeds seriously, call Robb at 317-657-8059 or email robb@yourrealtylink.com to set up your FREE listing appointment today.

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About Robb

A husband, Dad to 5, and Grandpa to 9. US Navy Vet. 18 Year Postal Employee turned full time Realtor. I enjoy a wide variety of things, but you will find that here I mostly write about Indianapolis, government/politics, recent news, and whatever book I am reading or have just finished at the moment.
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