First impressions matter. Whether you’re on a date or selling your home, you want to put your best foot forward. The stakes are high, and it’s crucial to be well-prepared. According to Porch.com, 9 out of 10 buyers will use a home inspection, which gives them leverage for lowering your sale price. That’s why it’s important to get your home inspected before selling. You don't want any surprises that can be a deal-breaker. This article aims to be your companion in this critical real estate process, guiding you through the maze of home inspections. So, let’s get started!
Why you should consider a home inspection before selling
Addressing repairs ahead of time
Proactively tackling repairs based on a home inspection can save you from last-minute hassles. Your home inspector will provide an inspection report, outlining both minor and major issues. By resolving these beforehand, you make your home more appealing and eliminate potential roadblocks during the real estate transaction.
Speeding up the process of closing the deal
Time is money. And in the home buying process, a pre-listing home inspection can accelerate the timeline. When you get your home pre-inspected, you’re showing potential buyers that you are transparent and serious. This can result in fewer delays, as it reduces the chances of buyers backing out due to unexpected issues.
Raising the value of your listing
Imagine walking into a house that's in impeccable condition, with no surprises lurking around. That’s exactly the assurance a pre-listing home inspection offers to potential buyers. This could very well justify a higher listing price for your property, thereby putting more money in your pocket.
The drawbacks of getting a pre-listing inspection
The obligation to disclose problems
Real estate disclosure laws require you to be upfront about any significant problems a pre-listing inspection uncovers. While this can be a double-edged sword, being transparent about your property's condition is generally viewed as a good thing. Still, it could make some buyers wary.
The cost involved
While it's an investment in the sales process, hiring a professional home inspector does cost money. Most sellers find the expense justified by the smoother real estate transaction and the potential for a higher selling price. Yet, it's an expense to consider.
Additional tasks may surface
Imagine you hire a home inspector who finds hidden problems like carpenter ants or water damage. Suddenly, you’re facing additional tasks and spending more money than initially planned. Despite these hurdles, fixing these issues is often your best bet for a successful sale.
Arranging a home inspection
Contact a qualified home inspector to schedule your own inspection. Your real estate agent can often recommend a reliable inspector. Once scheduled, a full inspection will cover everything from the home's exterior to plumbing issues and missing shingles. Double check the inspector's recommendations against any buyer's inspector's report for consistency and completeness.
Necessary fixes post-inspection
Legally required repairs, such as safety issues involving lead paint, must be addressed immediately. Additionally, failing to make necessary repairs that you've agreed upon could compromise the real estate process. While some fixes are up to negotiation, major issues like electrical or plumbing problems should not be ignored.
Gearing up your home for the big inspection day
Ensure everything is functioning properly
Before the inspector steps through the front door, take a walk around your house as if you're the conductor of an orchestra. Make sure each appliance plays its part perfectly. Turn on the oven, flick on every switch, and ensure the air conditioning blows out that crisp, refreshing air. Your goal is to avoid any missteps in the performance, like a burned-out light bulb that can throw the whole melody off. Yes, this is your home's time to shine!
Clean your house
Imagine welcoming someone into your home only for them to trip over a stray shoe or struggle to examine the water heater behind a pile of old boxes. Not the best first impression, right? Just as you’d spruce up your home for a special guest, extend the same courtesy to your home inspector. This is the professional whose report could significantly influence your home's appeal to potential buyers. A clean, well-organized home is like an open book, easy to read and delightful to explore. It enables the home inspector to swiftly and effectively complete their assessment, which ultimately works in your favor. The cleaner the space, the more effortlessly the inspector can navigate it. And trust us, an inspector at ease is your best friend during this critical phase of the home sale.
Provide easy access
Time is of the essence in any real estate transaction. Make every effort to remove obstacles—literal and figurative—that could slow down the inspection. Do you have a lock on the attic? Make sure it's open or the key is readily available. Is there a secret alcove or storage space? Leave a note explaining how to access it. The easier you make the inspector's job, the smoother the entire process will go. Your thoughtfulness not only speeds up the inspection but also helps paint you, the seller, in a positive light. It's a win-win for everyone!
Your adorable Fido or Whiskers may be the apple of your eye, but during a home inspection, they can be a distraction or even a hindrance. Even the friendliest pet can become anxious or curious with a stranger moving around their home, which might make the inspector’s job more difficult. To make sure the inspector can focus solely on assessing your home, make arrangements for your pets to be elsewhere during the inspection. Perhaps a playdate at a friend's house or a short stay at a pet daycare center could be an exciting little adventure for them while your house undergoes its important evaluation.
About Zane Petersen
If you're looking to buy or sell a home or have any questions about the Minnesota real estate market, contact Zane Petersen today.
*Header photo courtesy of Zane Petersen