An important part of the home selling transaction is the home inspection. Buyers want to find out if there are any major issues with the home before they commit to the purchase.
Sellers can choose to use the services of a home inspector as well, however, and there are many good reasons for a seller to do this. There are some excellent ways for a homeowner or seller to prepare for a home inspection. Let’s review the reasons for and against getting a seller’s inspection.
The Benefits of a Seller’s Inspection
The Property’s Condition
Finding out the full condition of your home before the buyer’s inspection highlights issues that will get you ahead of any problems. This will reduce the chances of the buyer pulling out of the deal. There are many steps a seller can take to boost home value When a repair problem is found, there will likely be a contingency in the contract that allows them to back out.
If there is a problem following the buyer’s home inspection, it will delay the process. If the home has to be put back on the market when the sale falls through, this could deter other potential purchasers.
If you are fully aware of the condition of your home prior to it being listed, you can have the problems resolved before they can be found by another home inspector.
It also makes it easier for the real estate agent to set the price of the property as they know its full condition. This should increase the chances that you will get the value expected from the sale.
When a problem with the home is uncovered during your inspection, you have the chance to repair the issue without the pressure of the sale to worry about. Alternatively, you can hope that another inspection either doesn’t happen or doesn’t find the same problem. This is a risky strategy that is unlikely to succeed, however.
If, and more likely when, the problems are found with your home, the buyer will want you to make the repairs. Alternative options at this stage could be a reduction in the price or backing out of the purchase.
You might be hoping that the problem won’t be considered too much of a deterrent to the purchaser when discovered. But this will depend on the extent of the problem and the likely costs to fix it.
It is a good idea to have a pre-listing home inspection as this will make you aware of the condition of the property and what items need to be addressed. You may find that your HVAC needs to be serviced as well. If you do have repairs completed, be sure to provide the buyer with a copy of the report as well as the receipt for the actual repair on the property.
Better to know upfront the condition of your property than wait to find out in escrow!
If you can hand a home inspection report to the buyer, it will make them feel more confident in their decision to buy your home. While they will normally still get their own inspection, it should make the sale go through more smoothly.
If there are some more minor issues, the buyer will be aware of them before they look at their own inspection report. This makes it less likely that they will feel that the issues warrant a renegotiation on the price.
Information found during an inspection can be used to reduce the price of the home. Buyers will determine what items they want to negotiate after a home inspection. If there is nothing major found in the report for the buyer’s inspector, they will have little reason or scope to negotiate a lower price.
A reduced chance of more negotiations should make the home selling process proceed faster. Without further negotiations, you won’t have to make any concessions, leading to a better chance that you will get the price you want.
It is a good idea for sellers to agree to a home warranty during a home purchase. A home warranty may cover many of the appliances and systems on a house. This is especially important if a buyer is purchasing an older home. Additionally, the home warranty can help to off-set repairs requests from buyers after a home inspection.
If you are hoping nothing will be found in the homebuyer’s inspection, whether you know of problems or not, it will be a stressful time. Worry about if the sale will continue forward, and the repercussions if it doesn’t, can be avoided if you can take care of the problems before the home is listed. The last thing a seller wants is for their home to go back on the market after a failed home inspection.
Reasons to Not Get an Inspection
The cost of the inspection could be a deciding factor if finances are tight. Depending on the size of your home, it could cost you $1000 or more, with possible extra tests needed. Moving home is a time when you are likely to stretch your finances, so any extra costs could be a problem.
Double the Inconvenience
Having someone spend an hour or more inspecting your home could be very inconvenient. So if it needs to be done twice, this could be a reason to avoid an extra inspection. Keep in mind when a buyer is getting their own home inspection, they are the ones who are paying for it, not the seller.
If something is found which you don’t fix, you may be legally required to disclose this to the buyer. The exact rules vary between states, but either way, the realtor will have to disclose issues if they affect the buying decision.
If you suspect an issue with the home and don’t get an inspection, the buyer’s inspector will likely find it anyway and it will definitely impact the sale. You would have been better finding out for sure with your own inspection beforehand.
As you should be able to see, the advantages of getting a seller’s inspection outweigh the downsides. While you might save some money by missing out on this extra stage, the value it could potentially provide is significant.
About the Author
The above real estate article “Should A Seller Get a Home Inspection Before Listing?” was written by Sharon Paxson of Newport Beach Real Estate. With experience since 2005 representing clients with their real estate transactions, we welcome the opportunity to share our knowledge and expertise and guide you through the home selling or buying process.
If you are considering selling your home, we welcome the opportunity to work with you and list your home with a top Newport Beach CA Realtor.