Do NOT put your house on the market without reading this first!
Putting your house on the market without having a pre-listing inspection done first is simply leaving your hard earned money on the table. "Wait...what?? You mean to tell me I need to spend money on an inspection on my own house that the buyer will also probably have done?? That sounds like it's taking money OFF my table!"
Allow me to explain:
- You've decided to sell your house, so maybe you hire a real estate agent, maybe you give it a go on you own! Either way, at some point you need to establish a price that you will be listing the house at. (Not to mention fill out a disclosure sheet, detailing any problems in the house that you are aware of)
- (Hopefully) soon, a buyer shows up. Usually there is some back and forth haggling on the price depending on how hot the market is and a few other factors. Finally, you both agree on the price. Done deal, right? Not so fast!
- Buyer opts (as they usually do) to have a home inspection performed as one of the contingencies of the sale.
- Home inspector turns up a laundry list of items that you were not even aware of, and guess what? You're back at the bargaining table, rehashing the sale price. And I assure you, this negotation is usually much more than the fee for a home inspection. (Even worse, the buyer chooses to terminate the contract and walk away. Why, you ask?? Often, they just weren't aware of some of the things going on in the house and fell out of love with it.)
So let's looks at another scenario:
- You've decided to sell your house, contacted a real estate agent, and hired a home inspector to perform a pre-listing inspection.
- Home inspector uncovers "the" laundry list (yes, your house has one too and it's going to rear its ugly head!)
- At this point, everything on that list is yours to decide what to do with. Do you fix, replace or disclose any or some or all of these items? It's up to you! Plus, now you can come up with a listing price that accurately represents the "overall" condition of the house.
- You have now taken complete control of the issues in the house, pulled them off the negotiation table and disclosed them accurately to the buyer. You can rest assured that the biggest hurdle in the sale of a home; the home inspection, has been effectively utilized on your behalf.
CAUTION: The buyer may still (and often does) hire their own home inspector, which is why it's so important to have a thorough inspector perform your pre-listing inspection. Few things are less annoying than hiring an inspector who does a minimal inspection, only to have a thorough inspector come in for the buyer and uncover a bunch of things your inspector missed or didn't alert you to. In cases such as this, you have wasted you money and can very well still end up back at the negotiation table anyway!
So, be wise! Have a pre-listing inspection done when you sell your house!