Once you’ve made the decision to sell your home, you probably want to complete the sale as fast as possible. But with the many steps involved — dealing with open houses and showings, haggling with potential buyers, and making requested repairs — the process can drag on for weeks, months, or in some cases, even years.
You can’t control market supply and demand, and you can’t control how much potential buyers will want to haggle. But you can take a proactive step in helping your home sell faster by getting on top of necessary repairs.
But if you’ve been living in your house for a while, it’s possible that you’re not even sure what needs fixing. Happily, there’s a simple solution…
Hire a licensed home inspector.
If you’ve ever gone through the home-buying process, this might seem very counterintuitive. After all, isn’t it the buyer’s responsibility to hire the inspector? Why should you pay for an inspection if you don’t need to?
The simple answer is that sometimes, you’ve got to spend money to make money.
By hiring your own home inspector before you list, you can get a heads-up on what really needs fixing in your home before you sell. That way, you can invest your time and money in necessary repairs on the front end and list your spruced-up home with the knowledge that you’ve already dealt with the hard stuff.
Let’s take a closer look at why you might want to consider hiring a pro:
It will reveal what you’ve neglected in terms of home maintenance
Hey, no judgment. Not everyone’s into home repair. Even people who are into home repair get busy and don’t have time to deal with everything.
But over time, a lack of home maintenance can show up in ways that you might not see. For instance, you might have mold in the basement, or there could be roof damage.
Hiring a home inspector can help give you a heads-up about issues like this so you can decide how to deal with them. Perhaps you’ll take the time to do some fixes before you list the property; alternatively, you might decide to lower the price knowing that these repairs will be necessary for the buyer.
Either way, it can give you more freedom and power in the process.
You could get a better price for your home
Sorry, but home inspections aren’t free. Depending on the size of your house and your location, an inspection could cost anywhere from about $300 on the low end to $600 or even more.
But what you spend on a home inspection could end up coming back to you in other ways.
For example, say that you uncover an issue that needs to be dealt with during the home inspection. You spend $500 on the home inspection and $500 on the repair. The buyer’s inspection goes well, doesn’t pick up that “problem” because you fixed it, and they’re willing to pay your asking price.
Now, consider a scenario where you don’t have a home inspection. The buyer’s inspection reveals the necessary repair. Rather than ask you to fix it, they ask for a $2,000 credit.
In an instance like this, spending a little bit on a repair proactively can lead to less haggling and could get you a higher price for your home.
You won’t need to fix things at the last minute
Often, when a home buyer’s inspection report comes in, they present the seller with two different choices.
First, they can reduce the sale price based on the necessary repairs.
Second, they can carry out the repairs themselves before the closing date.
Neither is ideal, but the second scenario can create added and unnecessary stress in your life.
It’s never fun to deal with hiring a contractor or handyman, particularly during “busy” times of the year. But when you add a specific timeline to the situation, it becomes even more stressful.
By hiring a home inspector before you list your property, you’ll be able to do things at a pace that works better for you — if you don’t want to rush, you don’t have to.
Reduce back-and-forth negotiation
Often, buyers use their home inspection report as a bargaining tool. Based on what they learn, they’ll ask for even steeper discounts. Frequently, the inspection is a pain point in the process — if a deal’s gonna fall apart, this is where it usually happens.
However, if you’ve already had an inspection and know what needs to be fixed, you can list your property with a much higher degree of confidence about the price. You’ll be aware of what needs fixing. You’ll have an idea of what might make buyers want to ask for a price reduction, and you can proactively deal with those things in advance.
A word of warning about the pre-inspection…
You’ve learned about the many advantages of having a pre-inspection before putting your home on the market … Is there a flipside? Not always, but there can be.
The problem with a pre-inspection is that once you’ve learned about a problem with your home, you can’t just ignore it. As a seller, you’re legally obligated to disclose issues that are found in a home inspection. If you’re not inclined to do the fixing yourself, you may need to face the fact that your home won’t fetch as high a price as you might have hoped.
Need to sell it faster? Sell it for Cash!
- It’s most traditional for a home buyer to hire a home inspector, but sellers can potentially benefit from a home inspection before listing their home.
- A pre-listing inspection can reveal necessary fixes so the seller can deal with them in advance and avoid unpleasant surprises.
- Beware: a pre-listing inspection can reveal things that sellers might wish they hadn’t known. But it will become your responsibility to deal with or disclose them once you know!
Have you ever had a pre-listing inspection? Was it worth it?