Why Get a Home Inspection Before Selling?

Erich Kelter - Thursday, April 12, 2012

When you decide that it’s time to sell your house, a home inspection is an essential part of the process.  In most cases, the buyer and/or the bank that’s financing the buyer’s mortgage will order a home inspection, so why should you have your own inspection done first?  Here are six reasons you need a home inspection done before you sell:

  1. Avoid any unnecessary surprises.  The fastest way to scare off a potential buyer is for unknown problems to make themselves known at the buyer’s home inspection.  It is much better for you to learn about these problems ahead of time so that you can fix them. 
  2. Fix problems before putting your home on the market.  Homes that have any kind of problem are much more difficult to sell because buyers naturally want something they can move right into.  When something pops up unexpectedly in the home inspection, chances are that you will need to have it fixed before the purchase can go through anyway.  You’ll save everyone involved a whole lot of headaches by simply having an inspection done before putting it on the market so that you can fix problems that could cause a potential buyer to walk away.
  3. Keep the home on the market for the least amount of time possible.  Whenever you have a house to sell, time is of the essence.  The longer that house sits on the market, the more money you lose.  If you wait until there’s a buyer in place, you’re taking a great risk because you don’t have any idea if there is anything seriously wrong with your home.  If the buyer walks away because of something that was found in the home inspection, then it will simply take longer to sell your home.  And if that buyer had a real estate agent, the agent won’t show your home to other clients either because he or she will be aware that there is a problem that hasn’t been taken care of.  All of these factors combine to create a longer and longer length of time during which your home will remain on the market.
  4. Maximize your sale price.  A home that is perfect and ready to move right into sells for much more money than a home that has some problems.  The easiest way to get top dollar for your house is to get any potential problems fixed first.  By having a Pre-Listing home inspection, you’ll know what needs to be done and can make a checklist to take care of the issues while also handling smaller preparatory activities like putting on a fresh coat of paint in some of the rooms.
  5. Reassure any potential buyers that you’ve done everything you can to ensure that your home is a good investment for them.  Make sure that you keep the paperwork from the home inspection handy and show it to buyers.  A home inspection that was done before anyone even came to look at the home shows that you did your homework and that you care about not leaving behind any surprises for the buyer.
  6. Save some time and money.  If you wait until a buyer has ordered a home inspection, you only have a day or two to fix a problem—if it doesn’t cause the buyer to walk away completely.  However, you can have more time and actually be able to shop around for someone to fix the problem at an affordable price rather than paying a rush fee to someone so it can be done in just a day or two.

Above Grade Home Inspections will help you avoid any nasty surprises when it comes time to actually sign on the dotted line and turn your home over to its new owner.  

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