Some surprises are good like getting flowers you weren’t expecting, a raise at work, or finding out you won an award. Some surprises are bad like mold in the crawl space, unsafe wiring, or termites. A “bad” surprise is never good, but finding out about problems before you put your house on the market is better than your buyer surprising you.  That’s why we recommend a pre-listing inspection.

Here’s how a home inspection typically works. The home buyer pays for an inspection after going under contract on the home. Any issues uncovered in the report the buyer may ask for repairs or compensation in lieu of repairs from the seller. The seller is not obligated to make any repairs. However, it is in the best interest of the sale to negotiate with a buyers repair request. At this point, the would-be buyer can walk away from the deal. Another surprise you don’t want to happen!  *disclaimer Per the Standard Form 2-T All homes are sold in their current condition.

Getting a pre-listing inspection (before you have even put the home on the market) has a lot of advantages, including saving the homeowner time and stress.

A pre-listing inspection gets you ahead of issues. Keep in mind you don’t have to fix EVERYTHING. Work with your agent about what should be fixed and what you can let go. Some simple repairs can help a home show better. It might be worth it to fix some bigger problems like the roof or an outdated HVAC unit ahead of time because they can give potential buyers the impression the home is going to be a headache and cost too much!

A pre-listing inspection can shorten negotiations over price. It’s a win-win-win, in this case. With an inspection in hand, buyers can be certain there won’t be any surprises. Sellers will get a more realistic picture of the state of their home. Knowing the whole story about what has already been fixed or what wasn’t fixed will help your agent price the home correctly. If the home is priced right and there aren’t any repairs to deal with, there’s not much left to negotiate.

A pre-inspection will save you money. Home buyers tend to overestimate the cost of certain repairs needed after a home inspection. In many cases, it pays to take care of the issue on your own instead of negotiating a price later. It’s likely you’ll get the money back in the form of a better final offer on the sale price.

A pre-listing inspection puts homebuyers at ease. Homebuyers who trust the seller and feel good about the property tend to move more quickly through the whole process.

A pre-listing inspection is like a good insurance policy that can help to reduce the chances a sale will fall apart. You might even be able to waive the usual buyer contingency for an inspection because you have already done it. Plus, your real estate agent can use it as a marketing tool to sell your home faster!

Getting a home under contract is just the start of a long and uncertain process. Taking proactive steps to get the home inspection done could be just what you need to seal the deal!