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Should a Home Seller get a Pre-inspection?

December 17, 2020

You've heard it over and over.. the market is hot.  Seems like everyone gets multiple offers. Maybe now is the best time to sell.  Just need to take some pictures and put it on the market, right? If your house/condo/townhome is only a few years old.. Maybe it could be that easy. In theory.  But in the markets where we work many homes are 50-100 years old so it's a bit more complicated.

Starting in 2012 with the new Due Diligence contract, sellers are suddenly in the position of not knowing if their house is sold until the Due Diligence deadline has passed.  Until that time, a buyer can back out for any reason- or no reason at all.

The last thing a seller wants is a buyer who has put down a huge due diligence fee now demanding that the sales price be substantially reduced and/or all sorts of unexpected repairs be made. Or backing out of the contract altogether. 

A good agent will help you avoid losing a buyer with preparatory work required to put you in a good position for a SMOOTH contract process.  In this case you, as a seller, you need a tool that can get you off the hook for fixing or renegotiating anything, but can still get you that nice high due diligence fee that increases your certainty that a transaction will close.

Friends... I give you.. the PRE-INSPECTION REPORT!

The #1 question sellers ask is this - what should I do to my house to get the most bang for my buck when I sell?  Paint the kitchen? Landscape? New appliances?  This question is impossible to answer without having ALL the information on the house- from items adding cosmetic appeal to those structural items that could send buyers running away. 

A pre-inspection report will help us prioritize where to spend money.  If you only have $5000 to spend, that money could be much better spent on a new HVAC unit or some plumbing work. Buyers much prefer to spend money customizing the home for their taste - some paint, new bath fixtures, kitchen updates, etc. They want to spend money on what they can see.  So you should make sure that the bones and the systems are in good shape, if that’s the right thing for your house. 

Having said all this, there is no template for all sellers. Maybe your house is a tear down and you are better off getting a survey.  These are all things we’ll discuss. 

In summary, as scary as getting a pre-inspection can seem, the benefits outweigh the risks:

  • Prevent loss of money and risk of losing the buyer via a surprise find after you're under contract. No one wants to start showings again when you're planning to move and looking forward to your next place.
  • Buyers know what they're getting into in advance, therefore it gives them confidence which can lead to a higher DD fee and a more solid contract.
  • Even if you choose not to share it, it's information that you will have so that you can negotiate appropriately. 
  • It can also be super helpful in pricing the property correctly. A good inspection can reflect a well maintained property. 

Give us a call today if you are thinking of selling and want to talk to someone about how to best prepare your property to go under contract quickly, for top dollar and then to closing as expected.

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