Part of my job as a real estate agent is educating and protecting my clients. Many of my clients get nervous about home inspections. They often ask: “Should I have a home inspection before I put my home on the market?” Here’s my take on the pre-listing inspection:
Knowing what you’re in for when it comes to selling a house is always better than getting a nasty surprise down the line. In the event you find repairs that need to be made, they can be done in a reasonable time frame.
The pre-listing inspection is also useful in situations down the line when you suspect the buyer’s home inspection reflects wildly inflated estimates for repairs.
Also keep in mind that if you fail to disclose a problem found in the inspection, you could be in big trouble down the line.
You also need to know the difference between maintenance repairs and home upgrades. Buyers have a reasonable expectation that the home has been properly maintained. Making necessary maintenance repairs doesn’t mean the you can up the price on the listing. You can’t cover the cost of your new roof by pumping up the sale price. You might be able to use it as an effective marketing point over other listings in the area, but it’s not a fabulous kitchen renovation!
If you don’t want to make the repairs, understand that not making repairs can have a disproportionately negative impact on your sale price. For example, if you want to dump a $1,000 plumbing repair on prospective buyers, the buyers are not going to equate that to $1,000 off the asking price. Instead, they’re going to think about the time, inconvenience, and the cost of the repair. A $1,000 repair might translate to a $3,000 hit to the asking price. Buyers will want to be well-paid to handle a seller’s headache.
There’s a definite benefit to the pre-listing inspection, but it’s important to consider the pros and cons with your agent.
I’d be glad to have a conversation with you about the specific concerns you may have about your home if you’re preparing to list it.