Selling Advice

Benefits of a Pre-Listing Inspection

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re fully aware that we are in a strong Seller’s market. Values are appreciating, bidding wars are common, and days on market are low — all good things for Sellers! Given these realities, as a Seller it is tempting to think, “I’ll just throw a sign up and watch the multiple offers roll in!” And while you’re not necessarily wrong, you may be missing opportunities and leaving money on the table.

One simple strategy is to have a licensed home inspector conduct a full inspection of your home prior to listing, and then offering the report to prospective Buyers.

But why bother with a pre-listing inspection, especially in this market?

Alert You to Blind Spots

As a homeowner, you’re familiar with your home — sometimes too familiar. It is common to gloss over certain things that may be obsolete and/or incomplete. (Author’s note: my wife can attest to this as I am notorious for finishing 98% of a house project!) On the flip side, owners can fixate on certain elements that bug them but might not actually be that significant. Having a neutral, third-party expert inspect the home can shine light on repairs/updates that one wouldn’t have considered before a Buyer notices.

Alleviate Buyer Concerns

In any form of sales, the ability to address questions/concerns from prospective buyers is a key to success. For many buyers, the condition and quality of the home is a primary area of concern. As a Seller, you can nip those concerns in the bud before you even enter into negotiations. By starting from a position of trust and goodwill, you also increase the odds that negotiations will be conducted with that same sense of goodwill and desire for “win/win” scenarios.

Differentiate Your Home

As stated earlier, since we’re in a strong Seller’s market it may be easy to overlook the need to differentiate from other comparable homes and think, “Why bother?” I would simply counter, “Why NOT?”! The cost of a home inspection will run you about $750. Worse-case scenario: you’re out $750. Best case: your home stands out from competing homes, elicits even more offers, and sells for thousands over list price.

Speed to Close

If your buyer is using a mortgage, they’re going to need an appraisal. The sheer volume of homes being sold mean that appraisal turn-times have pushed out. Typically the appraisal is conducted after the Inspection period has ended. By providing your Buyer with the pre-listing inspection up-front, their lender can order the appraisal up to two weeks earlier than typical and get you closed that much sooner.
If real estate were a sporting event, Sellers would be playing with a blowout lead. Just as in sports, just because you have a lead doesn’t mean you forsake fundamentals and/or stop looking for a competitive edge. Even in this amazing Sellers market, stay sharp, creative, and strategic.

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