Some home buyers are paying a professional to do a pre-sale inspection. It is a great way to prep your house for sale. By knowing in advance all of the home’s deficiencies and issues, the home owner can decide which issues to tackle and which issues to disclose on their own terms. Fixing unknown problems and updating issues can add value to the home. It also sends a clear message to potential buyers that the seller is not trying to hide anything and anything that eases a buyer mind, is likely to result a higher offer. The appearance of an open and honest seller, puts many buyers in a more comfortable position when making an offer.
Pre-sale inspections can also help with negotiations. It keeps the seller from being blindsided with major issues that the buyer’s inspector might find; and it will give better insight on when to stand hard on price and when to give back some. Pre-inspections give the seller a chance to investigate options for correcting issues and to find the best valued solution. Knowledge is power in negotiations, and a pre-sale inspection provides knowledge.
Pre-sale inspections are also very helpful in an inventory-tight market like today’s market is. With many multi-bid offers being considered, providing a pre-sale inspection report to potential buyers can inspire higher offers and, in some cases, a removal of the inspection contingency all together. It is easy to see why a pre-sale inspection could pay for itself very easily.
If the home seller is a DYI person, there are some steps below that can be taken to make the home ready for the inspection process:
Clear and clean inspection access points including attic access, the perimeter of the home, stairwells, perimeter of the furnace, and in front of electrical panels.
Check functionality of all doors and windows, toilets and faucets, ceiling fans, lights and switches, gutters and downspouts, and appliances.
Have the furnace cleaned and the septic pumped if not done regularly and recently.
Make minor repairs including repairing water damage and stains, re-caulk bathtubs and sinks, repair torn screens and broken windows, replace missing roof shingles, replace damaged insulation in attic and crawl space, and remove moss and debris from the roof.
Test the water and air of the home with kits from Amazon or Home Depot. These tests are best left to a professional, but if the seller is a die-hard DYI person, the kits are available.
After all the pre-sale inspection steps are complete, the home is ready for inspection. On the day of the inspection the home owner should do the following to ensure a smooth inspection process:
Leave the home at least a half hour before the scheduled inspection.
Take all pets.
Leave all remotes and controls (ceiling fans, garage door, propane fireplace) in obvious spots.
Leave all electrical panels, out buildings, etc. unlocked.
Leave out any paperwork for recent upgrades, repairs, or homeowners claims.
Take laundry from washer and dishes from dishwasher.
Leave a copy of the septic plan or at least a sketch of its location.
Double check all utilities and pilot lights before leaving.
Following this advice should take many of the surprises out of the inspection process and lead to the best possible price for your home.
Rick is a Realtor®, real estate author and long time Windham resident. You can reach Rick with any of your real estate questions or needs at firstname.lastname@example.org.