Everything You Need to Know about Getting Your Home Inspected Before Selling

Everything You Need to Know about Getting Your Home Inspected Before Selling

When it comes to selling a home, knowledge is indeed power. According to Porch.com, 9 out of 10 buyers will use a home inspection, which gives them leverage for lowering your sale price. That’s why it's crucial to get your home inspected before you put it on the market. Home inspections can feel like a daunting part of the real estate process, but they don't have to be. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the what, why, and how of pre-listing home inspections, so you can sell your property with confidence and peace of mind.

Fast Facts about Home Inspections

  • According to Windy City Home Inspection, an overwhelming 86% of buyers said their inspection flagged at least one issue needing resolution.
  • A pre-sale home inspection can uncover necessary repairs that boost your property's value and its appeal to potential buyers.
  • Roofing issues were identified by nearly a fifth (19.7%) of home inspectors.
  • A significant 18.7% pinpointed at least one electrical system problem.
  • Window defects were spotted by 18.4% of inspectors.
  • Plumbing system concerns were found by 13.6%, while water heater issues were noticed by 12.2%.

Advantages of conducting a home inspection prior to listing

Getting ahead by addressing repairs

By proactively addressing repairs you may need, you set the stage for a smoother sales process. Whether it's fixing cracked windows or missing shingles, taking care of these issues before the buyer's inspection can save you from unpleasant surprises. More importantly, it can make your property more appealing, thus attracting more potential buyers and possibly a higher sale price.

Streamlining the transaction’s final stages

When your home has been pre-inspected, you accelerate the closing process. There's no waiting around for the buyer's inspector to schedule and complete their own inspection. This eliminates one of the significant bottlenecks in the real estate transaction, making it easier and faster to hand over the keys.

The chance to improve your asking price

Having your home pre-inspected allows you to fix any significant problems beforehand, making your property more attractive to potential buyers. This can potentially increase your listing price, allowing you to make more money from the sale than you would have otherwise.

Downsides of conducting an inspection before putting your home up for sale

The obligation to disclose serious defects

While most sellers appreciate the heads-up an inspection provides, it also legally requires you to disclose any significant issues that the inspection uncovers. While it's ethical to do so, some sellers may feel like they're giving potential buyers ammunition to lower their offers.

Bearing the upfront costs

The cost of getting your house inspected can range from a few hundred dollars upwards, depending on the size and condition of the property. You'll need to spend money on this inspection without any guarantee of recouping it through the home sale.

Potential for more work on your plate

An inspection might unveil hidden problems that you weren't aware of. This can result in additional tasks like dealing with carpenter ants, water damage, or more significant plumbing issues.

How to arrange for a professional home inspection?

Most real estate agents have a list of professional home inspectors they recommend, but you're not required to use them. You can find a reputable inspector through references from friends or online reviews. Schedule the inspection at a time that's convenient for you but do so well in advance of listing the property. The inspector will conduct a full inspection of your home's exterior and interior and provide you with an inspector's report. This process usually takes a few hours.

What repairs are you obligated to address following an inspection?

Legally required fixes generally involve safety issues or violations of building codes. For example, you might be legally required to address electrical faults or major structural issues that could make the home unsafe. Other repairs, however, could be up for negotiation. Keep in mind that potential buyers may request repairs or a lower sale price based on the inspector's recommendations. The choice to repair or adjust the price usually depends on market conditions. In a seller's market, for example, you may not need to make all the suggested repairs, as there may be other buyers willing to take the property as is.

Preparing Your Property for Inspection: The Heartfelt Guide to Putting Your Best Foot Forward

Getting your property ready for inspection is much like preparing for a grand event. It's the stage where you set the scene, ensuring that your home shows itself in the best light possible.

The Soul-Satisfying Clean and Declutter

It's not just about sweeping floors and dusting corners. Cleaning and decluttering your home before an inspection is an emotional voyage. As you sift through years of belongings, you're essentially revisiting memories. By tidying up, you're not just making your home look good for the inspector; you're also making space for the new owners to make their memories. Each cleared shelf and organized drawer whispers to potential buyers, reassuring them that this is a well-loved and well-cared-for space.

Easy Access: The Open Arms Approach

Imagine the home inspector as an esteemed guest you're welcoming into your home. Just as you would clear the path and roll out the red carpet for a dear friend, ensure that all areas of the house are easily accessible. This includes often-overlooked spaces like attics, basements, and crawl spaces. By making these areas easy to reach, you're silently conveying how transparent and forthcoming you are. It's like saying, "I have nothing to hide; please feel free to explore."

Functioning Utilities: The Pulse of the Home

Your home's utilities are its lifeblood, and they need to be in perfect working order. These are the elements that make a house a home, like the soft glow of the light fixtures, the comforting hum of the HVAC system, or the reassuring gurgle of the dishwasher. When an inspector checks that these are functioning properly, it's as if they are checking the home's pulse. Make sure all the little details work flawlessly, so potential buyers feel the home's heartbeat as vividly as you did.

Documentation: The Storybook of Your Home

Each home has its own narrative, made up of years of tiny moments and big milestones. Part of that story is how you’ve lovingly maintained and perhaps improved the property. Documentation of repairs and maintenance serves as a tangible storyline that underscores your dedication. It provides the inspector—and, by extension, the potential buyer—a thorough understanding of the property's condition. Just as you would cherish a child’s milestones through a scrapbook, maintain a record of all that you've done to make your house a home. When you show that you've been proactive about the home's upkeep, you're not just presenting pieces of paper; you're sharing chapters of a love story between you and your home.

Selling a home is an emotional and often complex process. But a pre-listing home inspection can remove many of the hurdles and guesswork, ensuring that your journey from seller to happy ex-homeowner is as smooth as possible.

About Gary Scheivert & Associates

With an impressive 110 years of combined experience in the real estate field, Gary Scheivert & Associates has an astonishing record of over $95 million in sales over the past three years. If you're looking to buy or sell a home or have any questions about the Pennsylvania real estate market, contact Gary Scheivert & Associates today.

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Whether you are selling your treasured home that has been loved by your family for generations, exploring possibilities for land development, or searching for a home to call your own, let us assist you in your journey. We take care of everything. It’s as simple as that.

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