You’ve got the perfect buyer for our home. The offer is clean, the buyer hasn’t made many demands, and the transaction moves forward.
Then, the home inspection results come in. Unfortunately for you, negotiations begin again, and the speedy process toward closing has come to a screeching halt.
This is reality for thousands of real estate transactions across the country – including here in our backyard in Southern Maryland. It doesn’t have to be like this. Have the home inspected before you put it on the market, even if you don’t plan to fix what the inspector finds. Need some convincing? Here are three reasons to consider a pre-sale home inspection.
A Pre-Sale Inspection Prevents Delays
If you have an inspection done before you put the house on the market, you will know what needs to be repaired before you sell. You can make those repairs now to prevent delays later on.
If you can’t afford to make the repairs, the results of the inspection can be used as a list of “items the seller will not be fixing.” As long as they’re not required by the lender, the buyer has the option of accepting the home as-is, walk away, or negotiate with you for a lower price. It’s better to have the buyer walk away rather than remove the home from the market under the assumption that you have a deal.
The truth is, the buyer is very likely to order a home inspection. The problems you learn about during a pre-sale inspection are the same ones that will come up weeks after you’ve accepted an offer and taken the home off the market. Without that pre-sale inspection, you can only guess what will surface in the buyer’s inspection report.
Along with this gamble is the closing date and the sales price. Going back and forth over repairs or price holds up the transaction, and you may end up making concessions that lower the offering price just to get things back on track. This can be trouble if your purchase of another home depends on the sale of this home on time.
A Pre-Sale Home Inspection Keeps the Buyer Honest
Somewhere during the purchase process, many buyers get cold feet. “It’s ok,” their agents tell them. “You can cancel the contract by refusing to remove the inspection contingency.” Buyers are led to believe that the inspection is a “get-out-of-the-deal-free” card, and some buyers will use it as such.
You pre-inspection report won’t replace the one the buyer is likely to order, but it does help to weed out the buyers who are likely to get cold feet – before you accept an offer.
A Pre-Inspection Is a Marketing Tool
Think back to when you bought your home. The seller was probably a complete stranger, and most of us are wary of buying something from a stranger – let alone something as large and expensive as a house. Now, imagine that the seller provided a recent home inspection report. That report shows good faith on the part of the seller, especially if the report shows items that need repair. The seller is throwing all of their cards on the table, with nothing to hide.
Will the buyer get as much from your competition? Probably not; few sellers will take on the cost of an inspection, even though it isn’t prohibitive. Your pre-sale inspections becomes a way to set your home apart from the competition.
The Disclosure Conundrum Isn’t Really a Conundrum
Once you have your inspection results, any “warts” that the inspector uncovered will need to be disclosed to potential buyers. But, these blemishes are also likely to appear on the buyer’s inspection report. Isn’t it better to have informed the buyer of the problems ahead of time, rather than waiting to find out later and hold up the transaction?
As an experienced real estate marketer, I understand that in the sales cycle, the best time to get rid of possible objections is early, when buyers are “hot,” so to speak – in other words, the point when they are at their most enthusiastic.
As the transaction moves forward – and especially right after the offer is accepted – buyers tend to question their decision. The reality that they’re making a 30-year commitment sets in, and they become adhered to making sure that they aren’t getting cheated.
It’s at this point in the process that the home inspector releases his or her results. For you, the seller, it’s the totally wrong time for the buyer to learn that the sprinkler system needs repair or that the HVAC system is on its last legs.
A pre-sale home inspection won’t mitigate your responsibility to fix or replace lender-mandated items, and you may still end up taking less for the home than you’d hoped if you can’t afford to make the repairs. What you gain, though, is the elimination of the main reason real estate sales fail.
Lexington Park MD Homes for Sale and Real Estate Services in Southern Maryland. You now have a search engine to help you with your Southern Maryland home search! And I’m ready to provide you with a custom home valuation if you’re considering selling your home. Let’s connect to discuss how I can help you. Contact Kimberly Bean at 301-440-1309
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