4 Reasons Why You Need a Home Inspection Before SELLING

By Breanna Albrecht | Aug 30, 2017 | Fort McMurray - Seller Advice

So you're thinking about selling your home? That’s awesome! Have you booked an inspection yet?

It’s well known that inspections are important when buying a home, but our seller clients often choose not to have an inspection upon deciding to list their home for sale. Today I want to tell you about the benefits of having a pre-inspection before you sell your home. A pre-inspection is optional, of course, and they cost money. But before making your mind up, hear me out.

When a buyer books an inspection on a home, they do so in order to see if there is anything wrong with the home before they commit to buying it (usually the buyer will have a property inspection condition in their offer). An experienced home inspector, such as Brian Slaney, will go through all different parts of the home looking for safety issues such as missing handrails, faulty plumbing and electrical, roof and furnace, to ensure everything is in good working order. By the way, we also recommend Rob Routhier & Eddie Dicks.

Side note: For more information on the benefits of a home inspection, check out the RE/MAX® Fort McMurray article here: http://www.remax-fortmcmurray-ab.com/home-inspections.

1. Reducing the Risk of a Collapsed Sale

As a seller, you might worry about how the buyer's inspection will go. It can be nerve-wracking waiting to hear what comes back from the buyer’s home inspection if you haven’t had an inspection yourself. Will the buyer will find something “scary” and collapse the sale (i.e, walk away and decide not to buy your home)? If so, then you would need to put your home back on the market and find another buyer, likely having to accept a lower price in a falling market (although we will fight our absolute hardest for you!) By having a pre-inspection, you can rest easy while the buyer is in your home at their inspection because you know what they will (or will not) find.

2. Saving You Money

One of the main benefits of having a pre-inspection is to know in advance if there is anything in or about your home that needs fixing so that you can remedy the deficiency before a buyer catches the problem. The cost is usually around $500-$550 for the inspection and, in my opinion, is well worth the money! If you're able to fix problems and keep buyers from walking away, then you'll actually have saved money. As mentioned earlier, it is unlikely that we would sell your home for as much money with the next buyer, as long as it's a buyer's market.

In the past, I've had seller clients who lost their home sale because they didn’t have a pre-inspection and the buyer found something they weren’t willing to let the sellers fix. We put their home back on the market and didn’t end up actually selling it because prices fell too much and the seller ran out of equity shortly after that collapsed sale. It was really heartbreaking because had they spent the $550 on a pre-inspection, then they could have fixed the issue before the buyer went in with their inspector. On another occasion, we did attract another offer on the property, but the property did sell for less (in this case between $5K-$10K). At The A-Team, we always strive to do better, hence I am writing this post.

3. Ensuring Buyers Don’t Misinterpret How Well You Maintain Your Home

Sometimes the buyer will find a lot of small things that need fixing and they might infer that the home isn't maintained well (whether it's true or not).

Sometimes the buyer will find one big thing (like a leak) and be scared off because they're afraid of the “unknown” (what could be behind the walls or under the flooring...not knowing if it will truly be fixed).

Either way, items should really be repaired in advance so as not to run the risk of the buyer walking away. In many instances, it's a long list of smaller items that come up, and by running around with a caulking gun prior to receiving an offer, you can go into a transaction, knowing that the buyers won't mistakenly think your home is poorly maintained.

4. Giving the Buyers Confidence in Offering on Your Home

A HUGE benefit to having a pre-inspection is giving buyers confidence in offering on your home. If you have a pre-inspection done and the report comes back clean (really nothing to fix or worry about), then you can leave the report out on the table for buyers to see when they come for a showing. They'll feel a lot more confident in offering on your home because they will see that there is nothing to worry about (no “unknowns”). Some home inspectors will even come back to your home to see what fixes you have done so they can update your inspection report for you. This means an even cleaner report for the buyers to see!

home inspector at a trailer home The best home inspectors leave no stone unturned.

A qualified A-Team specialist listing agent can go through the pre-inspection report with you and let you know what they recommend fixing. Usually, the inspector will send the report to you the day after the inspection, so you can get to fixing those items fairly quickly! In my experience, usually inspectors are available with only a day or two’s notice, so no need to hold up the listing...you can book this as soon as possible, but it can happen in the first week or so of your home being on the market. A select few home inspectors will even put a sign on your front lawn saying “This home has been pre-inspected” so that buyers know that you took extra steps to get your home ready for them!

In this type of market (a buyer’s market), I strongly recommend getting a pre-inspection done for any home more than a couple of years old. I have seen too many sellers saddened by a collapsed sale because they didn’t know there was something they needed to fix. I have even had sellers who built their own home and discovered a small foundational concrete crack with a leak into the basement, which led to a collapsed sale. So even when you think you know your home, it is still a good idea to get a professional to look around - they know what they're looking for.

Even if there is a warranty remaining on your home, I still recommend getting a pre-inspection as there are things that may scare a buyer away that the warranty may not cover.

For homes in high price ranges, buyers will almost expect a pre-inspection to be done, so please take that into consideration when deciding whether or not to book one for your home.

If you have any questions about pre-inspections, feel free to contact us so we can help! I’m sure you can tell, but I'm quite passionate about them. All our agents are :)


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Breanna was the #1 listing agent in Fort McMurray in 2016 & 2018 by number of sales. Breanna founded The A-Team with her husband, Tom. She holds a degree in finance. She is a specialist listing agent in both Fort McMurray and Calgary.