We want to think that we’re good people – right? And the people we’re buying from (eventually) are good too. Which means they’d find out every potential issue about the house before they put it on the market.
But is that realistic? Yes and no – it depends on the case. For example, if you have a built-to-please house that’s less than 20 years old, a pre-sale inspection is a waste of money.
But if you’re selling a 200-year-old home or even a 25+ year-old home – it’s fair to tell buyers what you’re working with.
If the home has any existing issues, you either need to have them fixed pre-listing, take the cost of repairs off the sale price, or let the buyer know once they submit a contract.
Still not sure if it’s worth potentially finding out bad news that could lower your profit? Read below.
The Pros of a Pre-Sale Inspection
In this market, as a seller, you can’t afford for buyers to have second thoughts. If you can tell them things upfront and provide the results of an inspection, the sale is more likely to go through on the first try.
Which means you’ll spend less time in negotiations and be able to move to your new place quicker.
And yes – it may mean you have to list it for less, we’ll get to that later.
It Shows You’re Honest and Motivated
If you’re a real estate agent, or you’ve heard one talk strategy, you’ve heard the term “seller motivated”. A motivated seller is someone that wants to get out of the property and is willing to be cooperative.
Now, a motivated seller isn’t a price-blind seller. They’re not going to accept significantly below asking price. But it shows they’re willing to look at offers and be a partner in the selling process.
How does an inspection play into that? It shows that you, the seller, has nothing to hide. And since inspections come out of the buyer’s pocket, you’re saving them the expense.
Now – it’s possible that your buyer will want to have their inspection done, which is fine – they’ll still appreciate that you went through the trouble.
Now they’re just double-checking, for their own sake.
It Makes Pricing Your Home Easier
A lot of people stress about what they want to sell their home for vs. what it’s worth. Having a pre-sale inspection helps you get concrete answers to that confusion.
You will need to lower the price if there are significant issues that show up. It’s hard to lower the price of a home you love, where there are still memories (even if they’re sad ones), so knowing it’s logical helps you pull the trigger.
It Lowers Your Stress Levels
If you know there’s something wrong with your home, or if you’ve always wondered – it’s better to just find out. Imagine if you get the offer of a lifetime and then you sit, just waiting and hoping it doesn’t fall through because of something the inspection found.
It’s much better to adjust your expectations at first than have someone retract an offer or have to go back into negotiations.
Cons of Pre-Sale Inspections
Cost-wise, you won’t want to do a pre-sale inspection. It’ll have to come out of your pocket and out of your budget.
And we’re just talking about the fees to have it done, not the consequences of what they find.
Most inspectors can do a multiple-part inspection, but not all. You’ll have to have a radon test done for air and water – which is done by someone else.
You can expect to spend anywhere from $500 and up for a home inspection – depending on where you live.
If your home is older, the inspection needs to be more thorough. That means testing pipes and paint for lead – which costs more, still.
The Price Drop
Not only will you have to pay for the inspection yourself, but if they find something major – you have to pay to fix it.
Or you can choose to lower the selling price, so the new owners can afford to fix it themselves. Since you’ll either lose the money on repairs upfront or lose approximately the same amount on the listing price – you’re losing money either way.
Depending on the repairs, it may be better for your wallet to just get them done. Buyers are much more motivated by a “turn-key” home, where they don’t have to do anything.
It’s Illegal to Lie
In most states, you have to disclose all known issues about a house before you list it on the market. Just like it’d be illegal to lie about selling a failing business as one that’s booming – you have to be honest about the condition of the home.
The more honest you are upfront, the fewer retracted offers you’ll have later. At least, that’s what we hope!
Your Easiest Option
Now – if you’re trying to get rid of a money-draining or emotionally draining property immediately, you can skip the listing process entirely.
Find someone that buys houses in any condition and ask them to make an offer. They usually don’t ask for a pre-sale inspection, since they’ll give you less than you’d get on the market for your home.
Are you losing money by selling it off-market? Maybe – but not as much as you’re losing by holding onto that property every day!
Call and see what we can offer you – what do you have to lose?