Are you getting your home ready to sell? Here are some suggestions I make to my clients when they are about to put their house on the market:
- Consult a stager
- Get a home warranty with seller's coverage
- Call a licensed inspector for a pre-listing inspection
Sellers often prefer to let the buyer's inspector perform the due diligence of checking on the major systems of the home. There are, however, benefits to the seller discovering any issues before they become known to the buyer.
The seller can choose to remedy some or all of the issues discovered.
There may be items you or a handyman can tackle before the house goes on the market. Once the buyer's inspector notes the same flaws, the buyers may ask that a licensed electrician, licensed plumber, or other more expensive professional repair the issues. If it's an easy, low-cost fix, why not go ahead and get it crossed off the list?
- The seller becomes the most knowledgeable person as to the condition of the home.
Problems that arise during the pre-list inspection that are not repaired must be disclosed to a buyer. Disclosing known problems can be seen as less problematic than the buyers finding problems during their own inspections. Undisclosed flaws can create costly perceptions of huge repair bills. Buyers may think, "If the sellers don't know about this, what else don't they know about?"
- The seller gains leverage in negotiating.
Knowing ahead of time what might become impediments to the sale of the home allows the seller to get repair estimates, even if the homeowner has no plans to have the repairs done. Buyers can overestimate the costs of repairs by a factor of three (or more). Having estimates to provide to the buyer can facilitate the process and save you money if you choose to reduce the price of the home rather than make the repairs.
Don't defer the home inspection process to buyers. The consequences of discovery of previously unknown problems can harm your bottom line.