Electrical work, plumbing, roofing, the foundation — these are all things that will be looked at during a home inspection. Basically, if there’s a chance something will impact property value or one’s safety, a home inspector is going to make a note of it. It should come as no surprise that approximately 84% of buyers request a home inspection as part of the purchase contract.
But is there a way you can benefit from a home inspection as a seller? In short, the answer is yes. Here are five home inspection tips for sellers, followed by the costs and benefits of handling this part of the real estate transaction yourself.
Tips for sellers
- Mentally prepare for the inspector’s findings – Many sellers dread having to sift through a lengthy report detailing what’s wrong with their house. Granted, many of the things on the report won’t cause concern for buyers. Your home inspector will mainly be looking for signs of water damage, faulty wiring, HVAC problems, and roof damage. Should they notice any of these items, you’ll either need to fix the problem before moving forward with a purchase contract or come down on your asking price. The more prepared you are for the inspection, the less surprised you’ll be when notified of issues.
- Declutter, declutter, declutter – To perform a full inspection, your inspector will need access to areas such as the washing machine, electrical panel, and attic. Take some time beforehand and clear out these hard-to-see spaces, even if that means getting rid of a few things. You risk losing a buyer if you cut corners and settle for an incomplete home inspection.
- Leave the house in a fully operational condition – Your inspector will want to check that all appliances, lights, and ceiling fans function properly. For them to do this, you must leave all utilities on. The inspection could be delayed if the gas, water, and/or electricity is turned off in your home.
- Avoid concealing known issues – This is a big one. Maybe you failed to keep up with the maintenance of your home for whatever reason and now you’re worried about what the inspector will say. In this case, it’s best to handle the issues yourself rather than try to hide them come inspection time. This is where years of proper home maintenance pays dividends.
- Give the inspector all the time they need – You probably have a lot on your plate at this point in the selling process. In addition to finalizing contract details with the buyer, you might also be getting ready to move into another home. Whatever the situation, give the inspector enough time to do their job thoroughly. A typical home inspection takes several hours, though it may last longer depending on the home’s age, size, and additional features.
A closer look at the cost
Now that you have a good idea of how to approach a home inspection as a seller, let’s discuss cost. According to HomeAdvisor, the average inspection costs around $315. No two home inspectors are the same, which is why we suggest asking about experience and qualifications. You’ve already gotten this far in the selling process — don’t make the mistake of hiring the first inspector you talk to just because they might offer what seems like a great deal.
How it can benefit the seller
Having an inspection performed in advance can prevent hiccups in your real estate transaction and, as a result, save you time and money. Put yourself in the buyer’s position for a moment. Wouldn’t you be more confident about buying a house if there was already an inspection report on hand for you to see? Opting for an inspection ahead of time will put prospective buyers at ease and likely even increase their chances of making an offer on your home.
Being proactive about your home inspection also gives you ample time to make the necessary repairs or change your asking price. Sure, you could hold off on doing anything until the buyer requests an inspection. However, should you take this approach and wind up getting bad news, chances are you’ll be scrambling to make things right with the buyer, even if it means dropping your asking price.
Regardless of how long you’ve lived in your home, an inspection can open your eyes to issues that might require immediate attention.
Contact American Home Agents
Are you thinking of selling your home in the Denver metro area but don’t know where to start? At American Home Agents, we’re invested in the success of our clients. That’s why we go above and beyond for our clients, walking them through every step of the process, including the home inspection.
Contact American Home Agents at (303) 695-5900.