When deciding to sell their home, sellers will likely use two methods to help them decide on the price they will ask when putting their home on the market. While the home appraisal is mostly used for tax purposes, in order to determine how much tax should be paid on a particular property, the home inspection’s purpose is a little different, and aimed at determining the safety and condition of the property.
The home inspection will entail a thorough assessment of the entire property to evaluate the state that it is in – this usually includes checking for structural faults, mould and pests, and problems with utilities. Following the inspection, a home inspector will provide a report that includes a detailed breakdown of faults.
The home inspection can prove invaluable to home sellers, who will likely be able to make an accurate price estimate with their real estate agent. This simple process can save property sellers a lot of money and hassle, and may even help them to get a better price when the property is sold.
Hire a licensed home inspector
Home sellers should take care to only use the services of certified, qualified and experienced home inspectors. When deciding which home inspector to use, home sellers should ask three questions:
- What is the extent of the property inspector’s experience in the field?
- Where did they do their training?
- Are they members of a certified home inspection company?
Home inspectors are experts in their field, and sellers should be wary of fly-by-nights whose report isn’t worth much more than the paper it is written on. Ask your real estate agent which inspector they would recommend.
It can save you if you’ve neglected home maintenance
Especially if someone has lived in a particular home for quite some time, regular home maintenance tends to take a back seat. Chances are, home sellers only take a keen look at their property again once they decide to put it on the market. Only then does it occur to them to fix that leaky tap once and for all, or to sand the front door and give it a fresh coat of paint.
However, home inspections often reveal other underlying problems, which may not be immediately apparent to the untrained eye. While you probably don’t realise your roof is in dire need of repairs, this is one of the faults that can easily completely put buyers off acquiring the property, should a home be put on the market as is. Some of these repairs can be costly to undertake, but may have a significant influence on the price a home fetches when it is sold.
Meticulous buyers know to look out for certain repairs and improvements that may cost them money post-purchase, and if they don’t, the property inspector they get to do a home inspection will certainly notice. You’re better off knowing about any issues than not being aware of them.
There is a flip side, too, though – once you know about any faults to the property, you are obligated to disclose these to prospective buyers. In this instance, home sellers can opt to either do the repairs and potentially earn a greater profit on the sale, or sell the home as a fixer-upper, albeit sacrificing some profit in doing so.
You can make a bigger profit on your sale
Earning a good profit on the sale of the home is probably the number one priority for most home sellers. Your real estate agent will keep this in mind when listing the property, and will do everything they can to put the house in the best possible light in order to attract the broadest pool of buyers – and hopefully get the best possible price in the shortest amount of time.
Being aware of issues relating to the maintenance and general upkeep of the property is key to establishing an asking price for the property that still reaps a profit, but is fair towards buyers, and in line with trends in the property market, and with what comparable properties in the city or suburb are going for.
Even if the home inspection reveals no major faults or repairs, the simple act of having done a home inspection before potential buyers come to view the property can aid the sale in unexpected ways. Upon viewing the inspection report, done by a licensed home inspector, they might already start mulling over the amount of money they’ll save, seeing as they might not need to have a home inspection of their own done. This could move along the sale more quickly, and might even guarantee a larger profit when the home is sold.
You won’t have to scramble to fix things at the last minute
Having to do speedy last-minute repairs or renovations to the property before potential buyers come to view it does not bode well for home sellers. Sellers might have to pay contractors overtime to complete the repairs faster than they normally would, leading to extra costs.
Having a home inspection done prior to estimating an asking price helps sellers to set a fair price, but also helps to minimise the stress surrounding the sale. At best, selling a home can be one of the most anxiety-invoking experiences a person has in their lives. Stressing about selling one’s property whilst being surrounded by workmen and the constant clank of tools definitely doesn’t remedy this situation.
A home inspection will disclose all the things on the property that can be improved, but home sellers always have the freedom to decide which repairs they want to undertake. In this regard, your experienced real estate agent may be a godsend. Because they know which faults immediately put off buyers, and which faults don’t affect the buyers’ impression that much, real estate agents can provide valuable advice and might even be able to save you some of the money you might have spent on unnecessary renovations or repairs.
It’ll minimise back-and-forth negotiation
When homebuyers conduct their own home inspection before signing the sales agreement, they often try to use some of the issues that arise from the report as leverage to push the asking price down.
If you can already point to the (rectified) issues on the property, buyers and sellers will avoid having to navigate a back-and-forth that could delay the sale of the property.
In addition, being able to point to a home inspection report – provided it has been done by a reputable, licensed and experienced home inspector – sometimes leads to buyers deciding they will not be doing their own home inspections. This saves buyers valuable time and money, and may hurry along the sale significantly.
Make sure a pre-inspection doesn’t work against you
A home inspection will shed light on those parts of the property that need attention, but of course, it won’t only reveal this information to you. Once you are aware of issues, you and your real estate agent are required to reveal these to interested homebuyers.
Especially if repairs need to be undertaken in the kitchen and bathrooms, sellers would do well to rather spend the money in order to reap the rewards later. These two rooms can make or break a sale, and creating a bad impression with buyers here certainly won’t do sellers any favours.
Do not try to conceal any defects from the people who come to view the property. If their own home inspection unearths areas that you have obviously kept them from, this dishonesty will taint the relationship. If you were able to hide something significant, who’s to say there are other things about the property that you haven’t told them?
Distrust can severely hinder potential sales and word can get around, amounting to a longer stay on the market and less interested buyers. The golden rule should be to heed the advice about renovations and repairs from both the home inspector and your real estate agent. If the necessary repairs are not financially viable, you can consider selling the property as a fixer-upper – you should just keep in mind that this might have an effect both on the time the property spends on market, and on the price it fetches when it is eventually sold.
Home inspections don’t just set the minds of buyers at ease when they come to view your property – they can also help sellers in a number of respects. Home inspections provide a fresh view of the home, revealing problems that may have arisen from lack of maintenance, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Although home sellers are obliged to reveal any faults on the property to interested buyers, they will now also be able to set an asking price for the home which is fair and helps them to make a profit. Home inspections can also help to hurry a sale along, and help to avoid unnecessary bickering about the price.
Your real estate agent will also use the inspection report to advise you on crucial repairs and renovations that can secure a bigger profit. Still looking for an agent that understands your needs? Contact Perfect Agent today.