Selling your home is not something you do every day, and there are really few things in your life that you can say are as momentous and pivotal as this, or involve as large sums of money. These simple facts alone are more than reason enough for you to focus and manage the process as carefully as you can.
This is certainly not a “cross your fingers and hope for the best” moment, and you should make a point of speaking very closely with various industry professionals to prepare yourself as well as you can for the sale of your home.
A certified building inspector, and very importantly, an experienced building inspector is a very good ally in this respect. And while you might not be happy with some of the things they may eventually have to tell you about your home, it’s infinitely better that your inspector informs you of any problems before a buyer’s inspector does the same for his or her client.
Perhaps the two most important aspects of the sales process that an inspector can help you with concern the valuation of your home and negotiations with potential buyers.
Building inspectors are, of course, not home valuation professionals; even though you can be fairly certain that a qualified building inspector would have a very good idea of what you home might be worth.
They can nevertheless help you fine tune your estimates with detailed information about the overall condition of the house and help you determine the cost and seriousness of any pending repairs that need to be performed, and how these might impact the overall value of the house.
If you decide not to enlist the services of a professional building inspector, you can be fairly sure that buyers who are about to part with very large sums of money will not make the same mistake.
From a psychological perspective, there is nothing more damaging to the delicate negotiation phase than an inspector’s revelation of damaged or seriously deteriorated parts of the house.Buyers will either cease negotiations and look elsewhere, or use the information as leverage to negotiate the sale price down or modify the terms of contract to your detriment.
You can easily prevent any of this occurring by offering your pre-sales inspection report to buyers before entering negotiations. The buyer’s inspector may or may not find other issues with the house not included in your inspector’s report, but it highly unlikely that they will be serious issues, and at the very least you can demonstrate that you have, from the outset, acted in good faith.
The benefits of a complete home inspection before you sell your home don’t just end there. The information you receive from the inspector in person and from the report itself can help you determine any areas where you can intervene yourself at little or no cost, such as cleaning the gutters and removing any potentially harmful material from around the house.
Also, an inspection report can help you identify and subsequently emphasize aspects of the house that are completely sound and free of any issues or concerns, such as the foundations or the roofing, or plumbing for that matter.
What really counts, however, is that you are prepared and have a clear idea of the state of the property you’re preparing to sell. And when you consider the cost of a building inspection against the potential price swings in the order of tens of thousands of dollars that a poorly managed sale as opposed to a well-managed sale can provoke, there’s really no discussing the validity of a pre-sales building inspection.