Homeowners and REALTORS® under-estimate the value of a home inspection before a house even goes on the market for sale.

These types of home inspections are normally referred to as “pre-listing” home inspections and are arranged by the current owner or seller of the home.

While a buyer will likely have his or her own inspection conducted, there is value to the seller:

  • Give you the confidence that you understand the true condition of your home
  • Let you fix or make allowance for items which could negatively affect asking price when you’re negotiating the sale
  • Lessen the risk of surprises that could postpone a sale
  • Ensure full disclosure at the time of the sale

Here’s a good article by Mike Holmes on this topic.

Getting a home inspection is smart paint can hide a world of trouble. If the home inspector finds problems, it can help when it comes to renegotiating the asking price.

But home inspections don’t just help home buyers. They can work to your advantage when you’re selling, too.

  • Anyone selling their house will go through a home inspection you can’t avoid it. But getting one before listing your property puts you ahead of the game.
  • You will know of any issues or fixes before buyers find them. If you wait and hope they don’t, there’s a good chance they will and your home will stay on the market longer.
  • And get ready for some heavy renegotiations. When buyers find problems, they are not happy, and they will show it by cutting the selling price in some cases, by quite a bit.
  • Fixing any issues in your house helps to increase your property value, decrease the time it’s on the market and avoid renegotiations. Bottom line: Your house will look better to buyers.
  • Some home inspectors will give you a coloured hard copy and CD of the inspection report. If you place these on the coffee table when people are looking at your house, a responsible homebuyer will appreciate it.
  • You can also reference the inspection report in listings, feature sheets and online, to help speed up a sale.

Today, people want to get as much information as they can on their phones, on their lunch, during breaks and so on. If you have an inspection report with photos plus some beauty shots of your house, you will speed up the selling process.

But the key here is finding the right home inspector, whether you’re buying or selling. You don’t want to depend only on home inspectors your real estate agent recommends. Real estate agents want to make a sale its their job. But their commission is based on the final selling price of the house, so its likely they want to keep it higher. This is fine, except if its done by hiding problems.

When you’re buying a house, a real estate agent might recommend a home inspector that will likely not catch all the problems, just so they can make a quick sale. A home inspector might do it because they want to keep getting referrals from the agent.

If you’re selling, the real estate agent might not want problems in your home caught again, to keep the selling price up. They might have your best interest in mind, but the strategy is off. You could end up facing renegotiations or not selling.

Find the problems, get them fixed, add the cost of the repairs to the selling price, and speed up the sale. Everybody wins you (the seller), the real estate agent, and the buyer, because they will be getting an honest assessment of the house and its worth.

A home inspection is a great tool for the entire housing industry real estate agents, contractors, homebuyers and sellers. When we use them right, everyone wins. But just like any tool, they require the right skill.