Should You Do a Pre-Listing Inspection?
A Need Driven by the Market
The market is changing. For years post-recession, we have watched the real estate market slowly recover and finally begin booming again. Sarasota is seeing new construction the likes of which have not been seen since pre-recession in the early 2000s. However, after many years with the market tipped in favor of the seller, as new construction slowed and inventory was low, the market is finally balancing out. Sellers have lost the intrinsic advantage that they have enjoyed for the past few years, as buyers are flooded with options: new homes, renovated homes, investment homes, etc.
In a more neutral market, buyers are able to become pickier than recent years. As our market fills with inventory fueled by growth on all edges of Sarasota proper (Lakewood Ranch and Palmer Ranch and East of I-75—oh my!), our market is almost tipping to a buyer-advantageous market. Though the “As-Is” contract is still the most commonly used for resale homes, buyers really are not accepting homes in “as-is” condition. What can you do about this as a seller? Easy—Get a pre-listing inspection and bring the advantage back to the home court.
A pre-listing inspection provides you, as the seller, with the most information possible prior to listing your home, because it answers the question upon which every real estate transaction hangs: What are they going to find in the inspection???
Answer: they are going to find items that buyers can use to leverage for a better price, or items you need to repair prior to moving forward.
It sure would be nice to know the findings of the inspection before you are engaged in negotiation with potential buyers.
Prepare Yourself & Your Home
The findings provided in a pre-listing inspection help steer your future home sale in many ways:
You find out the true condition of your home and are consequently able to create a plan of action for addressing them.
Pricing the home accurately is much easier.
It minimizes stress and removes the unknowns.
You have time to make repairs.
You reduce the likelihood of time-consuming and potentially costly negotiations.
You improve the buyer’s confidence in your integrity as the home’s current owner and as the person on other side of their negotiating table.
Don’t Be Blindsided
A few items to consider when deciding if a pre-listing inspection is right for you:
You will foot the bill for this inspection.
You will likely have to disclose anything that you find.
Your buyer still has a right to, and will likely get, an inspection.
These “negatives” aside, my recommendation is to get a pre-listing inspection whenever possible, especially if your home is more than 10 years old. Uncovering problematic items sooner will allow you to address what you are comfortable addressing, and will allow us to price appropriately for anything major that remains.
Partner With a Solid Inspector
There are more inspectors than I can name in the Sarasota/Manatee area, so feel free to choose any certified home inspector with whom you are comfortable. Here are a few with whom I’ve worked over the past few years that I would recommend. Do you have a trusted home inspector that is not listed here? Leave their information in the comments below!