What Is a Presale Inspection, and Should You Invest in One?

What Is a Presale Inspection, and Should You Invest in One?

When you put your home on the market, you want it to look as good as possible and be in good repair. You might already know of some issues that need to be addressed, but hiring a professional to do a presale inspection will eliminate the possibility of running into something that could jeopardize the sale or open up renegotiation. A home inspection is a thorough visual examination of a home and property that’s done by a licensed professional. It is one of the tips listed in our complete process on how to sell a house. Most buyers include a home inspection contingency clause in their offer, which allows them to hire an inspector of their choosing to evaluate the condition of the home they’re considering, and some mortgage companies require one.

By being proactive, a home inspection report can give you the opportunity to repair and improve necessary areas. It can also help you make informed decisions about how to set the best possible price for your home, especially if larger costly issues arise, such as needing a new roof. Knowing this information before you accept an offer will also free you from worries, especially if you’ve already purchased a new home and need to sell your existing home first.

The Process

Depending on your location and the size of your home, an inspector may charge between $200 to $500 to look at your house and create a report of any issues having to do with structures or systems. Look for someone who is a member of the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), a trade organization that tests and qualifies individuals, governs the process and provides guidelines for reporting the findings. ASHI offers a tool on their website that can help you locate home inspectors in your area. You should also ask for references, and you may want to look inspectors up on the Better Business Bureau before hiring one.

A professional inspector is trained to notice what most don’t see or know to look for. This is especially true if you’ve been living in a house for years and have overlooked issues that feel more like nuisances than problems. For instance, a dripping faucet might seem small, but if the pipe is leaking in the crawlspace, you have a bigger problem on your hands.

A thorough inspection takes between two and three hours, and covers hundreds of items. The inspector will look at a variety of areas, including your home’s structure, exterior, roof, plumbing system, electrical system, heating system, air-conditioning system, interior, insulation and ventilation, fireplaces and fuel-burning appliances. While you’re not required to be present for the inspection, the experts at ASHI highly recommended it, as you will be able to observe the process, ask questions about the condition of your home, and learn how to maintain or repair it.

What to Do With the Information

After your home inspection is complete, you’ll be given two reports. One report is an itemized list with written commentary that’s left with you on-site, and the second is a thorough written narrative that’s mailed to you several days later. Both will identify issues requiring immediate attention, as well as conditions that have the potential to be problems in the future. For example, the inspection report might indicate the age of the home’s HVAC unit, with a note that indicates about how many more years the unit will last.

To facilitate a quick sale, you can offer to share your presale inspection report with potential buyers. While the purpose of the inspection isn’t to eliminate the need for a buyer to do his or her own inspection, it will provide a good point of reference if another inspector happens to have a different opinion. The report can also help you quickly address any concerns a buyer may have, and explain defects you’ve chosen not to fix because you’ve lowered the asking price instead. Any work you’ve done should be disclosed, along with copies of invoices for work completed.

A successful home sale is one where the buyer and the seller leave the transaction feeling happy and like they were well-represented in the transaction. A presale inspection is a great way to streamline the process while giving yourself confidence and peace of mind. Here you can find 7  home buying snags that buyers may run into for review. For more resources and tips on selling your home, head to Gottre.com


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