A seller should always consider paying to have a home professionally inspected before putting the house on the market. A home inspection report gives the seller advance warning of any potential problems and allows the seller to deal with these problems positively and proactively before getting into negotiations with serious potential buyers.
3 reasons why a pre-inspection report is a good idea for sellers
- It shows that you have nothing to hide. A pre-inspection demonstrates a willingness by the seller to go beyond what’s expected, and this sets you apart from other competing sellers. A house inspection report, which is made available to all serious potential buyers, is a signal that your house is an “open book,” and that you’re being upfront about the property. All of this can give potential buyers peace of mind and confidence.
- Paying for a home inspection upfront can actually save you, the seller, money in the long run. A pre-inspection report gives the seller and the estate agent advance warning if there are problems that a potential buyer may want repaired. Once the seller knows what’s wrong, then these issues can usually be sorted out before listing. The cleaner and more problem-free the house is, the faster it’s likely to sell. A pre-inspection also enables buyers to factor any needed repairs into an offer. HouseCheck reports routinely provide estimates of repair costs. And by disclosing all known issues upfront, the seller and the agent are also protecting themselves against later claims from the buyer. Without a seller’s pre-inspection, if the buyer’s inspector discovers problems after the offer has been signed, the buyer will probably try to negotiate a lower price, which will cost the seller money and can delay the sale. The buyer might even cancel the sale agreement.
- A HouseCheck report can highlight your home’s assets. Assuming there are no serious defects uncovered in the pre-inspection report, this document then becomes a positive sales tool in the hands of your agent. Apart from documenting defects, HouseCheck reports also document all of the features of a property – such as accommodation (HouseCheck provides pictures of all of the rooms in the report), security features (automatic gates, electric fences, burglar alarms and burglar bars) and entertainment features (such as lapas, pools and so on). A HouseCheck report provides the buyer with a document which will help separate your home in the buyer’s mind from other competing properties.
If you’re trying to offload a fixer-upper which needs plenty of work, then there’s no point in the seller paying for a pre-inspection report. But if you’ve maintained your home and want to sell it as quickly, and as profitably, as possible, a pre-inspection is almost always a good idea.
Who is John Graham?
John Graham is a South African who has spent more than 30 years in the property industry. He has hands-on experience as a developer, investor, estate agent, home builder and property inspector. John is the founder and CEO of HouseCheck and the principal of the SA Home Inspection Training Academy. He is the author of a number of popular eBooks including: The South African Home Buyer’s Guide; Quality Control for South African Home Building and The Complete Guide to South African Home Inspection.