For buyers, home inspections are a source of protection from unwanted and unforeseen expenses. For sellers, they can either help facilitate or complicate your sale, since most contracts include contingencies based on the home inspection. Below are a few pieces of advice for making your home inspection go more smoothly in order to expedite your sale.
#1 Home inspections are optional
While home inspections are likely worthwhile for the buyer, they are not required by law (unlike home appraisals), and are the responsibility of the buyer to fund (and typically cost a few hundred dollars). You and your realtor bear no responsibility to coordinate the inspection, and the inspector must be an impartial third-party hired by the buyer and not the buyer’s realtor. Do be prepared for an inspection though; while they are optional, buyers nearly always choose to do them.
#2 Get a home inspection prior to selling
The single best thing you can do in preparation for the housing inspection component of your sale is to hire your own inspector and obtain a full inspection report––before you ever even list your home. This will provide you a basis of comparison to the buyer’s inspection report should anything look amiss. More importantly, it will prevent surprises later on and provide you time to address any safety concerns or necessary repairs before you put your house on the market.
#3 Get multiple quotes for repairs
Thoroughly assess which repairs are worth performing previous to listing your home and which you will leave as-is for the buyer to contend with. Making even a handful of moderate repairs early on can lead to an overall more optimistic inspection for the buyer later on. However, once you have decided which repairs are worthwhile, make sure to get several quotes from professionals, as home maintenance cost can vary greatly. While this process may be a bit time intensive, it can save you a lot of money and hassle in the long run.
#4 Prepare your house and stay out of the way
While it is tempting to follow along for the formal home inspection, you really shouldn’t be there; it is a process that takes place between the buyer and the inspector. Your best bet is to clean and stage your house thoroughly and then give the inspector several hours to thoroughly examine it. Preparing the house aesthetically will obviously not hide any legitimate problems with it, but doing so will make the experience more pleasant. The easier you make the entire process, the more willing the buyer will be to close the deal swiftly.
#5 Have negotiation options ready to go
Weigh all of your negotiation options and strategies ahead of time. Are there additional repairs you received quotes for that you’d be willing to perform for the seller? What amount are you willing to lower your asking price based on inspection findings? Will you issue a credit for repairs? What are you absolutely firm on? The better you can anticipate the findings of an inspection, the better able you are to strategize your response to it.
The Askar Report is written by Real Estate Consultant, David Askar. With over a decade of experience in Chicago real estate, David Askar takes a no-nonsense approach to strategic partnerships, asset analysis, consulting, and general project management.