The Power Of A Pre-Inspection
Thinking of selling? Not sure what projects to tackle in preparation for the listing. Let’s face it… unless you are in the construction industry or for some reason very in-tune with your house, you do not know it intimately.
Resist the urge and anyone’s advice to cosmetically upgrade anything in your home…such as new carpet, counters, cabinets… before doing the one thing that will make a real difference: a Pre-Inspection.
When you bought your home, most likely you hired an inspector to check out the systems, scour for defects, and point out potential safety/hazard issues. It gave you peace of mind, some negotiating leverage perhaps, and helped you understand what you were buying.
For similar reasons, I recommend that sellers hire a licensed inspector to give them key information on the status of their home’s health well before listing it. This approach will provide you with the following:
- Knowledge. If you know your home’s condition relative to the competition, you and your broker can more accurately price it. If you accurately price it, it will sell faster and for more money.
- Freedom. Freedom to choose which projects to take one and which to let go. Freedom from worrying about the buyer’s inspection.
- Strength. Once you have the information you need to help you decide which items to address, and (just as importantly) which items not to address, you can feel secure in your negotiating position. It’s a great feeling to be able to say with confidence that “the home is priced accordingly.”
So, which items from the inspection should you do?
Safety Hazard Items
A financed deal will get stopped in its tracks if these aren’t addressed. Even cash buyers (particularly if the home will be their primary residence) are leery of buying an unsafe property.
These are big-ticket items that many buyers will not be able to pay for out-of-pocket after they move in.
Ah, yes, the dreaded roof. If your inspector is concerned, the buyer will be even more concerned.
WINDOWS, SIDING, CRAWL SPACE
Moisture issues can quickly turn a buyer on his/her heels.
INTERIOR AND EXTERIOR PAINT
This is the single most cost-effective project you can do. For all the above, hire licensed contractors and obtain transferrable warrantees if possible.
Notice that granite is not on the list. Nor are fixtures, carpet, flooring, driveway re-surfacing, new landscaping, room additions of any kind, decking, new interior doors, trim, or new gas fireplace.
Don’t make any cosmetic updates until you’ve had your pre-inspection, reviewed it with your broker, and addressed key issues first. You will be glad you did.
SOURCE: Coldwell Banker Bain