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  • Writer's pictureDonna Baker


We all live a busy life and have those home repair to-do lists in the back of our mind or on a slip of paper. If you are techy maybe an electronic list exists, but nothing beats a to-do list attached to the refrigerator door to remind the responsible party to get moving!

Now, something has changed and you have decided to sell! Obviously, the first step is to get your home “ready to sell”. That can mean different things to different people but getting a home inspection may be one of the best ways to do that.

Inspections can shed light on potential issues and help you make necessary repairs before listing your home. It might even help you fetch a higher asking price if the inspection shows that your home is in better condition than others in the area.

What does a home inspection include? The standard home inspector’s report will cover the condition of the home’s heating system; central air conditioning system (temperature permitting); interior plumbing and electrical systems; the roof, attic and visible insulation; walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors; the foundation, basement and structural components.

What will a home inspection cost? The inspection fee for a typical one-family house varies, the inspection fee may vary depending on a number of factors such as the size of the house, its age and possible optional services such as septic, well or radon testing.

Understandably, cost will be a factor in deciding whether or not to have a home inspection or in the selection of your home inspector, however, the sense of security and knowledge gained from an inspection is well worth the cost, and the lowest-priced inspection is not necessarily a bargain. Use the inspector’s qualifications, including experience, training, compliance with your state’s regulations, if any, and professional affiliations as a guide.

Why can't I do the inspection myself? Even the most experienced homeowner lacks the knowledge and expertise of a professional home inspector. An inspector is familiar with the elements of home construction, proper installation, maintenance and home safety. He or she knows how the home’s systems and components are intended to function together, as well as why they fail and they have no personal bias regarding the condition of the home and will provide an impartial third-party opinion by a professional.

All in all, an inspection can:

1. Alert You to Issues Before Going Under Contract A home inspection can highlight issues that might concern potential buyers. Pro tip: You should fix any issues that pose a safety hazard. And your inspection report can serve as a repair guide before listing.

2. Gauge Your Pricing Expectations What is the condition of competing homes for sale? Is it a hot, cold or neutral real estate market? What's the likelihood of a return on your investment? Many sellers put way too much money into fixing up their homes before listing them for sale. They repair flaws that a buyer might never notice or just won't pay extra for.

Fixer-upper buyers will discount the price of the home to allow for the repairs then discount it a bit more for the inconvenience. Say a home is worth $100,000 fixed up but it needs a new roof. A new roof might be expected to cost $10,000. A buyer most likely will not offer $90,000 for this home. She could buy an identical home with a new roof for $100,000 and not have the hassle.

A buyer for this type of home might offer $75,000 or even less. The seller would be smarter to pay for a new roof and sell the home for $100,000 in this scenario.

Most buyers want a home that's in move-in condition. You can limit the number of buyers who might be attracted to your home by not making repairs. Many homebuyers say they want to buy fixer-upper homes but they're generally looking for those that require only light cosmetic repairs. Buyers who gravitate toward fixer-uppers are those who either don't qualify to buy a more expensive home or they want to make a profit by fixing up the home themselves.

Pro tip: A clean inspection report, or proof of recent repairs, can help buyers feel more confident in making an offer.

3. Prevent Closing Delays If issues crop up during the buyer’s inspection, it could delay closing due to repairs or prolonged negotiations. The buyer could even pull their offer altogether. Pro tip: Fixing issues before listing the home can improve the outcome of your buyer’s inspection. And that could mean less negotiation on the whole.

Keep in mind that inspections come with an upfront fee, and you’ll be legally required to disclose any issues the inspector finds.

If you are planning to sell your home, a home inspection can give you the opportunity to make repairs that will put the house in better selling condition.

It is important to talk to a real estate professional before making any repairs to weigh the pros and cons with your particular home and your particular situation.

If you are thinking about selling contact The DREAM TEAM of RE/MAX Preferred, Donna and Delores will assist you with a free market analysis and referrals to qualified home inspectors and repair professionals.

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