As a home seller, should you consider getting a building inspection?
Building inspections are essential for home buyers to check the condition of a property before making an investment. In some cases, a detailed home inspector report is required to secure a mortgage. But what about home sellers? Is a home inspection necessary when selling real estate?
If you are planning on selling your home, you should seriously consider a pre-inspection before listing your property. Skipping this process can have dire consequences for a seller down the line, especially if the buyer discovers problems that violate the terms of the sale and the home warranty.
Before you hire someone to conduct a pre-listing inspection, let’s take a look at the pros and cons.
Pros of building inspection for home sellers
An exceptional building inspector will be able to identify problems that need fixing before you welcome prospective buyers to look at your property. If you are able to address issues early, you can get a good price for your home and sell it more quickly.
- Spot hidden problems.
Your home may look good from the inside but you wouldn’t know what’s hidden behind the walls or under the floors without the expertise of a building inspector.
There are around 1,600 items on the checklist of a home inspector, including structure, foundation, plumbing, electrical, and HVAC systems. Analysing each part of your home allows you to spot hidden and potentially expensive problems that could affect property value.
- Make repairs ahead of time.
Once the home inspector identifies problems in your property, you should be able to fix them before potential buyers bring their own building inspector. You can be confident that your home has a clean bill of health when you show it to visitors.
- Increase the value of your home.
Pre-purchase inspections and reports create a strong first impression to buyers. If they see that your house has been checked by a certified inspector, they might even boost their initial offer.
- You’ll have peace of mind.
For home sellers, a pre-listing home inspection offers some peace of mind. You don’t have to wait to hear back from the buyer’s home inspector about possibly expensive repairs because you already took care of them.
Cons of building inspection for home sellers
A pre-listing home inspection does have its disadvantages. For one, it will cost you money. This type of inspection also doesn’t guarantee that there will be no surprises down the line.
- Additional expense
For sellers who are getting rid of their property to downgrade to a cheaper home, a pre-inspection means additional cost that is unnecessary. This is the main reason why majority of sellers skip the pre-inspection process.
A pre-purchase building report on a standard 4-bedroom home costs around $440. Add another $220 for a pre-purchase pest inspection and your bill could go up to $660. A home seller might want to spend that money instead on repairs they already know are needed or home improvements that could increase the value of the property.
- The buyer inspector could identify new problems.
If you have 10 potential buyers who will likely bring their own home inspectors, you could likely get 10 completely different reports. The items that you fixed based on your home inspector report may not even come up on a buyer inspector’s report. That would be a waste of time and money on your part. Worse, a buyer inspector might identify new problems that require you to do more repairs.
- Lower the value of your home.
A home seller has a moral, and sometimes legal, obligation to disclose anything that is wrong with the house. Pre-inspections that reveal a history of flooding, water damage, or drain backups could scare off buyers or prompt them to lower their offer. Major defects that come up in a home inspection report could leave your home sitting on the market for a long time.
How to choose the right building inspector
An exceptional building inspector will check all the nitty-gritty details of your home – not just the visible things on the surface. Hiring the right home inspector is crucial to the selling process so be sure to choose one that has vast experience and expertise.