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Get a home inspection before listing a house for sale

Get a home inspection before listing a house for sale

By Dawn Whalen, Whalen Realty Group

After living in a house for more than a few years, it’s easy to notice some of the maintenance that needs done to keep the property in top shape. But when it comes time to move, those minor maintenance issues could be the difference in a few thousand dollars and selling the house in a few days compared to a few months. When someone walks into a home with the intent of purchasing it, the buyer and their realtor are going to hone in on all imperfections and areas needing repairs. This is where a pre-listing home inspection is useful.

Home inspections help the seller identify defects or items they may not have been aware of. Some homeowners don’t go into their attic or crawl spaces routinely, but by having an inspection, any problems, leaks or mold can be identified before a potential buyer walks through the door. By taking care of what’s wrong sooner than later, only increases the likelihood of a smooth sales process. 

Home inspections are useful to sellers to bring in more money, but only if repairs are made. If the repairs can’t be made, the inspection gives a realtor a better idea of the property’s true value based on its condition.

No surprises

Rather than wondering what a potential buyer’s home inspection will uncover, which has potential to end a sale, getting a pre-listing home inspection will outline what repairs are needed to get the property in good shape to sell. Many times, when these projects are completed in advance of the listing, the seller can ask for a little higher price and sell the property faster. Buyers want a house with a clean or minimal home inspection report.

Additionally, most home inspections take place part way through the sales process, and until repairs are made or concessions met, the results could delay closing or deter the buyer all together.

Who needs a pre-listing home inspection?

Getting a pre-listing home inspection makes sense in many cases, such as: 

  • Busy families that haven’t had time to address all the maintenance projects they’ve wanted done.
  • People who have inherited a property. 
  • Older people who may not be capable of completing home projects. 
  • Families that have neglected home maintenance.

What does a home inspection cost?

Depending upon the size of the house, a home inspection could run as low as $400 into the thousands, but by spending that money early, sellers can get it back through the sale. By repairing what needs done, sellers can justify asking a little more on the price. Of course, by asking more it means that the repair work was actually completed. 

The advantage

Presenting potential buyers who may be on the fence or debating about a few different properties may be more likely to place an offer on a home with fewer surprises. It’s not common for a seller to present a recent home inspection with proof of repairs; in doing so, it gives the seller more peace of mind about the property.


Dawn Whalen is owner of Whalen Realty Group, and has worked in residential real estate for more than 15 years. She’s a licensed realtor, broker and is a member of MIBOR. She can be reached at Dawn@whalenrealtygroup.com.

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