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Pre-Inspections: A New Emerging Trend in Home Selling


In the process of buying a home, the deal is never really done until everyone has signed on the dotted line at the closing. Even after the buyer and seller have agreed on a price, things can still go wrong to disrupt the deal.

The home inspection is just one factor that can pop up to possibly put the deal at risk. Far too many sales have fallen through when the home inspector discovered major or even minor defects in the home that weren't obvious to the naked eye when they first looked at the home.

To counteract this problem, a new trend is rising: Inspect before you sell your home. Traditionally, home inspections were paid for and requested by the buyer after an offer was made and accepted on the home. The only problem is that this leaves the home sellers waiting to find out whether any potential problems could put the sale of their home at risk. Today many homeowners are taking action and having a pre-inspection or sellers' inspection performed in advance. In many cases, this is done even before the home goes on the market. This gives the home sellers an opportunity to find out what needs to be fixed in the house, even if it's an accounting of minor areas that could cause a deal to fall apart later on. Taking the time and effort to have such a pre-inspection performed can make a sale move along much more smoothly later on.

Today, estimates indicate that an increasing number of home inspections are actually performed at the request of home sellers in order to find out what could possibly be wrong with their home before it goes on the market. While it might seem odd that a home seller wouldn't know what is wrong with their home, in some cases the owners have simply lived in the home for so long that they become accustomed to and no longer notice problems. This can be particularly true with older homeowners who never venture into certain parts of their homes any longer, such as the basement or the attic. There could be mold present or even leaks that they simply are not aware of.

Another common problem is the electrical wiring. While the wiring may be perfectly fine, if the home is older it's quite possible that it is undersized for many modern usages. This type of problem could be a turn off for many prospective buyers.

Pre-inspections are performed along the same lines as inspections performed for home buyers. The home inspector will tour the entire house and look at all systems including the structure, plumbing, electric, siding, roofing and windows. The cost for such an inspection ranges from about $350 up to $600 depending on the size of the home.

After the inspection is complete the home inspector will make a list of items that need to be repaired. A thorough inspection will not only note those repairs that are needed but will also make a note of the home's good points. Many modern home inspectors are also taking digital pictures in order to point out those amenities. These pictures can then be provided to the listing agent when the home is ready to go on the market.

Some home sellers are also opting to post signs in the front lawn next to the "For Sale" sign to let prospective buyers know the home has received a pre-inspection. In many cases, this can provide a third party notice that the house is in good condition and worthy of consideration. This alone can provide peace of mind to buyers and persuade them to consider a pre-inspected home over other homes on the market. That can be a tremendous advantage for many sellers, particularly in markets that have suddenly become glutted by the increasing home inventory.

While the pre-inspection definitely involves an investment on the part of the home seller, in the end it could help you to realize a greater profit when the home sells. As the market has changed, with an increased amount of competition, this is a tool that should serve many sellers well in order to get ahead of other sellers in their local areas. Should the pre-inspection turn up any major problems, it's best to discover these problems earlier rather than later and have a chance to either repair them or price the home appropriately in order to compensate. In the end, even if the pre-inspection turns up no major repairs needed, the peace of mind provided to both home sellers and prospective home buyers could be well worth it.


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