Before listing a house for sale, I always advise my seller clients to have a pre-listing home inspection done.
In my experience it's best for everyone involved (the sellers, the buyers, and the realtors) to know the condition of the home before an offer is presented.
Any reasonable buyer is going to make their offer conditional on having a home inspection anyway, so why not nip potential problems in the bud?
If we're holding back offers on the property, then having a pre-listing home inspection is even more essential.
Sure, buyers who are planning on participating on offer night have the option of getting their own pre-offer home inspection done.
But not everyone is keen on spending $400-$500 and a few hours of their time on a property that they might not even end up getting (more on this in a future blog post).
I've seen plenty of buyers decide to "sit this one out" and not participate on offer night because there was no pre-listing home inspection available.
Although there are plenty of home inspection companies in the city of Toronto, Carson Dunlop & Associates Ltd. seems to be the go-to choice for many.
They do a pretty good job of explaining the pre-listing home inspection themselves...
Following is an excerpt from the "Home Seller's Inspection" page on Carson Dunlop & Associates' website:
Why A Pre-Listing Home Inspection Makes So Much Sense:
With a traditional buyer’s (or pre-purchase) inspection, the buyer and seller negotiate the terms of the sale and agree on price. The sale is conditional on a home inspection. At the inspection the buyer finds out what condition the home is in. It sounds a little backwards already, doesn’t it? Why would you buy something before you know what shape it’s in?
The buyer gets the report, finds out the home is not perfect (none are) and feels they have overpaid. They want to re-negotiate, or worse, they want out of the transaction. The real estate sales professionals are in an awkward spot, because they have already sold the home, going through a tough negotiation. Now they have to tell the seller that the buyer wants a lower price. The sales process has to start over again, or the deal falls apart. Neither side is happy.
When the condition of the home is disclosed before the inspection, there are no surprises. It’s as simple as that.
Why is it not always done this way? Because of the way home inspection has grown. When there were no home inspections, this was not an issue. When home inspection was in its infancy, sellers hoped that buyers would not ask for an inspection. But now, virtually all buyers want an inspection. The game has changed. Sellers now understand that there will be an inspection, and it may well cause a problem. Rather than sit by and desperately hope for the best, sellers can control the situation.
Benefits of a Pre-Listing Inspection:
- Everyone knows the condition of the home, and there are no 11th hour surprises.
- No home is perfect and a good inspection report will provide that perspective.
- If there are issues raised that need a second opinion or further evaluation, that can happen before the house is listed, rather than in the middle of a high stress negotiation.
- Sellers can make improvements or reflect the condition in the listing price. (We prefer the latter.)
- Buyers are more comfortable making an offer, because they know what they are getting.
- In competitive situations, prospective buyers may not make an offer because they are not able to get an inspection, or the odds are high that the money spent on an inspection will be wasted. A seller’s inspection may allow more potential buyers to make an offer.
In today’s environment, with buyers getting home inspections, the seller is very wise to have the inspection done before the house goes on the market.
If you’re thinking of making a move and would like to know how I can help, feel free to contact me for more info.