Before You List Your Home…

A while back I wrote about our walk-through inspection option – a popular, cost saving alternative to a traditional inspection for buyers who are purchasing a rental, foreclosure, commercial property, or house being sold as is and who are concerned primarily with major defects rather than every tiny detail that would normally be included in a full report.

Walk-throughs are extremely popular among buyers of such properties… and for good reason, but a walk-through is every bit as beneficial if you’re looking to sell your home. In fact, I would argue that for most potential sellers a pre-listing walk-through should be a no-brainer!

As an inspection chapter president, I make it a priority to constantly stay up-to-date on industry trends, not only in our region, but across the country. One thing I’ve discovered is that the “normal” way of doing things varies somewhat dramatically from one area to the next – even within the same state. In some areas it’s fairly normal for sellers to have their home inspected prior to listing, but in most (like ours) the seller usually lists without an inspection and hopes that the buyer’s inspection doesn’t uncover any major (and potentially costly) surprises.

It goes without saying that any seller would rather be in the know than in the dark regarding an inspection of their home. Without a pre-listing inspection, the seller is likely to feel good after getting a reasonable offer only to suddenly feel very nervous when it’s time for the inspection. After all, an inspection is one of the only steps in the process that could be a deal killer IF enough concerning defects are uncovered. I’ve seen incredibly nervous sellers countless times, and it’s no surprise. One seller recently told me he couldn’t sleep the night before our inspection because, despite maintaining his home impeccably, “it was the fear of the unknown.”

But what if there was a way to make the “unknown,” known? What if you could go into the selling process with little or no fear, knowing that you’ve already been made aware of and dealt with any major issues that could hinder an otherwise smooth sale? You may think, “That obviously sounds great, but what is this going to cost me!?”

The answer: not much! …especially when you consider the peace of mind you get from having your home thoroughly inspected and any major defects dealt with before you try to sell! At the time of this article, our current pre-listing walk-through price for a typical home below 2,500 sf is only $150. That’s less than half the cost of a regular inspection on a similarly sized home! And to date, every seller we’ve done a pre-listing walk-through for has been thrilled they had it done and has had a much more smooth and stress-free selling process. Needless to say, the buyers of those sellers’ homes were also very relieved to know that an inspection had already been completed and the more concerning issues repaired.

When you consider the stress of selling your home, the many benefits of having a pre-listing walk-through clearly outweigh its low cost. Remember that nervous seller who couldn’t sleep? I asked him how valuable a pre-listing walk-through would have been to him had he known about it, and without hesitation he said, “Priceless!”

We’ve designed this option to give you peace of mind as you prepare to sell, and I strongly encourage you to take full advantage of a pre-listing walk-through, whether with us or another inspector in your area. Pre-listing walk-throughs should be much more common, and I invite you to help us promote this as the new norm in order to help buyers, sellers and their agents experience a more smooth and less stressful experience!

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Author: hillinspections

I am a Certified Master Inspector (CMI) and the owner and operator of Hill Property Inspections LLC, the top-rated inspection company in the greater Johnstown, PA area, based out of western Pennsylvania. I specialize in property inspections and environmental testing services and have a passion for helping my own clients and other families in learning to properly maintain their homes. I’m also the owner of Hill Pest Control, LLC and a pest management professional committed to helping our clients rid their homes and businesses of unwanted pests. I am an Army veteran, former State Farm Insurance Agent, and real estate investor with experience in all facets of real estate construction, transaction and insurance. I am also the founder and President of the Southwestern PA Chapter of the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI) and an affiliate member of the Cambria-Somerset Association of Realtors (CSAR).

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