While a home may not be perfect, there are some things that can be done to improve its conditions before listing it for sale. Today, I run down some home inspection preparation tips.

Patti, you sell a lot of homes. Home inspections continue to be an issue for a lot of sellers. When you are sitting down with your seller, how do you prep them for the home inspection, and really handle it with the buyer?

There are three things. First of all, I tell my sellers before the house comes on the market that they need to make repairs. Now repairs does not mean putting in a new kitchen. But it does mean fixing the dishwasher because a good inspector is going to find it. And if we know about it, we need to disclose it. So I make sure the house is in tip-top shape. But having said that, even those houses in the best condition – houses are like people, they are very imperfect. You always find flaws, and the flaws will come out at the home inspection. And, unfortunately, in today’s market, every home buyer thinks they are going to get a new home. And there is, more often than not, a renegotiation after the inspection. I, personally, like to make sure I am at the inspection so that I hear everything the inspector is saying and recommending. Because when the inspectors send a written report, it looks much worse in writing than it does when you hear it. So I know then that I have my perspective on how the inspector saw it so that I can make recommendations to the seller when those renegotiations start.

I know it’s a common trend in the city. I am curious if it’s happening outside the city where people are actually coming to showings and doing like a pre home inspection. Is that happening?

It is happening on homes where they expect multiple offers. Many buyers come with an inspector, and they do what you would call mini-inspection while they are first seeing the house. So the buyers feel it puts them in a better position when they are bidding on the house. It’s not a bad thing to do. It’s actually a good thing for both the buyer and the seller.

What about for the seller? I’ve also heard about some people getting a home inspection on their home prior to putting it on the market. Do you recommend that?

Yes, for certain homes I do recommend that. I don’t recommend it when I know the roof has been done and the home has been very well maintained. It doesn’t mean we are not going to find some small things. But for a house that hasn’t been maintained, I think it is a very good idea to get a pre-market home inspection. And then we can make some recommendations to the seller on what they absolutely need to get done.

For the seller, it can eliminate a decent amount of headaches once the house gets on the market for sure.

Are you thinking about listing your home for sale? If so, please take a look at my posts on fall cleaning, seller disclosure tips, and my guide to home staging. Please contact me with any questions or to request a complimentary home valuation.

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