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Michael Harper

As we witness changes in the market right now, including interest rates rising and more inventory, we also see sellers being more competitive in pricing and other actions, such as making sure their home is sale-ready.

The heated market we are now exiting from may have caused home-sellers and buyers to be less inclined to negotiate prices downward. At the same time, sellers effectively offered properties in an as-is condition. Buyers, on the other hand, have been less inclined to ask for extensive repairs for a home they have under contract, fearing they would lose favor with the seller. Many cash homebuyers even declined having a home inspection in order to improve their position in the negotiation process.

So what can a home-seller do in the current market to be competitive, other than being more price competitive? We are seeing a minor trend of having a home inspection performed before listing the home on the active market. There are benefits to both the seller and the buyer in this pre-listing Home Inspection process.

Both sellers and buyers have contractual rights in the home-buying process. A pre-listing home inspection can identify existing issues the seller may choose to have repaired in advance of listing, or to disclose to the potential buyer in a Seller Property Disclosure. This helps protect both parties avoid a surprise hidden issue being found during the transaction process.

In pricing a home for sale, the seller has confidence they have identified potential issues, which can lessen the potential for further negotiation. A pre-listing home inspection is beneficial to the buyer as they consider buying a property because there is less chance of an issue coming up in the transaction process. Less obstacles during the transaction process supports a higher level of confidence in the home condition for buyers.

A full understanding of a home’s condition before listing gives the seller plenty of time to have issues found during the pre-listing home inspection corrected. Most home inspections do have the potential to identify existing issues. These issues are typically more in the realm of minor repairs such as cracking paint, dried and cracking calking, tile damage, leaks, nonfunctioning electrical devices, and minor code issues. Having these issues repaired or identified to be repaired allows the seller to proceed with a home listing in an unhurried manner without having to rush through hiring a contractor to make repairs, and being subject to an extended timeframe to have a repair accomplished. In the case of more extensive repairs, the seller may want to request more than one contractor for a cost estimate.

The result of a pre-listing home inspection is an inspection report the seller may use in their marketing to help build the trust of buyers as they consider buying the home. The home-inspection report will look just like a report the buyer would receive if they have arrange to have their own inspection done during the transaction. The difference between a pre-listing home inspection report and a home inspection report during the transaction is that the seller can offer receipts and reports of repairs already accomplished. Both parties in the transaction will have a better understanding of the condition of the home as a result.

When considering a source for inspecting a home, whether prior to listing to sell or during a transaction, your Realtor can refer you to several professional home inspectors to consider. The cost is a minor consideration compared to the hassle and potential for the surprise of an unknown problem.

As always, feel free to call me or any member of my team to discuss any real estate matter. See you next time.

Michael Harper is owner/broker of Michael Harper Real Estate. Contact him through his website, MichaelHarperRealtor.com.

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