Earlier today I was explaining to a new client that before we put their house on the market we would have it inspected. We do it all the time, for every listing.
In fact it’s one of the first things we do because it’s on the critical path towards the superior outcome that we’re shooting for.
“OK, that sounds smart,” she said, “How much is that going to cost me?”
“Nothing. We pay for it, it’s included in our fee.”
She sounded surprised.
So did my buddy, who’s also in the real estate business, when we talked a few weeks ago.
“How do you get all your clients to pay for a pre-inspection? I wish I could get my clients to do that.”
See, I think everyone intrinsically understands that it’s a good idea to have a home inspected BEFORE you put it on the market. But not everyone wants to pay for it, which was evident in his response.
“You pay for it? That’s a lot of money you are throwing away!”
Eh, not exactly.
The thing is, at some point though the houses I sell are going to get inspected. It’s pretty rare that someone purchases a home without a home inspection so, as the seller, you have a choice. Either wait around passively biting your nails and hoping that everything goes well once the house is under contract, or you proactively have someone inspect it before hand and find out if anything is wrong upfront.
The same issues are going to come up either way, but finding out upfront gives you the advantage. If you have minor issues they can be repaired and potential buyers never need to know about them. Should something major come up you can take the necessary time to get multiple bids rather than scrambling to get it done by a contractual deadline, potentially saving thousands of dollars.
Waiting for the buyer to inspect, on the other hand, gives the buyer the advantage. By the time they conduct their inspections most people selling a home are mentally committed to the transaction. Sometimes they are financially committed as well, by virtue of having put a deposit on the house they are buying. That makes it all too easy for the buyer to demand excessive or unnecessary repairs and for the seller, now under duress, to agree.
And trust me, buyers always ask for something.
Passive vs. proactive, the choice is yours.
Unless you’ve hired me, in which case you’ll have a home inspection appointment with Wes Grant, Brandon Strawn, Lucas Johnson, or one of the other inspectors at National Property Inspections of NC/SC.
Collectively they’ve helped us save clients thousands and thousands of dollars by identifying issues before they become a problem in the transaction.
Is that throwing money away?
I don’t think so.
I think it’s just smart business.