Everything You Need to Know About Getting Your Home Inspected Before Selling

Everything You Need to Know About Getting Your Home Inspected Before Selling


Southern California real estate is highly sought-after and for good reason. The weather, the atmosphere, and the glamor all combine to create a vibrant lifestyle most people long for. Thus, it is no surprise that the houses in Los Angeles and the surrounding areas move fast, and as a result, the elements that go into buying and selling real estate often become confusing. One of those elements is the home inspection.

Generally, when you think of a home inspection, you probably imagine the buyer scheduling a home inspection on the property they hope to purchase. However, if you’re listing a property, there are also tremendous benefits to getting a home inspection before selling. Of course, there are some disadvantages as well.

The benefits of a home inspection

Getting a pre-listing home inspection gives you a chance to learn about home maintenance and tackle any necessary repairs before your home hits the market. In addition, you can leverage the results of your pre-listing inspection during negotiations, showing that you’ve already addressed any areas of concern.

You gain valuable information

The primary reason to order your own home inspection as a seller is that knowledge is power. The last thing you want is to get your home all ready to sell, staged, and photographed, only to find out after accepting a bid that you have a foundation issue or need a new roof! These kinds of structural problems are rarely readily apparent, so hiring an inspector is essential.

A professional inspector will provide an in-depth analysis, check out all structural and integral aspects of your home, and give you an idea of any issues you may have to address before listing your home on the Los Angeles real estate market.

You can tackle any necessary repairs

Now that you have that knowledge, you can decide whether or not you want to have the repairs done. Rest assured that you don’t always have to fix every little issue an inspector finds. You can always disclose the problems to your potential buyer and let them know that the home will be sold as-is. However, some repairs are worth handling to ensure your home is in excellent condition. Your agent can guide you on which issues you need to address and which are best left to the buyer.

You are better able to negotiate

Finally, with a pre-listing home inspection in hand, you have more negotiation power. You can stand confident in your property’s overall condition, trusting that no hidden surprises will jump up when the buyer has an inspection done.

After your pre-listing inspection, you and your agent can discuss the best price point at which to list your home and how much you are willing to negotiate.

The downsides to having a home inspection done

You will have to pay upfront

Of course, it is not all rainbows and butterflies. There are downsides to having a pre-listing home inspection. In general, home inspections cost about $400 at a minimum, and you may pay for it only to find out you have no problems to address, so you might feel like you wasted your money. Keep in mind, though, that a clear inspection report is valuable during negotiations, as you can let buyers know your home has already passed the inspection with flying colors.

It takes time

Yes, you will have to make time for a home inspector to come into your house and spend a few hours wandering through every room and around your home to cover every nook and cranny. It can feel invasive at times, but it’s important to remember that your inspector needs to be thorough and detailed to ensure nothing is overlooked.

You may create more work for yourself

You might end up with a long list of things to do that you were not expecting. The con of a thorough inspection is that it can bring to light issues you were previously unaware of. It is time well spent, though, because tackling these issues will raise the value and appeal of your home.

So, should you get a home inspection?

It is always better to have the knowledge upfront and be ready with information than to be surprised and potentially lose buyers and money. You’ll likely be much happier investing the $400 and the four hours of your time to have the confidence to sell your home on your terms.

Home inspection FAQs

How do I schedule a home inspection?

Your best bet for scheduling a home inspection is to get a referral from your agent. Remember that your Los Angeles real estate agent is fully invested in getting you top dollar for the sale of your home, so they will have a trusted home inspector (or two) on hand who can work with you to get your home fully inspected by a trusted professional.

What repairs are legally required after a home inspection?

You do not have to make a single repair after a home inspection from a legal point of view. The home inspection is not a legal issue; rather, it is a negotiation issue. However, if you choose not to make any repairs, your buyer may have more power to negotiate or might even decide to walk away from the transaction. You can also decide to lower the price of your home and ask that the buyer makes the repairs on their own.

Contact Deborah Kernahan for more real estate tips, tricks, and advice

After 30 years of experience in the real estate industry, Deborah has built a solid reputation for guiding her clients where they need to be. Deborah and the team at Kernahan Associates are experts in buying and selling real estate from all angles in Southern California, whether in Camarillo or Los Angeles real estate, and they take a boutique-style approach to working with their clients. They will be with you every step of the way as your advocates and trusted guides. They look forward to serving you — contact Deborah Kernahan today.

*Header photo courtesy of Shutterstock


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