Reposted with permission from Matt Bonelli.

Most real estate agents do not encourage sellers to conduct a pre-listing home inspection even though they probably agree it’s a good idea.

Why is this?

This has nothing to do with money and everything to do with fear — fear that problems uncovered during inspection will need to be disclosed.

Well, guess what — there is a 99.99 percent chance that a buyer will conduct a home inspection and find these problems anyway! Encourage your seller to discover and correct these issues in order to avoid unpleasant surprises for the buyer. It’ll be a good thing.

Things to keep in mind:

  • A pre-listing home inspection means a little bit more money and work for the seller up front.
  • Any material defects in the home will need to be disclosed, even if they’ve been repaired.
  • A pre-listing home inspection can potentially save a seller money in the long run.
  • A pre-listing home inspection can even save an entire deal.

All of you real estate agents reading this right now know that most deals fall apart due to home inspection issues.

One of two things usually happens: Either the buyer gets hit with a ton of unexpected problems, gets scared and walks away, or the buyer asks the seller for a huge sum of money for repairs or credits. The seller usually says no to this.

Ask yourself if your sellers would appreciate any or all of the following:

  • More money in their pocket at closing
  • A fully informed buyer who knows exactly what he or she is buying when the contract is written
  • A more appealing product to put on the market
  • A transparent negotiation process
  • A smooth transaction that gets them where they want to go in a timely manner

It’s time to educate sellers on the value of having their home inspected before they go to market.

Don’t skip out on preliminary work.

It will save you time and money down the road, and it will reduce stress for all parties.

Put some power into your pre-listing process, and talk to your sellers about having their home inspected before they list it.

Matt Bonelli is a manager and broker associate for Turpin Realtors’ Chatham office in Chatham, New Jersey. You can follow him on Twitter or learn more about him on LinkedIn.

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