The home inspection is not just for homebuyers

Use pre-inspections as a home seller differentiator

Local market reports from the relentless sales professionals of Century 21 Real Estate nationally indicate that supply in some local markets is moving toward demand equilibrium. As such, DOM (days on market) is increasing, and sellers looking for a competitive edge. One option they increasingly consider is a pre-inspection, especially when the listing agent explains how it could be a differentiator in the market.

“My broker Shirley Morrison did a poll in our sales meeting last week. Almost every listing agent in the room who had written a seller pre-inspection into the contract had the listing go through to closing,” said Alex Johns, CENTURY 21 Sweyer & Associates, Jacksonville, NC. “By making it a part of the listing agreement, a seller pre-inspection can minimize many obstacles and concerns both parties have during the process, reduce what can often be long due diligence periods, and ultimately decrease the number of deals that fall apart.”

In those markets where more inventory has come online and DOM increases, many real estate companies are, surprisingly, also experiencing the highest fallouts in decades. “Fallouts happen for a variety of different reasons,” added Johns. “Most of the time it has to do with apathy or financing. However when you have a seller pre-inspection, fallouts decline dramatically.”

According to Tommy Alphin, CENTURY 21 Nachman Realty, Portsmouth, VA, it’s all about educating the seller on the ability to execute a pre-inspection as most simply are not aware of this option. “The one driving force that is my ‘why’ and a part of our company culture is to remember that it’s not about me, it’s about the client and making the experience as seamless as possible for them,” added Alphin. “You want what’s best for your client, and a seller pre-inspection could be the differentiator to getting their house sold at the highest price with the least amount of headache.”

Both Johns and Alphin agree that a pre-home inspection can set the seller’s listing apart from the competition in many ways including:

1. Enhancing curb appeal: New shingles on the roof, a newly-tarred driveway and a brand-new front door, to name a few, could help propel you and your home in a more positive light, and encourage buyers to view your property.

2. Eliminating potential surprises: If you know there’s a leak in your showerhead, windows that don’t open and close properly or the gutter system is not up to code, you can get ahead of it and have those items fixed before you get to the closing table. Plus, it shows the buyer that the seller has confidence in the home, its structural foundation, and operating condition.

3. Helping get to close: Even the smallest things can interfere with a successful closing. By having repairs completed or making the buyer aware in advance, the problems at closing, if any, become minor concerns that can be easily rectified during that time.

“Of course, sellers must realize that they will pay for their own inspection,” added Alphin. “It is our job as agents to make them feel comfortable opening their home to buyer scrutiny and help them understand that the buyer can still have their own home inspector conduct a follow-up.”

At the end of the day, our mission is to find ways to transform what can often be a stressful real estate transaction into a seamless, easy experience that allows sellers to focus on getting the best deal possible for their property. Being able to unveil what are often lesser-known steps, such as a pre-inspection, that can make a huge impact on the final outcome is just one way to reinforce the value that an agent brings to the real estate journey.