Written by:
Wes Kelley, Certified Inspector
7 Oaks Home Inspection, LLC

In our general area the housing market tends to be picking up but it is still a little soft. Realtors might call our market a “buyers market” meaning that there are fewer buyers than sellers which creates a greater edge for the buyer. Homes sold during a buyers market tend to sell a little slower and sometimes for a little less. If you are one of those who are selling or thinking of selling your home there are a few things you can do to tip the scale in your favor. Your top consideration could be a “pre-listing” home inspection. This means that you -the home owner- select your own home inspector and have your home inspected before you list or market your home.

There are many benefits in having your home inspected before you list it with a realtor. A pre-listing inspection should help your home sell faster and for more money. Renegotiations should be virtually eliminated because you have already dealt with the buyers biggest bargaining chip -your homes repair list! (No home is perfect.) A pre-listing inspection will also give you the home owner, the ability to fix any problems ahead of time so there will be no surprises later on. By the way, a home does not pass or fail an inspection. The inspection report merely documents the inspectors findings as he completes a visual and mechanical inspection of your home.

Having a home inspected prior to listing is beneficial to the buyer also. When a buyer is told up front of a problem of defect that needs to be repaired they are less upset than if their own inspector finds it. This is especially true if a problem has not been disclosed (maybe you really didn’t’t know), and the potential buyer’s inspector finds it. The buyer wonders what else might be wrong that you didn’t’t know about or care to tell him about. A pre-listing inspection can be very comforting to a buyer, particularly in the softer market that we are just coming out of.

So who do you pick and how? You need to choose an inspector based on reputation and credentials. In the State of Missouri there is not a license for home inspectors but there is training which gives certificates. A home inspector must complete testing plus lots of experience to petition for a professional membership. Two highly sought after memberships are the ASHI or American Society of Home Inspectors and NACHI or National Association of Certified Home Inspectors. Both of these groups have Standards of Ethics and Inspection Standards that are written out in your contract and state clearly what your inspector should do. You may visit their web sites to find a list of qualified home inspectors in this area at: www.nachi.org and www.ashi.org.

The benefits of a pre-listing home inspection enhance your ability to remain in the drivers seat. You now have three choices. You may find problems and fix them or find problems and disclose them or find problems and reflect them in your selling price. Any of these choices will gain confidence in your buyer and get you to the closing faster and at the best price. If this spring is the time for you to put your house on the market consider selecting the best credentialed home inspector you can find and have your home inspection done before you sell. You’ll never regret it.

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