Determine your home's condition and value
Why would you, as a seller, have your own house inspected?
After all, many prospective buyers will insist upon a home inspection by a professional home inspector prior to making any firm commitments to purchase your home. And that’s precisely why you should consider an inspection in advance of the buyer’s.
You want to be prepared for any unpleasant surprises that could turn up in the buyer’s inspection report. Ideally you should get an inspection early enough that you’ll have a chance to remedy issues that could jeopardize the sale, or force you to lower your price.
What does the inspector inspect?
The home inspection goes well beyond window dressings, as your home’s important structural, functional and safety features will be under the magnifying glass.
A qualified home inspector will give your house a thorough examination, checking the heating and cooling system, plumbing and electrical systems, the roof, attic, walls, ceilings, floors, windows, doors, foundation, basement and visible structures of the home.
The inspector will point out the need for major repairs, identify areas that may need attention in the near future, and explain what maintenance will be necessary to keep the house in good shape. You should expect a written report that identifies all findings, including fire and safety concerns.
You can use the report’s findings to target essential pre-sale repairs. Your real estate agent can advise you which repairs are vital to the sale of your home at a price you’re happy with.
You should know that if you become aware of issues in your home that need repair, you must disclose them to the buyer by law. That includes anything the inspector discovers during the house inspection.
Home inspections are relatively inexpensive. Expect to pay several hundred dollars and up. Consider this a small price to pay if it means the difference between making a sale and scaring off potential buyers.
Your Royal LePage sales representative can provide you with a list of reputable, qualified home inspectors in your area. It is also a good idea to ask the home inspector for references.
Appraisals: determine home value
An appraisal is a report containing an estimate of the value of the property. Appraisals are typically conducted for the purpose of mortgage lending by certified appraisers. The appraisal should not be confused with the home inspection (which deals with your property’s condition) or the market analysis (which focuses on price trends in a given real estate market).
Some sellers will commission an appraisal to help establish an asking price for their home. If you are working with a Royal LePage real estate agent, this step is likely unnecessary. Royal LePage agents are residential real estate experts and will help you determine the price by preparing a Comparative Market Analysis on your local housing market.