Home inspections are typically performed by a home buyer after the buyer and seller have agreed on terms and the home is under contract. However, a new trend is emerging with homeowners having their home inspected prior to the home being offered for sale and it’s one that I hope will catch on.
The problem that frequently occurs in today’s real estate transactions is that buyers and sellers beat the other up on price and terms during the initial negotiating process. Then, a week or two later, the Buyer’s home inspector may reveal issues with the home that the buyer feels are necessary for them to feel comfortable moving forward. This second-level of negotiation can prove more tenuous than the initial since the costs of some repairs are unknown and all parties are working on a deadline.
In North Carolina, the buyer’s home inspection is generally completed during the due diligence period and all repairs agreed to by buyer and seller must be agreed upon during this time as well. South Carolina is moving towards the North Carolina due diligence process however buyers may opt for the older format of a deadline for inspections.
In either situation, a seller having their home pre-inspected eliminates most of the stress from the due diligence repair negotiation. The report can be used as a marketing tool to eliminate the guesswork of the home’s condition and the seller can provide the paid invoices showing what repairs have been completed. This step can also save the seller money since they will have the luxury of shopping around the most affordable repair instead of being bound by the buyer’s timeline.
One final benefit to Sellers has to do with the increasing number of new homes being offered for sale in the Charlotte area. In the last 12 months, new home sales throughout the region increased 13.9% as buyers are deciding to build instead of purchasing resale. As a homeowner, having your property pre-inspected with repairs completed puts your home closer footing to the similar new construction homes offered nearby.
The concept has been proven successful in the automotive industry. When auto manufacturers started offering to certified pre-owned used cars, it allowed dealers to charge a premium on a used car that met certain quality standards. While there isn’t data to support that pre-inspected homes sell for more money yet, my experience tells me that would likely be the case.