Thinking about selling your home?
While making those little cosmetic repairs, decluttering and sprucing up the landscaping it’s a great idea to get some inspections out of the way before you are in escrow. Here on the beautiful central coast of California a home inspection will run you between $350 and $500. Other inspections you should consider would be a pest inspection ($75-100), if you are on a well and septic then you can get those inspected/tested as well.
Typically a home inspection is a buyer expense (here on the central coast, other areas have different customs), however by getting the inspection prior to bringing the home onto the market you have the opportunity to meet with the inspector, make the repairs you choose to make (be sure to disclose everything to the buyer, repairs modifications made to the house as well as repairs needed and not addressed).
I bet you are asking yourself why spend the money before you have to? A lot of the issues that inspectors find are minor, simple to fix or general maintenance items. By taking the time to get the report you can address these issues before a buyer is involved.
Sometimes inspectors find major issues (think mold, foundation problems) that affect the overall value of the property. You as the seller can get bids from local, reputable companies to resolve the issue and decide to have it fixed or choose to disclose it to the buyer. What you don’t want is to get a buyer who finds out about an issue, finds the most expensive bid for repairing the issue, then ask for a larger then necessary repair credit, or even worse cancels escrow.
It is better to know what you are dealing with before a buyer is involved so the issue can be addressed. Remember, in California, it does not matter if you are selling your house yourself or using a Realtor you still have the duty to disclose all known issues, repairs and modifications to the property to the buyer.
Selling a home is stressful enough, so why wouldn’t you minimize the stress during escrow and take some of the guess work out of the equation. The California Real Estate market is hot in most areas, do what you can before you enter escrow so all you have to worry about is packing.