Any real estate agent can sell a home. But to get the most amount of money possible for it requires an agent who is a fearless negotiator, with experience and well-honed marketing chops.
The road from offer to closing is littered with potholes, each of which can cause the erosion of your asking price, or worse.
1. Minimize surprises for the buyers
One of the biggest real estate transaction “potholes” is the home inspection. Because negative findings can cause price negotiations to begin anew, and with far more emotional intensity than the original negotiations, minimizing the inspection’s impact on the sale is paramount to getting top dollar for your home.
A professional, pre-sale home inspection will give you a clear idea on what the buyer will learn about the home during the escrow period. Making the necessary repairs before a buyer steps in removes this obstacle.
Even if you choose not to make recommended repairs, we can let the buyer know about them ahead of time. It’s better to lose the buyers before they make an offer and you take the home off the market than weeks down the road.
Now, some repairs may be required by lenders and, less frequently, insurers, but we can discuss this when we see the list of the inspector’s surprises.
Since time is money, closing as quickly as possible should be your goal
Those repairs you decide not to make can go on a list to be handed to potential buyers. This way they know upfront what needs to be done and can make a decision on whether to make an offer.
Keep in mind that some repairs may be required by the lender and, although it doesn’t often happen, even your insurance company can insist on certain repairs. At any rate, it’s far better to have a potential buyer walk away before entering into a contract than after.
2. Head off the home inspection as the get-out-of-the-deal-free card
Even seemingly-harmless items in a home inspection report can become a bone of contention and many times the buyer will use these as an excuse to walk away from the deal.
They may actually be experiencing cold feet or they’ve found another home they like better. There are any number of reasons a buyer may be looking for a way to get out of the deal.
Since most purchase contracts allow the buyer to be released without penalty should the home inspection turn up anything they don’t like, some use it as a get-out-of-the-deal-free card.
A pre-sale home inspection, handed to each potential buyer, should quash this tendency.
Since they are aware of the home’s warts going into the agreement, there should be no reason, short of their own inspection turning up something different, for them to walk away for inspection reasons.
3. A pre-sale home inspection makes brilliant marketing fodder
Nothing instills confidence in a buyer more than a seller who is completely upfront and honest about the home’s condition. Should you choose to fix what’s wrong with the home, the report can and should be used in the in-home marketing materials.
Even if you don’t do the repairs, providing copies of the report to potential buyers shows them that you aren’t trying to hide anything – it provides good faith.
A pre-sale inspection isn’t necessary for the successful sale of your home, but if you know there are items in need of repair, it’s best to let potential buyers know before they sign a purchase agreement, getting rid of one of the major reasons home sales fail.
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