In today’s hot market, it’s more than possible to sell any home that’s reasonably priced. With bidding wars in Central King County netting homeowners $20,000 to $150,000 over asking price, is there any reason to “prep” to list your home? Absolutely. There’s no doubt that most homes will receive multiple bids but homeowners can control much of what is written into those offers and protect themselves from unnecessary risk with a pre-listing inspection.
One thing that listing agents and sellers look at when reviewing offers is the number of contingencies; the number of ways a buyer has to legally back out of the deal. There are dozens of options but the main ones are financing, appraisal, title and inspection. Most buyers refuse to purchase a home without a full property inspection but this contingency can be avoided. When reviewing offers in this market you *may* get some with pre-inspections completed but with a variety of offers, the seller will have a tough choice to make: Take a higher netting offer but risk losing the deal over the inspection (and possibly risk having to re-list the home) or take a little less but know that the condition of the home will not be a factor in the transaction.
When a seller decides to get a pre-inspection, it does a lot of the heavy lifting. It weeds out buyers who are not serious, it helps create a level playing field for all offers and helps save buyers up to $600 giving them more incentive to submit an offer which in turn, creates more competition on your property.
Recently, I listed a home the same day we did a pre-listing inspection. The inspection report wasn’t sent to me until the next day. The night we listed, I received 2 offers. One that netted $1k under asking price and another that netted $15k over asking price. Both requested inspection periods. Once I received the inspection report, I sent it over to both parties. The offer that had netted $1k less, changed their offer to not include an inspection contingency and they raised their offer to net my client $10k over asking price. The second offer kept their price the same but sent over a list of requests to be addressed in the home.
As the weekend went on, more offers came in, none of the requesting any repairs or an inspection period of their own. We settled on an offer that was $20k over asking price and have the ability of closing early because there is no inspection period so appraisal can be ordered the same day we enter contract. A 20 day close on a vacant home is something to celebrate!
A pre-listing inspection is always a good tool to have in your pocket but it’s not always the best approach. For some buyers, they need to be present when an inspection occurs because they are not familiar with the fact that 100% of homes (even new construction) will have defects. Many defects. And without a good agent to help navigate a piece of paper, some buyers will get scared at even small items. A good inspector will call out as much as possible and a great inspector will help a buyer understand small vs large concerns.
Overall, I believe strongly in pre-listing inspections. If there is ever an opportunity for ME to control a piece of the very unstable puzzle that is a real estate transaction, I am going to take it! $400-$600 for peace of mind and strong offers is well worth it, in my opinion.
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