While the adage "buyer beware" applies to any person looking to purchase a home, any salesperson worthy of their commissions will tell you that knowing your product well is essential to success.
Most people think of a home inspection as a task left up to the buyers and their due diligence with only around 20 percent of sellers getting a pre-inspection prior to putting their home on the market. A home inspection conducted by the seller isn't just a piece of paper for a potential buyer to peruse, it can help a seller and their real estate agent make important decisions on pre-sale improvements, accurate pricing, and more. A home inspection can help identify what a client may be unaware of, and even validate a critical decision for sellers and buyers alike.
Peter Yeates, founder of Peter Yeates Inspections and Robert Kin, founder of Superior Home Inspectors are experienced Home Inspectors, providing their expertise to sellers, buyers, and real estate agents daily. According to Peter and Robert, home inspections from thorough professionals take around three hours to complete, depending on the size of the home. Price ranges vary based on the size of the home, and anticipated level of difficulty to complete the inspection. They are also dependent upon whether the inspection is for a condo or house and generally fall between $350 and $650.
Today Peter and Robert offer up their best tips to help you sell your home and why a pre-sale home inspection might be the right choice for you.
Get the Best Functional & Aesthetic Updates
When a potential buyer looks into a home for the first time what they see and feel is really important. According to research commissioned for UK real estate firm Strutt & Parker, "76% of property purchasers agree that first impressions are everything when they visit a property." This make it or break it moment occurs on both sides of the pond. Robert says:
A first impression is a lasting impression. Painting a house helps update the look. If one can update an old A/C, furnace or hot water tank, this helps provide an update to the functionality of a home.
A home inspection can also help you make tough decisions when it comes to putting money and work into your home before it hits the market, and in determining whether it's worth it. Peter says:
If your house has knob-and-tube wiring, and it's not necessarily the type of property that will be gutted and renovated, I think it's worthwhile to get any old wiring replaced. It's a disruptive procedure that prospective purchasers would prefer not to deal with. Clearing up minor plumbing issues like leaky faucets or loose toilets is recommended just to make the report read better and make the house look well cared for. Then, of course, there are the cosmetic upgrades like painting, decluttering and cleaning that go a long way towards improving the appeal of any home.
Identify Potential or Current Issues for Your Home Before Buyers Do
When it comes to selling a home, surprises are rarely a good thing. Robert says:
Concerns pointed out by a Home Inspector have more credibility than that of a general contractor, real estate agent or potential buyer.
This means that you can correct any issues that will impede the sale of your home at top dollar before prospective buyers spot it. If there are limited issues (or if you have corrected them), your home inspection report will give anyone viewing the property a comprehensive and respected report to base their purchase on.
If you have a sense of looming fear that there may be something wrong with your home that you don't know about, this can add dramatic stress to the sales process. This stress can nag at you until the sale finally closes. Hiring an inspector can help you face the unknown armed with knowledge and confidence in the value of your home, providing instant relief.
A Pre-listing Inspection Can Streamline the Process for Everyone
Selecting an accurate price for a home is one of the most difficult decisions in selling your home. Those who list too high may find that buyers won't bite, while those who list too low won't see the full amount of money in their bank account from a correctly priced home. This is where hiring the experts helps. A solid realtor team can help manage the expectations of the seller and provide an educated recommendation for a starting price point. If your agent feels they don't have all the information they need to help you price your home adequately, this is when they'll recommend calling in a Home Inspector to help answer any unknown factors. Robert says:
In most cases, the listed home price takes into consideration all the significant concerns identified by the Home Inspector. Therefore, the buyer is likely facing a credibly adjusted market listing price.
This provides the person selling their home and their real estate agent with the most information possible to select the best listing price for their home. Knowing that experts have researched your home can making pricing your home less emotion-based, and more logic driven. Peter says:
In today's market, things happen very quickly. A house may get listed on Thursday of one week and be set to receive offers the following Tuesday. If you only get to see it on the weekend, there just may not be time to arrange for your own inspector. It's great to be able to put in an offer on a house, knowing what you are potentially dealing with - and a pre-listing inspection provides that information. The seller is helped by being presented with a clean offer (without a home inspection clause) that smooths the entire negotiation process.
Get Inside the Head of the Buyer
Knowing the key things buyers are looking for is essential to getting a sale for top dollar, in minimal time. Robert says:
Here at Superior Home Inspectors, prior to listing we can provide a home inspection report filled with concerns about what a potential buyer would see. This complete checklist can help a seller fix what they can and we can update the inspection report accordingly. Our home inspection report is a moving report and our clients enjoy this feature.
Robert adds that home inspections are direct and:
A credible and qualified Home Inspector will take the time to explain verbally and through a written report any significant concerns within a home. These reports will be detailed and provide the client with direction on who or how to fix an issue.
It should also be noted that many inspectors will offer to walk through their inspection report with an interested buyer for a small fee, to help them make an educated final decision about their purchase.
Get the Timing Right
Being able to plan out the timing to sell your home in a way that works for your own schedule and needs is a luxury. When you book a pre-sale inspection, you want to make sure that it's still valid by the time your home is listed. Peter says it's best for sellers to time their inspection:
Preferably after they've done any painting or fixing up that they had been planning to do, but at least a couple of weeks before the sign goes on the lawn, in case something comes up that they may want to have repaired before the sale.
I think the best way that Home Inspectors and real estate agents help their clients is to give them a realistic and current assessment of the state of their home. This gives homeowners not only a better sense of where they stand in the market, but an opportunity to improve on the condition of the home if that’s something they are interested in doing before the "For Sale" sign goes up.
Thinking about selling your home in Toronto? To start your process online, fill in our Seller Registration form here!
Still having some doubts or questions? Don't hesitate to contact us at or 416 762-5949. We'll happily guide you through the process.