Everything You Need to Know about Getting Your Home Inspected Before Selling

Everything You Need to Know about Getting Your Home Inspected Before Selling

When you begin the process of selling your home, you think about many things: what repairs you may need to make, how to stage your home most effectively, what the photos will look like, and more. One of the easiest places to begin with all the planning and preparation is with a home inspection. While it is not required, having a home inspection before selling is a worthwhile investment that can end up making you more money in the long run on your sale.

What is a home inspection?

A home inspection is a thorough assessment of a property’s structure and systems, from top to bottom, inside and out. Typically, a home inspector will walk through and around the home for two to four hours, checking the foundation, electrical systems, plumbing, walls, windows, the roof, any attics and basements, heating and air conditioning systems, doors, and other components of the structure. Then, they will send a detailed report to the person who hired them within 48 hours. The report then typically serves as an opportunity to see what needs to be fixed or repaired on the property.

Home inspections are not required in California

It is important to note that home inspections are not required in the state of California. Home inspections are not regulated by any state or federal body in California, and inspectors are not licensed by any official licensing body. Rather, home inspectors are regulated by a trade practice act in the state.

There is no “pass” or “fail” to a home inspection. It is simply a service provided to give homeowners or potential buyers insight into the state of the home and property.

The difference between a home inspection and an appraisal

Often, people confuse home inspections and home appraisals. The difference between the two is small but distinct. A home inspection is done for knowledge and awareness in terms of the state of the home and only deals with the house itself. Its purpose is to inform on areas in need of repair.

A home appraisal, in contrast, reports on the value of the property and takes into consideration not only the state of the home but also the land on which the home sits, the current real estate market in which the home resides, the school district, and other considerations that affect real estate pricing.

Furthermore, while a home inspection is not required, an appraisal is almost always required by the bank lending the money to the buyer for a mortgage. The bank will want to be sure the home is worth at least what is being borrowed, and quite often more. In some cases, an appraisal may be avoided, such as if the transaction is made in cash or the loan amount is on the smaller end and is part of a certain type of refinance or renewal. However, you can typically expect an appraisal to be a fairly automatic requirement by the bank, while a home inspection is optional and must be initiated by the buyer or seller of the home.

The buyer usually has the home inspection done

In general, the buyer is the party that hires an inspector after they have made an accepted offer on the home. They want to be sure they are not getting themselves into costly repairs or a money pit-like situation where the roof needs to be replaced or the house is off the foundation.

If the report comes back with minor repairs, the buyer will usually ask the seller to make those repairs before moving forward with closing. The seller can agree to make the repairs, come in with a counteroffer (like lowering the price of the home instead of making the repairs), or simply refuse the request altogether. At that point, the buyer may choose to walk away from the sale and look for a different property that more closely aligns with their needs.

Luxury homes can be the trickiest when it comes to home inspections because you never know which upgrades have been done that might be outside of code. Also, after several years in a home, issues are bound to come up that the seller may not have been aware of.

Benefits of conducting a home inspection before selling

It’s often an excellent idea for a homeowner to commission their own home inspection before even putting their home on the market. That way, you can take care of all necessary repairs as part of your preparation to sell. In addition, if the repairs are not something you want to fix, at least you’ll know about them ahead of time and can keep them in mind when deciding on a listing price.

When you hire a trusted home inspector in advance of selling, you go into the real estate transaction with your eyes wide open, and you cannot be caught off guard. In today’s real estate market, it pays to be informed and aware every step of the way.

When deciding which home inspector to choose, it’s essential to hire someone who is a true expert with knowledge and experience that goes beyond just credentials. That way, you can trust that your inspector was detailed and thorough in evaluating your property for any issues.

Work with an agent you can count on

If you want to sell for top-dollar offers, team up with a true professional. Exceptional broker Brenda Williams of Brenda Brown Luxury Homes has built a reputation for providing top-quality service with open lines of communication to her clients in Placer County and the surrounding areas. She and her associates represent buyers and sellers as part of a boutique, full-service concierge experience that ensures a smooth and easy process for all parties involved.

If you are interested in buying or selling a home in or around beautiful Placer County, contact Brenda Williams today to get started toward all your goals.

*Header photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Work With Brenda

Her impeccable professionalism and integrity-based standards ensure that her client’s best interest is always at the heart of every transaction. Brenda analyses market trends and shares valuable information with her clients. Throughout the entire real estate transaction, you will find that Brenda and her team remain in constant communication.

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