Category Archives: pre-listing home inspection

What is a fair sales price for my home?

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fair selling price for home“What’s my home worth?” and “how much can I list my home for?” are some of the most common questions we hear, and the most misunderstood. The final answer is also crucial to a quick sale, because an improperly priced house is a loss for everyone involved. A house priced too high is a house that is going to sit on the real estate market, resulting in price reductions that send all the wrong signals to potential buyers (“Is there something wrong with the house?” “Why has it sat on the market so long?”). If your home is priced too low, you’re not going to walk away with the top dollar you need, and no one likes to feel like they got ripped off. So how do you determine that sweet spot, a fair sales price?

Use comparable sales as a compass. The best way to determine the price of your home is to compare your home to all area homes for sale, or that have sold, with comparable lot sizes and square footage. A real estate agent can assist with the process, and use their experience to hit upon a fair sales price. Just remember to compare apples to apples, and oranges to oranges. Compare your 2,000 square foot home to another home, or your condo to another condo.

Replacement costs do not count. Just because you need $200,000 from your current home to buy another home does not mean you can ask that of your current home. In the same way, don’t factor the price you owe on your house when determine fair market value. While those numbers should be part of your personal financial calculations, those numbers mean nothing to potential buyers or the current real estate market.

Do not use tax assessments, or a previous sales price, as a guide. Even though your property tax form uses the term “fair market value,” the number is not applicable to your home sale price. That number is based on a formula created by the government. In the same way, whatever your house sold for previously—even just a year or two ago—does not factor into your sales price. To get the fair sales price, contact an experienced realtor who knows your area and local sales prices.

Be realistic. It’s hard to be objective when you’ve been in your home for many years, have raised children in your home, are attached to the property or have spent thousands of dollars in repairs. Unfortunately, none of that matters when agreeing upon a fair sales price for your home.

To get the most for your property, invest in a pre-sale home inspection. A pre-sale home inspection can save you money on repairs, give you a smooth closing process, and guarantee you a higher sales price for your home. We’ve written about the benefits of a pre-sale home inspection before, and would recommend it for any homeowner considering selling their home.

The first step to settling on a market price for your home is contacting a real estate agent. A real estate agent can give you their recommendation for a fair asking price, and list of expenses associated with your home sale. They can also answer any questions you may have about selling your home, and give you tips on preparing your home for the real estate market. The agent can also assist in the next phase of your home selling process—locating a home for the next phase of your life.

Why a Pre-Listing Home Inspection Makes Cents for the Seller

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sold homeEvery penny counts when selling your house. That’s why it may seem counter-intuitive to even suggest spending money on a home inspection BEFORE you put your house up for sale. When you’re talking about a pre-listing home inspection, however, spending money upfront can save you thousands of dollars and time when selling your home, in more ways than one:

No surprises during the home sale process. When selling your home, first impressions do matter. Replacing a broken window or repairing water damaged drywall can be the difference between a quick sale and a dragged out process. Unfortunately, not all repairs are so obvious, and a pre-listing home inspection can locate potential red flags before your home hits the market—and before a buyers’ home inspector finds them as well.

Opportunity to make repairs at a price you choose. A pre-listing home inspection puts you in control of choosing who makes the repairs and the cost. If your home inspector finds an issue with your home during the pre-listing home inspection, you, as the home owner, can choose what professional and price you pay for repairs. If a potential buyer finds the issue, they can require that you use their home repair professional which may cost you more in the long run.

Saved time during the negotiation process. You get and accept an offer from a buyer. Your closing date is set and you’re ready to close—until the buyer’s home inspector finds an issue. Suddenly, the closing date is pushed back—and even in question—because of issues found during the home inspection. That’s why it pays to be proactive with a pre-listing home inspection. If you’ve located and made all the repairs found during the pre-listing home inspection, you don’t need to worry about delays during the sale process because of issues found during a potential buyer’s home inspection.

Better selling price. If a potential buyer finds an issue during the home inspection, they can renegotiate the final selling price to accommodate the cost of repairs. The renegotiation can cut into your bottom line and lower the amount of money you make from your home sale.

In addition to repairing issues found during a pre-listing home inspection, a seller can also improve their chances of a quick sale and better sale price by preparing their home for sale:

Deep clean, or replace, that nasty flooring. A professional carpet cleaning or hard floor cleaner can often give new life to that old flooring. If you can’t get the stains out, shop around. Carpet remnants are an inexpensive way to make hallways, offices and small rooms look new without breaking the budget. Or upgrade your flooring by installing new laminate or hardwood floors which often adds value to your home.

Maximize curb appeal. Contact contractors to get those broken sidewalks repaired, wood trim painted and the driveway sealed in the summer now before anyone else. Keep sidewalks clear and clean, and power wash your home to make it look its best. Make sure that all bulbs are replaced in your outdoor light fixtures.

De-clutter. You don’t have to throw everything away, but you may have to put some of your items in storage. Make sure that potential buyers get a clear picture of the space in your home. Too much furniture or décor in a room can backfire and make your home look smaller.

Paint, and paint neutrals. Paint over bold colors with neutral colors. A new coat of paint can go a long way to making a home feel new and clean when you list your home.

If you have any other questions about listing and selling your home, don’t hesitate to ask your real estate agent. A real estate agent can make suggestions about preparing your home for sale, give you an idea of a fair sale price and recommend local home inspectors for your pre-listing home inspection.