Are you thinking about selling your house and worried about what a home inspection might dig up? Or even the cost of the process?
A home inspection is a way of itemizing issues and digging up secrets. And they’re no fun for anyone.
Thankfully, there’s a way to avoid them: by selling your home as-is or for cash.
Do Sellers Need to Order a Home Inspection?
As a seller, there’s never a time that you ‘need’ to order a home inspection – nor does the state require one. It doesn’t matter whether you intend to sell with a real estate agent or with a cash buyer.
Because home inspections are the buyer’s problem. The buyer’s mortgage lender usually requires a formal home inspection before it underwrites the loan. This identifies any serious problems that would prevent the bank from approving the loan and reassures the bank that the property is worth the price offered.
In other words, the inspection isn’t a requirement for the seller. And it’s why you don’t need a home inspection if you sell your house for cash. There’s no bank to require one.
What Do Inspectors Do for Sellers?
A professional inspector identifies the structural problems with your home. Their goal is to identify any issues with local building codes and to identify any problems. They also look for substantial damage, like leaky roofs (and mold).
The inspector then issues the report to the seller with a grade. You, as the seller, can do what you like with the report.
Keep in mind that the inspector you enlist for the pre-listing report won’t be the inspector a buyer uses. So, the reports might not match up as there’s no uniform inspection practice.
5 Reasons Sellers Use a Home Inspection Before the Sale
In the past, both agents and experts told homeowners that ordering a home inspection on their own isn’t worthwhile. However, times are changing, and there’s now a range of voices saying that it isn’t such a bad idea.
Why do sellers choose to order an inspection (out of their own pocket)?
Here are five good reasons.
1. Inspections Offer Insurance to Buyers
To start, it attracts buyers who intend to finance the purchase. Ordering an inspection says that you have nothing to hide. It can also set you apart from other homes in the same price range, and it helps buyers who might be wavering on whether to make an offer by giving them an extra bit of confidence.
2. Inspections Help You Price Your Home
Do you know how much your home is worth? You have an idea from research or a comparison tool like Zillow. But you will find it much easier to find an accurate price for your home if you pay for an inspection.
Pricing it well helps you sell. You avoid the traps of pricing too high and failing to move it or setting the price too low and missing out on thousands – if not tens of thousands – of dollars.
3. Inspections Highlight a Home’s Recent Upgrades
Do you have a period home with a recently replaced electrical system or roof?
Inspections highlight your property’s best assets and give you a chance to shine. If you recently invested in new systems or upgrades, then an inspection represents it well.
4. Inspections Help You Avoid Lost Deals
As long as there’s a mortgage involved, there will always be an inspection ordered by the bank. As a result, there’s always a chance that your deal will fall through.
However, a pre-listing inspection will also cut down on the chance that the buyer will need to withdraw their offer. It’s basic mathematics.
5. Inspections Put the Ball in Your Court
With a full inspection, your buyer has less room to negotiate both initially and later in the process after the buyer inspection.
After an inspection, buyers get spooked and don’t always get great advice from their agents. They ask for repairs that they shouldn’t – or don’t need to. It’s stressful for everyone, and you can avoid it or at least be in control of it by knowing what’s on the inspection report before your first buyer comes knocking.
Who Shouldn’t Get an Inspection?
Inspections aren’t a strategic idea for everyone. If you try to sell a home that you already know needs work, then a bank will dig it up. You might as well save your money and spend it on the repairs (if you’re selling on the market).
Additionally, if your report turns up something damaging, then you have a legal duty to disclose that information to the buyer.
Then, you find yourself in a situation where you have to tell everyone who makes an offer what you found – that is unless you make all the repairs suggested in the report. If you don’t make the repairs and fail to disclose, the buyer has real ammunition for negotiation or even suing you for repair costs after the sale closes. Plus, there might be a state penalty waiting for you, too.
Finally, if you want to sell your fixer-upper or inheritance property to a cash buyer, then there’s no need for an inspection. You will spend hundreds on an inspection that won’t mean much to someone willing to buy your property as-is.
Is a Cash Buyer Right for You?
For some people, listing on the market and selling to a buyer with a mortgage is neither an attractive or feasible option. It’s time-consuming and expensive, and if you’re short on both, it can be a crippling process.
Selling for cash means you can sell immediately, without repairs or listing fees, and without an inspection. Why? Because none of the restrictions imposed by the banks apply.
When you sell a house for cash, it usually happens in four stages.
First, you submit your information. You share details about the age, size, and location of the house.
Then, you get a visitor from a buyer. They walk through the house and use their expert real estate knowledge to assess it. You don’t need to clean it up, re-paint the walls, or provide receipts of repairs. That means if you inherited an old fixer-upper or you are trying to offload a property that a former tenant trashed, there’s no need to sink any more money into it.
From there, you get an offer. You can choose to accept or decline the offer. It’s up to you, and you can always talk to your accountant or attorney, business partner, or family member before making a decision.
If you accept, you work with the buyer and an attorney to close the sale. The buyer takes care of the details. All you need to do is sign the title over and provide an account to receive the cash.
What Are the Benefits of a Cash Buyer?
There are many benefits to choosing a cash buyer.
Homes sold for cash sell faster. You don’t need an inspection and then time to make the repairs. When buyers come calling, there’s no need to negotiate what repairs each of you pays for. Plus, there’s no mortgage, so you don’t need to wait weeks for the underwriting process.
You might also end up with more money. You may need to sink tens of thousands into a house to prepare it for listing – not even a sale. If your property also has other undesirable qualities (like being on a freeway), then all those repairs might only barely touch the value.
If you sell for cash, you don’t have to spend anything to move the property. Plus, there are no fees (just pro-rated taxes that everyone pays no matter how you sell).
Finally, selling this way is convenient. Rather than letting a sale dominate your conversations for six months or longer, you can sell, take the cash, and move on with your lives. What more could you want?
You Don’t Need a Home Inspection if You Sell for Cash
A home inspection is a valuable tool for buyers and sellers who use real estate agents and the conventional market. It gives them negotiating power, but the sellers’ bank also requires it.
If you sell a home for cash, you don’t need a home inspection. There’s no mortgage underwriter, so you have no problems. Selling for cash means selling as-is, so you save money on both inspections and repairs.
Are you curious about a cash offer? Click here to find out what you can get for your property and how to sell a house fast and without the headache.