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If you’re planning to sell your house, you obviously don’t want to have a deal fall apart because a buyer’s inspection uncovered serious problems. A simple way to prevent that is to have your house inspected before you put it on the market so you can approach the home-selling process with knowledge and confidence.

Reasons to Have a Pre-Listing Inspection
Many sellers are worried that a buyer’s inspection will uncover problems they didn’t know about that could be deal-breakers. If your house is old or you have lived there for decades and haven’t always been diligent about maintenance, it may have serious issues that could sink a deal. Instead of waiting to have a prospective buyer schedule an inspection, you can have your house inspected before you put it up for sale so you fully understand its condition.

If you wait to have the buyer pay for an inspection and problems are found, you’ll have to find the money to have them fixed and rush to get repairs completed prior to the closing date. You might have to pay more to get the work done quickly, delay the closing or possibly have the buyer decide to walk away. If you find problems before you list the house, you’ll have an opportunity to compare quotes from several contractors and complete repairs on your own schedule.

If the buyer’s inspection uncovers problems, the buyer may want to renegotiate the purchase price instead of waiting for you to make repairs. Negotiations are less likely–and less complicated if they do occur–when the seller has addressed any serious problems before listing the house.

In some states, a seller and that party’s real estate agent are legally required to disclose any known problems with a house. Even if your state doesn’t require disclosure, honesty is the best policy. An interested buyer will find out about those issues sooner or later. If a buyer finds out that you concealed material facts early in the process, he or she might question your integrity and decide to look for another house.

Find Problems and Deal With Them Before Listing
A pre-listing inspection may be an additional expense you weren’t anticipating, but it could be money well spent. Finding problems before you list your house can give you an opportunity to fix them on your own timetable and have confidence that a buyer’s inspection won’t uncover issues that could cause the deal to fall through. A pre-listing inspection can give both you and the buyer peace of mind so the process can proceed smoothly. Discuss any questions about a pre-listing inspection with your real estate agent.