Some of us are quite handy around the house. Or we know someone who is. Years ago, in fact, I watched a friend build a two-story, two-car garage nearly single-handedly. He only had help with the concrete and hanging the plywood sheeting on the second story.
I, on the other hand, fall into the category of not so handy (although I can swap out a toilet with no problem…just not sure how/why I acquired that particular skill). And home maintenance projects fall pretty far down on the list of how I like to spend a Saturday. So when the time comes to sell my house, I’ll be getting a pre-inspection done before going to market.
While typically not a full home inspection, a pre-inspection will tip you off to any issues that are likely to get flagged on a full home inspection. These might include fogged windows, roof issues, electrical problems or any wood rot/damage around the home.
Why is this important? Because knowing what you’re up against before your home is under contract with a buyer can save you time, heartache and, most importantly, money, in the long run. A pre-inspection is great for:
Saving money through DIY repairs
Remember, once your home is under contract and an inspection is done, any required repairs will need to be done by a licensed tradesperson. That makes a lot of sense for major issues like the roof and structural repairs. But do you really need to pay a plumber to re-caulk a tub? Even if you’re not handy yourself, you probably have a friend or neighbor who can help you address minor issues (caulking, replacing a GFCI outlet, fixing a leaky faucet) for much less than it would cost to have a professional do the job.
Keeping your timeline intact
If you need to be out of your home and on to your next location on a deadline (job transfer, getting kids into school, etc.), you don’t want any surprises during inspections. Replacing a roof, for example, or re-plumbing a home are just a couple of items that could jeopardize your schedule.
Pricing your home and budgeting
Knowing what you’re likely to face during the inspection period can help you both price your home appropriately and, in some cases, even market it more aggressively. Maybe you have some carpet or flooring you know is need of repair, or maybe you have a large number of windows that need to be replaced. Rather than spend the time and money doing the job, you could just reflect the necessary work in the price of your home and market it as such. You won’t get as much at the closing table, buy you won’t be bothered with scheduling repairs, chasing down contractors and the like.
If, like me, you’re befuddled by a basin wrench and sloppy with a speed square, do yourself a favor and ask your Realtor about a pre-inspection. It can save you time, stress and money. Best of all, you can concentrate on more important things, like commiserating with mechanically-challenged kindred spirits like Mr. Bragg here: