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I occasionally get the question of "should I hire a home inspector before I list my home to sell"?  My advice is it really is not necessary because of the following reasons. 

Hire an appraiser

Home inspectorFirst let's talk about home inspectors.  They are not licensed in Michigan.  They go through some courses and many times are trained by their employers or have been in the construction industry.  Some are very good, others are just mediocre.  Some make mistakes or are uniformed about the real building codes that end up creating problems because what they say is not correct.  Some home inspectors give high estimates of repair versus a range which can scare buyers or have them asking sellers for too much money.  Every home inspector has their hot buttons.  Some may be really into looking at the foundation or electrical and skip attic spaces.  Another may crawl around on the roof and just stick their head into the crawl.  Some will not light a fireplace.  What I am trying to say is that you may hire a home inspector and they will come up with items to fix.  But the next home inspector may come up with a totally different list.

roof trussesFor example I had a home listed in Livonia.  The roof trusses must have been made out of poor lumber.  So over the years somebody "sistered the trusses".   They added another piece of wood on the side of the truss to give it more support and fix the cracked truss.  One inspector came in and scared the buyer and said the roof was structurally unsound.  So they backed out.  The next buyer's inspector said it was a great house and there were no major issues.  So you could hire an inspector fix what he says and the buyers inspector could come up with a whole different list.  You have to remember they are paid to find faults with your house.  There is no perfect house so they are going to find something wrong with your home. 

The second reason I say no is "would your really fix everything"?  Will you take the time to fix all the little items and would you spend the money to fix the major items?

HandymanThen the third reason I would say no is....Costs.  Just because your home inspector found something, the next buyer's home inspector may not.  Or the buyer may think it is no big deal.  They are willing to live with it.  So it is all about keeping more money in your pocket.  Sure if there were structural issues or mold in the attic I would probably say get it fixed because 90% of the inspectors are going to find it.

On the flip side I would tell you not to spend the $300 or more on a home inspector.  Save your money.  Call a friend in the construction business to walk through the house.  Stick your head up in the attic and look for mold up there.  Fix the mold.  Fix all those little items that you have had on your honey do list or that you know you need to do.  Fixing as many little things or things you know are broken will help you.  It will help make your home appear to be well maintained versus doors hanging crocked or off the guides.

Another one of our goals is to make your home appear to be well taken care of.  Buyers like that.  They like houses that look good and not run down.  They are more apt to put in an offer on your house because it appears to look well maintained.  So go through your home and fix what you can with out spending lots of money. 

Home inspector

I tell my clients to think like a landlord.  Make it look good or great without spending a lot of money.  You are only going to be in the house for a short period until you sell.  No sense going overboard or spending big bucks. 

The problem is if you hire an home inspector to inspect your home it still will not change what the buyer's home inspector finds.  Yes, you may solve some of the issues but the buyers home inspector is going to find more.  So ultimately it is up to you whether it is worth hiring your own home inspector.