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Increase Your Home's Value

A visit from a home inspector can be nerve-wracking for a seller, especially with a market in this economy.  No matter how much you prepare the home, brace yourself for the inspector whose job is to find any and everything wrong with your home. Often, problems are minor and inexpensive enough for the seller to either fix or allow a credit for in home price. It's the discovery of major deficiencies - or an unwillingness to negotiate - that can kill a deal completely.

Still, it's in a seller's best interest to have the home as ready as possible before the inspection. It can cost more to address a problem--by lowering the sale price--once it turns up in an inspection. A general rule is "For every real dollar of cost, the buyer thinks it's $2 or $3 more."

The most thorough way to prepare is to do your own inspection before you list the home on the market. A pre-listing inspection will tell you exactly what needs to be fixed before you begin your search for a buyer. But sellers often don't spend the money on hiring someone because they know a buyer will bring in his or her own inspector anyway. When problems are identified during a pre-listing inspection, that could also mean the sellers have an obligation to disclose more information to prospective buyers.

To save money, ask an experienced real-estate agent to give the house a good look-over and let you know what you should look into fixing/replacing to improve the rate of selling your house for the price you want.

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