Dave Ramsey Says This Is 'Money Well Spent' if You're Selling Your Home. Is He Right?

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  • Dave Ramsey has some advice for people thinking about selling a home.
  • Ramsey suggests having a pre-sale inspection done first.
  • While there's some merit to this advice, it may not be for everyone, as knowing about a problem obligates a seller to fix it -- and a buyer will likely hire an inspector anyway. 

You may want to read this advice before putting your home on the market.

If you are selling your home, there's a lot to do to get your property ready. 

You'll have to decide if you want an agent or would prefer to sell yourself. You'll need to confirm how much of a balance is left on your mortgage and if you can sell your house for enough to pay it off. And you'll need to declutter and depersonalize in order to make sure the house looks its best and future buyers can picture themselves living in it.

Finance guru Dave Ramsey also believes there's one more task to add to your to-do list. But, should you heed his advice and take this presale step or should you skip it?

Here's what Dave Ramsey thinks home sellers need to invest in

Ramsey recommended a pre-sale step that is somewhat unusual for sellers. He suggested that prior to listing your home, you have a professional inspector look at the property. 

"A presale home inspection might cost a few hundred dollars, but it'll be money well spent," the Ramsey Solutions blog reads. "Seeing an inspection report can give buyers the confidence to put in an offer -- and it can keep them from demanding big bucks during negotiations. It's a win-win."

Ramsey explained that an inspector will provide a detailed report about the home's condition that identifies any "health and safety issues." And while he says it's typically not worth fixing everything the inspector finds, you might want to take care of resolving any big-ticket issues that are identified. 

Is Ramsey right?

Getting your home inspected before listing it might seem smart and, indeed, it does have some perks such as giving you time to fix issues that occur before they turn off potential buyers. 

But, there are some big downsides to following Ramsey's advice. 

One issue is that if the inspection does find something, this could give rise to an obligation to disclose it. In many states, you're expected to tell buyers about known problems. If you don't think there's any issues with the home but an overly picky inspector finds a problem, this could mean you end up getting stuck fixing something that might not have been on anyone's radar if you hadn't pointed it out.

Another issue is that buyers are often still going to want to hire their own inspector even if you've paid for a presale inspection of your own. And different inspectors could find different problems. 

Paying for your own inspection won't necessarily protect you from having a buyer ask for repairs or try to negotiate the price. And since it is an inspector's job to find problems and be cautious, having multiple inspections done (your own and the buyers) could just mean extra issues are discovered that you have to pay to deal with. 

Finally, there's a cost associated with the inspection and shelling out a few hundred dollars often isn't necessary since you are living in the home and would likely notice most of the problems that buyers are concerned about. 

For all of these reasons, you may want to skip this Ramsey advice and leave the inspection to the buyers. 

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