Most people think a home inspection is something that happens somewhere between making an offer and before closing on a home. But for a number of reasons, more home owners are choosing to have their own home inspected before putting it on the market.

The reason is simple: uncovering problems early on enables you to fix them, often making it possible to add value to your sale price. An inspection is designed to reveal any potential problems a house may have – and that’s true for both buyers and sellers. Sellers may benefit from gaining this kind of detailed information about their home, so that they can choose to handle problems long before the negotiation process is underway.

Many sellers also report that their buyers feel more comfortable when the information from a pre-sale inspection is shared early on, even if the buyers choose to have their own home inspection as well.

In short, a pre-sale inspection can reduce the chance of a surprise and help speed the closing process, which would otherwise have been delayed by scheduling repairs and having the buyers confirm they were completed properly. Because for buyers, making an offer contingent upon a home inspection is about saving expenses and trouble-not to mention providing confidence in what may well be the biggest investment they ever make.

Even if you’re not a buyer making an offer, or a seller thinking of listing a home in the next few months, a home inspection can provide homeowners with a thorough to-do list for maintenance-or even a little peace of mind.