Last week I talked about why it’s important to get a home inspection when buying a home. But home inspections aren’t just for buyers—they’re for sellers too. A good home inspection report can help increase the value of your home, decrease the time it’s on the market and minimize renegotiations on the selling price.

Let me give you a scenario.

There are two homes for sale, both on the same street. Both were built around the same time and both look decent. They each have stainless steel appliances; a fresh coat of paint; maybe the cabinets have been updated, a bathroom or two. The point is they’re comparable, looks-wise.

Now, in one of these homes there’s an inspections binder sitting on the kitchen counter. Flipping through it, you can see photos of the roof, along with notes that it was redone a couple years ago and it’s got at least another 10 years on it, so you won’t have to worry about reshingling.

Then you see that the electrical, HVAC and plumbing have been inspected and everything checks out; the furnace was upgraded to an energy efficient unit; the air quality in the home is healthy; there’s no mould, no asbestos and the air ducts are clean; the windows have been replaced and upgraded to help save energy, which you can see on the energy bills; the foundation is solid; and there’s proper grading and drainage around the home, which means all you have to do, as a new homeowner, is a little landscaping by adding a few plants and flowers.

With an inspection report like that—along with the names and numbers of contractors who have worked on the house, product warranties and copies of permits that might have been taken out—it’s easy to sell a house, and at a better price because it minimizes risk for the homebuyer, and smart buyers are willing to pay for that extra assurance.

If I was buying a house and I knew that I wouldn’t have to worry about its roof, the electrical, plumbing and foundation; or about mould, leaks or having to replace the furnace and windows in a few years, you better believe I’d be happy. Because I’d be saving money down the road, and I wouldn’t be forced to spend thousands of dollars just to fix the house in the future. Instead, I could use that money to really make it mine, and make the house comfortable for my family.

Finishes are replaceable, and nine times out of ten new owners are going to change the look of the house, because everybody’s different and we all like different things. But what’s behind the finishes—structure, quality products, proper installation—that’s permanent, or at least it should be. And if it isn’t, it’s expensive to replace and fix.

As a seller, a good home inspection report—along with product warranties and copies of documentation that demonstrate any work done to the house was done right—could increase your selling price by quite a bit, and it helps reduce the risk of buyers coming back trying to renegotiate the selling price. Why? Because you have a document that shows the true value of your home, in real dollars and cents—and that’s something everyone can understand.

Home inspections can be useful tools—for homebuyers, home sellers and even homeowners, too. (There’s no telling how much a good maintenance inspection can help you make smarter choices for your home.) But people don’t just need to understand the value of a good home inspection. They need to see it, and the more a home inspection report can do that, the better.