When you spot a potential real estate investment, the wheels begin to turn automatically. You know the sequence by heart and are already on the phone with your agent and your contractor. It’s standard operating procedure. You also know to call inspecting your rental propertiesyour property inspector to give the prospective purchase the once-over.

Heck, you might even call two inspectors just to play it safe. But when selling your own real estate, have you also called your inspector and if not, when was the last time your own holdings were looked over from top to bottom?

When real estate is held for very long, even if maintenance calls are answered promptly and major property issues avoided, there will be things that go unnoticed over time. What may appear to be a bit of a cobweb might instead be a small crack in the sheetrock but if you’re rarely in your property it’s likely you’ll never see it or any other telltale sign that your home needs attention unless you see it with your own eyes. After all, do you think your tenants would give you a shout each time noticed something like a small crack in the wall…one you could barely see?

That’s why it’s good advice to hire a property inspector every other year for a regular checkup. Spending $400 or so upfront is a lot cheaper than making a major repair that could have been identified and avoided with a touch of due diligence. Your real estate is your investment after all and you want to keep it in its best light whenever possible.

And when you sell the property, before you even list the home for sale, order a full inspection of the home to find out what the next buyer will discover. If there are any issues that need to be addressed before a final price can be agreed upon, knowing what to expect and alleviating the potential problem ahead of time will help create an easier transaction.