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The Pros and Cons of a Pre-listing Home Inspection

Tuesday, October 15, 2019   /   by Jeanne Wild

The Pros and Cons of a Pre-listing Home Inspection

Imagine this…


You have spent months preparing your home for sale. You’ve been working closely with your REALTOR®, contractor, and stager to ensure you’ve set yourself up for success when it comes time to list your home. Now fast forward…


Your home was listed, aggressively marketed, and you’ve received a great offer on the house! You and your REALTOR® start shopping for your new home and you’ve made plans to invest some of the money you’ll make off the sale. But then you get a phone call…it’s your REALTOR® letting you know that the buyer did their home inspection and they have a list of 8 pretty significant issues that they want fixed before closing.  Now you must choose between correcting the issues or risk losing your buyer and starting over. This unhappy home inspection surprise happens more than you’d think, but it’s easily avoidable! So what do you do?

Consider a pre-listing inspection:

Some sellers choose to hire a professional home inspector to evaluate their home prior to it hitting the market. This brings to light any potential issues that would otherwise come up in the inspection report and potentially derail the sale of the house. After the inspection, you can choose to correct any issues that come up, or simply disclose them to the buyer. Either way, you’ll know what you can expect, you can plan ahead, and you can avoid being unhappily surprised after the buyer’s inspection.


Is a pre-listing inspection right for you?

There is no right or wrong answer.  Here are some pros and cons to getting a pre-listing home inspection that you will want to consider:


Pros:

Eliminates surprises that may impact your closing.

Gives you the chance to fix problems and improve the condition of your home before listing.

Speed up the sale. The cleaner and more problem-free the home, the faster it’s likely to sell.

Reassure prospective buyers of the home’s condition from an unbiased, professional third party.

Avoid the risk of having to go back on the market, which could end up costing you thousands of dollars.

Some buyers may opt out of getting their own inspection after they’ve seen yours.

Potentially save a future deal by avoiding one of these two common scenarios: (1) the buyer gets overwhelmed with a long list of unexpected problems that scare them away or (2) the buyer asks you for a large amount money for repairs that you were not planning for, forcing you to say no.

Cons:

Expense. The average cost of an inspection ranges from $300-$500 depending on the size of your home. Then of course if you choose to complete repairs, you’re looking at a little more of an investment.

Not all reports or inspectors are the same. If/when a buyer has their inspector come through the house, their report may show new or different issues than yours did.  So, if you completed repairs initially, you may wind up doing additional repairs on top of the ones you already did.

Any material defects in the home will need to be disclosed, even if they’ve been repaired. Keep in mind that there is a very good chance the buyers will conduct their own home inspection and uncover the same issues anyway. So don’t be afraid of the obligation to disclose. 

Deciding whether or not to get a pre-listing home inspection pretty much boils down to whether you prefer to nip potential problems in the bud, or wait and see if they develop; and again, neither it right or wrong. At the end of the day, it will be up to you to discuss the pros and cons with your REALTOR® and do what feels right to you. We have had a number of clients choose to do the pre-listing inspection and were happy with that choice, and plenty of others who opted not to do it in advance and waited to see what they buyer’s inspection turned up.


Either way we would be happy to discuss this decision with you and refer you to one of the trusted local inspectors we work with every day. Feel free to give our team a call: 216-973-1402