Should Sellers Have a Pre-Listing Home Inspection Done?

Home inspections are typical in a real estate transaction. After all, buyers want to know exactly what they’re spending all their money on and will usually want to order a home inspection before they commit to the home.

But as common as home inspections may be after an offer has been accepted, they’re not always the first thing sellers think of as a pre-listing task.

The question is, should you invest in a pre-listing inspection before your home hits the market? Or should you just wait until the buyer orders one after an offer has been accepted?

There are specific advantages to having a home inspection done before listing your home for sale, including the following.

You Might Actually Save Some Money

Sure, an inspection will cost you a little bit of money up front, but if you end up discovering certain issues that call for repairs, it might actually save you some money when all is said and done.

That’s because buyers will be more likely to renegotiate and ask for a price reduction if they discover a problem after their own inspection has been conducted. Or, they could request a credit to cover the cost of the repairs. If you can rectify any issues before the buyer discovers them, you may actually end up saving a little bit of money.

It Might Help the Deal Close Faster

If you are proactive about uncovering any problems with your home and making the necessary repairs before you list, you could help move your transaction along after offer acceptance. Several things can drag out closing, including issues with a home inspection.

Rather than deal with these problems during escrow, you can get them out of the way before marketing your property for sale. Having a pre-listing inspection done and fixing any issues can speed the process up and help avoid any extended negotiations.

You’ll Identify Issues to Rectify Before Buyers Do

It would be much better for you to know about any potential flaws in your home before buyers do. Having your home inspected before a buyer’s inspector scopes the place out can help you avoid any unpleasant surprises.

One of the biggest stresses for sellers is waiting to find out what buyers’ inspectors have discovered about their homes. These are valid concerns, as many real estate deals fall through as a result of an unsatisfactory inspection report.

Instead of waiting for the buyer’s home inspector to find out the condition of the property, sellers can take a proactive approach and find out first. That way they can get a head start on making arrangements to have issues remedied if necessary, which brings us to our next point.

You’ll Have Time to Make Repairs

If buyers find out about problems with a home after an inspection has been done, they have several different choices to make: they can either walk away from the deal, renegotiate for a lower price, ask for credits to cover expenses related to making repairs, or ask the seller to take care of the repairs before closing. In terms of the latter, sellers can find themselves scrambling to make the repairs to make sure they’re done before the closing date arrives.

With a pre-listing home inspection, you can take your time making the repairs without having to rush.

Buyers Will Look More Favorably on Your Listing

A home in good condition will leave a better impression on buyers, which can help boost the odds of a solid offer coming in sooner rather than later. If you’ve managed to uncover certain issues and deal with them beforehand, your home will be in better shape for the market.

Not only that, having a pre-inspection in hand will show buyers that you’re serious about selling and are willing to take whatever measures are needed to offer a quality home to a willing buyer. This will help make buyers feel more confident about your home and be more certain about putting in an offer.

Are There Any Cons of Pre-Listing Inspections?

Although there are definitely some benefits to having your home checked out by a professional before the first buyer walks in, there may be some cons to think about:

They cost money – While you may be able to save some money in the long run by having a pre-listing inspection done, they still require upfront spending. Inspections can run anywhere between $250 to $500, depending on the size and condition of the home, as well as your location.

You’ll be on the hook to disclose known issues – In California, sellers are legally obligated to disclose all known issues with their properties to buyers. Once you have an inspection done and issues are uncovered, you have a responsibility to communicate them to buyers, which could make it harder to sell your home.

You’ll likely have two inspections done – While buyers will certainly appreciate your proactive approach to inspecting your home before listing, they’ll still probably want to have their own inspection done. It’s always possible for your inspector to have missed something, only to have the buyer’s inspector discover it.

The Bottom Line

The decision to have a pre-listing inspection conducted before you put your home on the market is solely a personal one. There really is no right or wrong answer, as having one done has its potential advantages and disadvantages. Chat with your real estate agent about the possibility of having an inspection done before listing, and see if it’s the norm in your particular market. If it is, you might want to at least consider it, but only do so on the sound advice of your realtor.