We knew someone who was fond of saying, “We can argue this round, or we can argue this square.” And that’s how it sometimes seems to sellers when contemplating getting a pre-listing home inspection.

We often DO recommend our seller clients obtain a pre-listing home inspection before we put their home on the market and there are several reasons. One the biggest: a potential buyer will usually get their own home inspection and it will turn out to be one of their most powerful negotiating weapons AFTER the home goes under contract. Sellers need to arm themselves for this.

Here are some pros and cons for getting a pre-listing inspection.

The Pros

  1. You’ll get a tangible report.

The home inspection report enables you to clearly show you any issues going on with your home – even prior to listing it!

This report will enable you to clearly convey to the buyer any issues that are going on with the property. AND how you addressed them before your home went on the market. This will come in handy later – trust us.

  1. Sellers can identify major problems upfront.

Buyers don’t like surprises. And there should be no surprises after your pre-listing inspection is complete. It definitely beats finding out three weeks before closing you need a new roof.

  1. A pre-listing inspection could speed up closing date.

If you, the seller, have already identified and completed needed repairs it should decrease the negotiations between you and your buyer. It could even cause a buyer to waive ANY repairs (or shorten due diligence period). This will move you faster to the closing table.

  1. The repairs may be more time and cost-effective.

As a seller, you’ll have more control of the vendors, materials and costs of any repairs. You’ll be able to get multiple quotes and you’ll have less pressure to concede on a repair negotiation request from the buyer.

  1. You’ll appear more trustworthy.

Sharing your inspection report with the buyer in advance – including any problems with the house, and copies of repair receipts – will make you (and your home) appear more transparent and trustworthy. It allows the buyer to make a more confident decision.

  1. You may be able to get a higher asking price.

Depending on what kind of repairs you do, you may be able to ask more for your home. Why? Because most of the repairs are already done. A savvy buyer may calculate this as a cost savings for them.

  1. You may get buyers faster.

While it’s no guarantee of finding a buyer, a home with a pre-listing inspection done could help tip a buyer’s choices in your favor if they’re deciding between yours and another home. Peace of mind is a powerful selling point.

The Cons

  1. Your inspection likely won’t replace the buyer’s own home inspection.

A buyer still has the right to have your home inspected themselves – and they should. You’ll provide yours to the buyer, too. But it’s as information only. They’re under no obligation to accept your report as-is.

  1. It will cost you.

You surely already know that. A typical pre-listing home inspection will cost you as much as a buyer would pay: anywhere from $300-$500, depending on the size of your home and a number of other factors.

  1. Your inspector vs. theirs

The buyer may have more trust in their own inspector than yours, especially if their agent recommended them. And it’s possible that your inspector may have missed something. So, you may still be forced into making repairs their inspector found.

  1. You may have to disclose.

In most states, if a seller is aware of serious issues (material facts) with their home, they MUST disclose those issues to buyers. These include things you already know as well as issues discovered by a home inspector.

We believe many people live their lives honestly. And want to present a home that is safe and complete for their future buyer. But there are also people who would rather remain blissfully ignorant. But the law is clear in these cases: you MUST disclose.

  1. Inspectors are human, too.

Again, even a really good home inspector could honestly miss something. And some inspectors are just, plain wrong on certain issues. Two different inspectors may even passionately disagree on a certain defect or issue.

After all, inspectors are generalists. They’re not specialists in plumbing, electrical or the other specific components found in your home. And they’re only human.

Even as you weigh all these pros and cons most sellers find getting a pre-listing inspection works to everyone’s advantage.

Please call or email us if you’d like the names of some good home inspectors we know in the area.