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In the typical real estate transaction, the buyer is the one to order a home inspection. A pre-listing home inspection is an inspection for home sellers before they put their house on the market. As a seller you might be thinking to yourself, ‘I thought the buyer gets the inspection’, why would I pay for one? Well, they do.
The problem is home inspections often brings sellers back to the negotiating table based on the inspection’s findings. This is especially true for first time buyers who are less experienced and have less context for inspection findings. This can and does cause real estate sales to fall apart needlessly. That means the house is on the market longer AND the problems may still need to get fixed.
Many realtors find that a pre-listing home inspection is a great tool to pre-empt any objections that might surprise everyone during a buyer’s inspection. The thinking goes that if there aren’t any surprises during the home inspection the transaction is more likely to go through and will result in a quicker, smoother transaction for both buyer and seller.
For this reason, over the last several years many top agents have started to encourage their seller-clients to get a pre-listing home inspection.
- Peace of Mind – By having the inspection done upfront, the number of surprises or problems are reduced. Less surprises means less opportunity for disagreement later and less likelihood that the transaction will fall apart.
- Discovers Previously Unknown Issues –Discovering unknown problems gives you enough time to make proper repairs. It allows you enough time to choose a reasonably priced contractor or make the repairs yourself.
- Helps Properly Price the Property – Discovering major issues helps price the home more realistically.
- Minimizes Market Time – A pre-listing inspection can improve the likelihood of the sale of your home to close on time by avoiding time consuming repairs and inspections.
- Makes the Buyer Confident in Your Property – By the seller obtaining an inspection upfront, it shows a good faith in carrying out the seller’s disclosure requirements. The seller’s effort communicates to the buyer that the seller is willing to disclose everything rather than hide information.
- Opens a Can of Worms – You might discover a bigger, larger and more expensive issue with your home than you were prepared for.
- Seller’s Disclosure Statement – Once you and your real estate agent become aware of an issue with your home, it must be disclosed to the buyer.
- Not Enough Cash for Repairs – You might not have enough cash to do the necessary repairs. Cash out of pocket before even selling your home is never ideal, but you can always adjust the sale price of your home.
- Buyer May Still do Another Inspection – Even if you fix issues on the inspection report, a buyer may do an inspection and come with a list of repairs, so you may not necessarily be in a stronger negotiating position.
- Pre-Inspection Might not Make a Difference – Unless the home is priced correctly, the pre-inspection might not make a difference in the sale of your home.