First of all, what is a pre-listing inspection?
Pre-listing inspections are nearly identical to post-offer inspections, except the inspector is hired by the seller instead of the buyer or the buyer’s lender. The inspector performs all the typical checks and writes a report listing all areas of concern. Electrical systems, HVAC, plumbing, foundations, attics, and crawl spaces all will be evaluated and, if necessary, recommendations for repairs or replacement will be made. The inspector may also refer the homeowner out for additional, more specialized inspections, such as for termites or mold.
After receiving the report, you can decide which issues to address prior to listing your home and which ones to hold off on. Not all issues brought up in a pre-listing inspection, or even a post-offer inspection, for that matter, need to be addressed and remedied prior to a sale being finalized.
Now that we’ve covered the basics of what a pre-listing home inspection is, what are some reasons to consider scheduling one? Here are 4 benefits of electing to have a pre-listing inspection:
Your inspector will give you the rundown on all the sins hiding in your home – cracked foundations, broken soffit and fascia, slightly leaking pipes. The inspector is likely to find things you haven’t noticed in all your years living in your home, and some things may be major issues when listing your home. If you know about potential problems before you even list, when there isn’t the deadline of a closing date looming, you can fix the major issues that could impact your home’s sale down the line. With this extra time, you’re able to find a contractor or repair person who can give you quality work instead of worrying about finding the first person who can come out and complete the repair, giving you better-quality work in the long run.
Getting a pre-listing home inspection also can result in a pleasant surprise: Your home may be worth more than you originally thought. Inspectors know what features are desirable in safe, healthy homes, and can point these out to you. If you have something special, like a geothermal unit or a tankless water heater, this can bump up your initial asking price and yield more money in your pocket in the long run. Additionally, if your pre-listing inspection finds an issue that you then have repaired, the repair can also help bolster up your asking price depending on the nature of the repair.
If you have an inspection and any major repairs out of the way before you ever list your home, you will be able to save precious time once your sale reaches its final stages. Sure, there will still be an inspection necessary after an offer has been accepted, especially if your buyer plans to use financing, but that inspection will likely reveal only minor, less pressing matters that aren’t likely to stall the sale. Also, if your home appears to be in fantastic condition and you don’t have a long list of unremedied problems on your disclosures list, your home may be more enticing to potential buyers than one that may need more work.
When getting a pre-listing home inspection, you get to choose the inspector instead of being stuck with whoever the buyer or the buyer’s lender chooses. The same goes for any repair contractors. In a process where it can feel as if you have very little control over things such as what repairs must be made and when the sales process is complete, having something where you get to call the shots can be liberating and make the entire experience more positive.
Pre-listing home inspections can greatly benefit both buyer and seller by getting issues out in the open earlier and allowing them to be fixed before listing.