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There are several good reasons for a seller to get a Pre-listing Inspection.

pre-listing-inspectionMost home purchases are contingent on a home inspection. From my experience as a home inspector, I can attest that especially for first-time buyers, buying a house is an emotional and scary experience. When a home inspection reveals the need for a major repair, it has a potential to scare off a nervous buyer, killing the deal, in some situations even if the seller agrees to fix it.

Most realtors agree that a buyers home inspection usually gives the the buyer an upper hand when returning to the negotiation table. However, when sellers take the precautionary step of having a Pre-listing Inspection done before listing the home, the buyer will typically have little reason, if any, for re-negotiations. Let’s look at some of the ways pre-listing inspections, give sellers the upper hand.

When a the seller has a thorough home inspection conducted prior to the sale and makes printed copies of that Pre-listing Inspection report available to potential buyers: 

  1. The deal is less likely to fall apart, the way they often do, when a buyer’s inspection unexpectedly reveals last-minute problems. Those problem items, if repaired or replaced ahead of time can no longer come up with the buyer because they are a non-issue.
  2. Reporting on problems also helps sellers who can’t or won’t fix items to adjust their asking price accordingly.
  3. A seller’s inspection becomes part of the seller’s full-disclosure, it provides protection from future legal claims.
  4. Pre-listing inspections may alert the seller to items of immediate concern, such as radon gas or active termite infestation, allowing the seller time to remedy concerns prior to listing the property if they choose to do so.
  5. The report might alert the seller to any immediate safety issues found, before agents and visitors tour the home. Most safety issues found during home inspections can be quickly resolved for relatively low cost.
  6. A seller inspection reveals problems ahead of time, which:
    • might make the home show better.
    • gives the seller time to make repairs and shop for competitive contractors.
    • permits the seller to attach repair estimates or paid invoices to the inspection report.
    • removes over-inflated buyer-procured estimates from the negotiation table.
  7. The seller can have the inspector correct any misstatements in the inspection report before it is generated.
  8. The report can help the seller realistically price the home if problems exist. especially problems the seller was unaware of.
  9. The report can help the seller substantiate a higher asking price if problems don’t exist or have been corrected, or if the house is found to be in above average condition.
  10. The seller can assist the inspector during the inspection, something normally not done during a buyer’s inspection.
  11. A seller inspection permits a clean home inspection report to be used as a marketing tool.
  12. A seller inspection is the ultimate gesture in forthrightness on the part of the seller; hiring a reputable home inspector for a thorough report the home’s defects. The forthrightness of making this inspection available to potential buyers, puts most buyers at ease, realizing the sellers have nothing to hide.
  13. The printed report provides a third-party, unbiased opinion, that can to offered or made available to potential buyers. It can provide helpful insight in their decision making process.
  14. The report might encourage the buyer to waive the inspection contingency.
  15. The seller can choose a certified InterNACHI, reputable inspector rather than be at the mercy of the buyer’s choice of inspector. Some inspectors have reputations of being overly nit picky, blowing things out of proportion to benefit the buyer’s renegotiation. The sellers inspection report can help even things out.

Seller Inspections can also be good for the buyers and realtors in addition to sellers for many of the same reasons. They help streamline the whole process, putting the buyer and the seller into a better position to make well informed decisions, helping to smooth out the transaction which makes the realtors job easier.

Nick Gromicko a former REALTOR and Founder of the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors wrote that, “Seller inspections (sometimes referred to as pre-listing inspections) are becoming more popular because they virtually eliminate all the pitfalls and hassles associated with waiting to do the home inspection until a buyer is found…”  “Seller inspections are a benefit to all parties in a real estate transaction.  They are a win-win-win-win situation.”
In addition to other benefits of seller inspections, Nick also gives some advantages of seller’s inspections for the home buyer. For his full article see:  Seller Inspections: Streamlining Real Estate Transactions
Advantages to the Home Buyer:
  • The inspection is done already.
  • The inspection is paid for by the seller.
  • The report provides a more accurate third-party view of the condition of the home prior to making an offer.
  • A seller inspection eliminates surprise defects.
  • Problems are corrected, or at least acknowledged, prior to making an offer on the home.
  • A seller inspection reduces the need for negotiations and 11th-hour re-negotiations.
  • The report might assist in acquiring financing.
  • A seller inspection allows the buyer to sweeten the offer without increasing the offering price by waiving inspections.