Getting your house ready for the market is a multi-step process. Most homeowners focus on updating their interior and increasing curb appeal. But checking your property’s condition is also critical. A pre-listing home inspection can help you to prepare your house for sale and avoid surprises during the transaction.
Pre-listing home inspections are not required, but they can reveal many issues. Problems with electrical, plumbing systems, roofs, and foundations can make it tougher to sell your property. A pre-listing inspection allows the seller to better understand the condition of their home before putting it on the market.
This article explains the benefits of a pre-listing home inspection. It also gives a detailed overview of how they can help you before you put your property up for sale.
What is a pre-listing home inspection?
A pre-listing home inspection (or a seller inspection) assesses your home. A certified home inspector examines your home and creates a report with the findings. This report aims to give you a head start on any issues that could impact your home’s value.
Knowing what areas of your home need attention can save you time and help to figure out a fair asking price.
How much does a pre-listing home inspection cost?
A typical home inspection costs between $281 and $400. The price depends on several factors, like the location, size, and distance from the nearest city.
What does a pre-listing home inspection cover?
A pre-listing home inspection covers the foundation, windows, and doors. It also goes over major systems like plumbing, electrical, and HVAC. Radon, well-water, internal mold, or lead-paint testing can be inspected for an extra fee.
When you have concerns about a specific area of your home, you can do an inspection for that particular area.
Pre-listing home inspection vs. a standard home inspection
Don’t confuse a pre-listing home inspection and a standard home inspection. A seller pays for a pre-listing home inspection before they put their property on the market. A buyer can also do a home inspection to determine the home’s condition.
When do I need to get a pre-listing home inspection?
A pre-listing home inspection is not always necessary. There’s a good chance you know the condition of your property, if it’s new or if you bought it a few years ago.
You should do a pre-listing home inspection if you suspect your property could have issues or if there are visible defects.
If you live in an older house, check its condition. Older homes can hide many issues that are not immediately obvious. Don’t wait until a buyer’s home inspection reveals problems with your property. Older homes require special attention during the home inspection to:
- HVAC & Boiler
- Asbestos and Lead-Based Paint
Finally, if you want to sell your house quickly, a pre-sale home inspection could help speed up the process.
Do I need to disclose a pre-sale home inspection?
When you sell your home, you must disclose the property’s condition and issues. Local regulations dictate the extent to which you need to disclose any flaws.
Home inspection disclosure requirements can vary by city or state, so ask your real estate agent.
Regardless of regulations, be upfront about your pre-sale home inspection results. Sharing the report’s findings with potential buyers is a good idea, as it builds trust. If your home inspection report doesn’t find any problems, it will show buyers that your house is a good buy.
Top benefits of a pre-listing home inspection
A pre-listing inspection can eliminate anxiety, end guesswork, and prepare for negotiations.
Here are some of the top benefits that can help to make the home selling process smooth for you and your buyer:
Conduct necessary repairs in advance
A pre-listing home inspection gives you a chance to make repairs before your home goes up for sale. If the inspector notes any issues, you can determine whether they’re worth fixing or not.
A seller is legally not required to do any repairs if a buyer’s inspection uncovers issues. However, that doesn’t mean that a seller can dismiss the findings of a home inspection and refuse to pay for requested repairs. A buyer and seller negotiate who pays for repairs following a buyer’s inspection.
Cut buyer’s credits
A buyer can ask you for credits if their home inspection reveals specific issues. Problems with the foundation and any pests, give buyers more negotiation power. This means you will sell your house for less money.
After a pre-listing inspection, you can do the repairs and include their cost in your asking price. The repairs will show the buyer the property is well-maintained. It will also help justify the asking price.
Compare results to buyer inspection
If you decide to get a pre-listing inspection, get one from a trusted home inspector.
You can compare the results of your home inspection with the buyer’s home inspection. When you compare the two reports, you can find whether either one missed something. It’s also an excellent way to make sure that there are no mistakes or ambiguities.
Make real estate agent’s jobs easier
A pre-listing home inspection can also reduce a real estate agent’s workload.
They can use the fact that you’ve gotten an inspection as a selling point. Potential buyers could see you as more trustworthy if you share the results of a pre-sale inspection with them.
This report also gives you the edge over those sellers who haven’t done a pre-sale home inspection.
A home inspection process is one of the most common obstacles to closing home sales. Home inspection issues caused 11 percent of delayed contracts and 9 percent of contract terminations in 2021, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).
The home inspection report helps sellers price their property the right way. It also gives them more peace of mind because they know what to expect from a buyer’s inspection.
The buyer could accept the results of the inspection
In some cases, the buyer could accept the results of a pre-sale inspection. This scenario is common in a seller market with many potential buyers, closing the deal sooner. It also saves the buyer time and money in getting their own inspection.
Market your home better
Adding a pre-listing inspection to your description can generate more interest. If a buyer’s home inspection finds no issues, your property will stand out from the rest. Buyers could be willing to pay more, as they will see that your property is in top condition.
The final word on pre-listing home inspections
Pre-listing home inspections are a wise way for sellers to save money and time. These inspections can put you ahead of the competition. You will also be more trustworthy when you share these results with buyers.