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Are Pre-Listing Home Inspections Worth It? What Sellers Need to Know

The home inspection process can be an obstacle in closing on your home. If an inspector finds issues, the buyer can use them as leverage points to negotiate a lower price (or even walk away). According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), home inspection issues were responsible for 11% of delayed contracts and 9% of contract terminations in 2021.

There’s a way to be proactive, and that’s with a pre-listing home inspection. This allows you to take care of any necessary repairs and avoid any potential delays in the selling process. Here’s how pre-listing home inspections work and how they can benefit your home sale.

Pre-listing inspections are no different than standard inspections

A pre-listing inspection is the same as a standard home inspection – except the seller pays for it before listing their property on the market. 

During a pre-listing inspection, a certified home inspector will assess the property and check the major structural components. This can include:

  • Electrical systems
  • Roofing
  • Plumbing
  • HVAC systems
  • Foundation
  • Ceilings
  • Walls
  • Windows
  • Doors
  • Insulation
  • Attic & basement spaces

The inspector will note any issues with these features and look for signs of damage. Most inspectors do not pay attention to the condition of cosmetic features like paint, wallpaper, and other finishes. 

How can pre-listing inspections benefit the home sale?

The main benefit of a pre-listing inspection is that it identifies issues & gives you time to repair them before a buyer is involved. Let’s take a deeper look at this and the other benefits of a pre-listing inspection.

Get ahead of repairs

Home repairs can take anywhere from a couple of weeks to a couple of months to book & complete. Pre-listing inspections give you time to compare contractors and complete repairs without the pressure of a buyer & potential deadlines. 

It’s important to note that state laws mandate sellers to disclose any known property issues to buyers. If any issues on the pre-listing inspection don’t get fixed, you’ll need to disclose those. 

Reduces possible negotiation points

Buyers can use home inspection findings to negotiate for a lower sale price or repair credits from the seller. With a pre-listing inspection, you can complete (or acknowledge) these repairs ahead of time. This can put you in a position to bypass inspection negotiations and get to closing faster.

It can help determine a price point

Knowing your property’s condition can help you set a strategic price. For example, you may note that the property needs a new roof and share that the listing price reflects a discount for that. Or, if you’ve already made all necessary repairs to your home, you can pricer and market it as such to encourage higher offers. 

It can encourage stronger offers

You can market your home as “pre-inspected” and show buyers a copy of the inspection report along with any relevant invoices for repairs. This will give potential buyers the confidence to put in a better offer because they know they won’t have any surprise repair costs later on.

How to know if a pre-listing inspection is right for you

You should consider getting a home inspection if:

  • There are maintenance issues you are aware of. It’s a good idea to get a pre-listing inspection if you know there are maintenance issues that haven’t been tended to. 
  • A quick sale is one of your top priorities. If you need to sell your home as soon as possible, a pre-listing inspection is a good step toward speeding up the process. 
  • You’re marketing your property as a potential “fixer-upper”. Buyers who are specifically looking for fixer-uppers will want to estimate total repair costs. If you don’t get a pre-listing inspection, buyers may try to hit you with a low offer to try to get a deal on a home with an undetermined amount of work. 

Should I skip the pre-listing inspection?

You may want to skip the pre-listing inspection if:

  • Your local market is hot. If it’s a seller’s market in your area, you may not need a pre-listing inspection to entice buyers. 
  • Your home is a new build. If your home was build recently, buyers may be more confident in its condition. Pre-listing inspections are unlikely to influence offers or negotiations in this case. 

Find a REALTOR® before you start the process 

Enlist the help of a real estate agent to guide you through the process and make sure that you are in the best position possible. 

Team Melton has over 50 combined years of real estate experience to assist you through every step of the process. Contact us today to get started on selling your home!

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