What’s a pre-inspection and should you consider getting one before you list your home for sale?
Typically after a buyer’s offer is accepted the next order of business is to schedule an appraisal and home inspection. But some savvy sellers are getting ahead of the game and having a pre-inspection completed before they even list their home for sale.
If you’re thinking about selling your home soon and wondering whether or not a pre-inspection is right for you, we’ve conveniently outlined the pre-listing inspection process so you know exactly what to expect and why it might benefit you.
How much does a pre-inspection cost?
A typical home inspection will cost you between $200-$500 depending on the size of your home and location.
What is a pre-listing home inspection?
A pre-inspection is ordered by the home seller before they put their home on the market. Often times a seller will order a pre-listing home inspection to uncover any potential negative issues associated with their home before they list.
The advantages of a pre-inspection
You’ll know the condition of your home
Say you’ve been living in your home for over 20 years and have tried to maintain it as much as possible, but you’d like to know the exact condition of your home’s structural integrity and major systems before you put it on the market. Going ahead and getting a pre-inspection will put you ahead of the game.
Once you receive the report back you have the option to fix any glaring issues you think might present a problem during the sale of your home.
You’ll have the opportunity to make repairs
Rather than wait until a buyer orders an inspection of your home, going ahead and getting a pre-inspection done before you list gives you ample time to conduct any necessary repairs.
Often times, skilled laborers have a backlog of work, and you might not have the opportunity to choose who works on your repairs due to the tight time constraints you may be under when selling your home.
You won’t get nickle and dimed
Sometimes a home inspection report comes back with quite the list of repairs that should be made. And depending on the temperature of the market, potential buyers could use the inspection report as a way to get allowances for repairs or open up the discussion to negotiate on the offer price.
Getting a pre-inspection before you list allows you the opportunity to fix any major issues, which more than likely will mean a potential buyer won’t have too much room to negotiate on the basis of your home’s condition.
You’ll have peace of mind
Sellers sometimes hold their breath and cross their fingers waiting for the inspection to come back— often times worried about unexpected major issues that might cause the sale to fall apart. Getting a pre-inspection will help you breathe much easier!
Your listing will stand out
Many buyers will feel confident that your home is free of any glaring issues once they know you’ve already conducted a pre-inspection.
It stands to reason that if several similar homes with similar price points are on the market at the same time, a home that has undergone a pre-listing inspection will likely stand out to buyers and remove any anxiety they may have about making an offer.
The disadvantages of a pre-inspection
You may be required to disclose what you find
Once an inspection is completed on your home, you might be obligated to disclose any major issues that were found. Whether or not you’ll have to disclose the inspection findings are based on laws that vary by state. Talk with your realtor about what you’re on the line for, disclosure-wise, if you decide to go through with the process.
If you opt to have the issues fixed, that’s great— you’ll just have to have them reinspected. Once they pass inspection, you’ll no longer be obligated to disclose the issues.
No two inspectors are alike
Understand that it’s highly likely that any potential buyer will want to conduct their own home inspection using the home inspector of their choice.
Unless you get majorly lucky, the person you hire to complete your pre-inspection is probably not going to be the person the buyers hire to complete an inspection after an offer is made.
Different home inspectors could bring to light different issues, and maybe even issues that your pre-inspection didn’t highlight.