The Advantages and Disadvantages of a Pre-Listing Home Inspection

Written by Posted On Thursday, 15 August 2019 23:42

There are many reasons to have your home inspected before listing it on the market. Click here for some pros and cons of a pre-listing home inspection.

Are you planning to sell your house in the near future? Have you been wondering what potential buyers will think about your home's condition? Have you been considering a pre-listing home inspection?

It's not a bad idea. You probably bought the house you're living in now. So you know what sorts of things a home inspection can turn up. Wouldn't you rather know ahead of time--especially if there are going to be any big surprises?

There are both pros and cons to pre-listing inspections, though. We'll be discussing both in this article. We'll discuss other things as well, including whether to involve your realtor in the inspections and how to find a good home inspector.

What to Expect and How to Prepare

As with any home inspection, the inspector will check many different aspects of the house, both inside and out. The roof and siding are always areas of focus, and the inspector is sure to notice any plumbing issues or insects.

This is why it is advisable to address any known problems with your house before the home inspector visits. That will allow the inspector's time to be focused on things you don't already know about--but need to.

Here is a site that will help you prepare for the home inspector's visit. And check here for more information on home inspections generally.

Benefits of a Pre-Listing Home Inspection

Most people would agree that, although a pre-listing home inspection takes valuable time from your schedule and adds another expense, the outcome is beneficial.

In this section, we'll discuss some of the benefits.

Avoid Surprises Later on

You know that serious prospective buyers will hire home inspectors themselves. And this usually happens late in the game, when you're busy with everything but home repairs.

If they want you to fix a crack in the drywall, that's a headache, but not a big inconvenience. If there's internal damage to the chimney, though, it would be very helpful to know this ahead of time.

By having a pre-listing inspection, you're also helping to avoid--or at least decrease the severity--of renegotiation after the buyer's inspection.

The Option of Doing the Repairs Yourself

If you (or someone you know) are good at home repair, you can take care of at least some of the problems on your own for the cost of materials. Just be sure the project truly is something you can take on competently.

You also are free to use the contractor of your choice if you can't do the work yourself. If it's someone you're familiar with, you might get a good deal.

On the other hand, if the request comes from interested buyers following their pre-purchase inspection, they likely will want any work done by professionals--ones they've chosen themselves if they're familiar with the area.

A Better Sense of How to Price the House

After a discussion with your realtor following the inspection, you and she/he should be better able to gauge what would be a good offering price. This is especially true if you were able to take care of any issues identified in the inspection.

Also, you might need to consider selling your house "as is," which is a reasonable option in some cases--for example if one or more major repairs are needed that you can't afford. Again, knowing is better than finding out by surprise.

Speeding Up the Sale

When both you and the buyers know what you're dealing with, and it is documented, the home sale should proceed faster and more smoothly.

Some Possible Downsides to the Inspection

Still, where there are upsides, there are always at least some downsides. Here are some to consider:

Disclosure Laws

In some states, sellers must disclose known defects with their homes. A pre-listing home inspection is likely to reveal problems sellers otherwise might not have known about.

Here is information on completing the Seller's Disclosure. This is a form the seller must give the buyer at the time of contract.

Another Expense (at a time of many expenses)

Yes, a pre-listing home inspection is an additional--and technically unnecessary--expense. Interested buyers are sure to want their own inspection before buying.

If you don't mind the last-minute stress of making repairs the buyers have requested, then you could save some money. A typical home inspection costs $350-500.

For most sellers in most cases, a pre-listing inspection makes sense. While it is an added expense, in the long run, it could save you money. Pre-purchase home inspections can come with some big, ugly surprises--at the last possible minute.

Repairs the Seller Can't Afford

A realtor should advise whether the repairs are necessary to the viability of the sale. We also refer you to the article linked above relating to "as is" sales. It offers helpful advice both for selling "as is" and for alternatives to that option.

Reaching a seller-buyer compromise might be a solution. Realtor Magazine states that "issues of concern to the buyer will need to be dealt with somehow, and the associated cost of the resolution is a consideration for both the buyer and seller."

Finding the Right Home Inspector

Another upside to a pre-listing home inspection is that it would take place in the community where you already live. If you don't already have someone in mind, ask friends and neighbors for their recommendations.

Here's a very thorough article from Consumer Reports about finding a well-qualified home inspector. Here's another from HGTV.

Also, check home inspector listings for your area. Angie's List and Home Advisor both offer these.

 Some people wonder, "Can I do my own home inspection?" The answer is that, although you might be able to do some parts of the inspection yourself, it's best to hire a professional.

Have You Had the Inspection Yet?

Once you've had the pre-listing home inspection done, you should be able to breathe a sigh of relief. Even if the inspector found issues needing attention, at least these won't come as a surprise at the pre-purchase home inspection.

Besides, if the house has been occupied for any amount of time at all, you can expect to have to deal with some things before a successful sale. Your realtor will be available to help you deal with more challenging concerns too.

So if you haven't scheduled a pre-listing home inspection yet, go ahead and get started with the process now. You should expect a very helpful experience.

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