Even though it is not required, top agents will often tell you that sellers sometimes get a home inspection prior to listing their home to avoid surprises during the transaction.
No matter how long you’ve lived in your home or how old it is, there might be unknown issues beneath the surface that could make a sale go south.
25 percent of sellers get a home inspection prior to listing their home. It is the third-most common pre-listing, pre-agent activity. One of the main reason’s sellers do a pre-inspection is to know ahead of time what a buyer is going to discover during their own inspection.
85 percent of buyers get at least one inspection during the process of purchasing a home, so knowing what they’ll find ahead of time can lower stress and avoid long-drawn-out negotiations.
It may not be worthwhile to get a pre-inspection if your home is brand new, you have made updates recently or you already know there are issues and you don’t have the money to make repairs before listing.
Most pre-listing home inspection costs between $250 and $700, depending on where you live and the size of your home. Keep in mind that you won’t have to pay for another inspection once you have an offer in hand — that’s the buyer’s responsibility.
Similar to a buyer’s home inspection, a pre-listing home inspection checks major systems, mechanicals, windows, and doors and looks for signs of water damage, mold and cracks.
You may also decide to pay extra for radon testing, well-water testing, internal mold testing or lead-paint testing.
Every individual seller’s motivations are different but here are some of the most common reasons people choose to hire a home inspector prior to listing their home for sale.
Fear Over Losing a Buyer to Property Condition
If you’re concerned that a poor buyer’s home inspection could break a deal, you could do a pre-inspection now so you can repair any major defects before listing. This will help you avoid a lengthy (and stressful) negotiation with your buyer and could keep them from walking away over serious repair and maintenance issues.
Most frequent issues that raise red flags in a home inspection are roofing, plumbing, electrical or foundation issues; termites or other insects; mold or water damage; window or door problems; chimney damage; asbestos; and lead paint.
Fear of Limited Offers Due to Incorrect Pricing
If you don’t price your home in a way that correctly reflects its condition, you may have a difficult time attracting buyers. And you run the risk of accepting an offer just to have the buyer’s inspector find hidden issues that lead them to cancel the contract completely.
A canceled contract is going to appear on your home’s property history on the MLS and on web sites such as Zillow and Trulia.
Buyers and their agents are generally wary of homes that have already had offers not go through. If you have a contract canceled on you, be prepared to answer why — buyers’ agents will ask!
Fear of Equity Stuck in the Home
Sellers may use a pre-listing home inspection as a way to streamline the sale process with the ideas closing faster. This is more common for sellers who need to use the cash from their home sale as a down payment on a new home. Completing a pre-inspection can shave a few days off your sale process if it leads to buyers being willing to waive their own inspection after viewing your pre-inspection report.