How can a Pre-Listing Inspection Help You Sell Your Home? Here's a Few Ideas!

Real Estate Agent with Realty World Alliance
Pre-Listing Inspection?  What's the Point?

Occasionally I get asked about pre-listing inspections, and I've been recommending them more and more lately.   A pre-listing inspection is in fact a home inspection done by the seller prior to listing their home.  

Now why would you inspect your house before you have a buyer?  That I have many good answers for! Home Inspector in Wichita, KS

1. If there's a large problem with the home that you were unaware of, you can then decide whether you can price accordingly or whether you might be able to move at all.  Much better to find this out now than when you're in the middle of selling with a buyer on the hook and possibly involved in your next property as well. I have had a buyer inspection discover something so severe that there was no way the seller could fix the home and still afford to sell.

2. It gives you a chance to fix items on the list at your own time and leisure, meaning that you can shop for repair bids or get it done yourself.  When a buyer finds it at their inspection, you may only have a week to get items done before closing and they may ask for specific contractors, which could easily cost you more than the inspection would in the beginning.  

3. Fixing items before listing helps your home show better as it will appear obviously well maintained and there will be less items that buyers and their agents will notice.  Therefore they are more likely to give their best or better offers than if they saw unrepaired items from the get-go.

4.  Being able to market your home as pre-inspected gives a nice warm, fuzzy confidence to a buyer that there shouldn't be any big surprises lurking down the path.  You can easily provide the home inspection and evidence of repairs, which again should lead to better and higher offers.  Lots of offers hedge against the unknowns that may be found at inspection time.

5.  Already having an inspection and repairs done, the buyer's own home inspection contingency should be a breeze.  There may be minor discrepancies between what everyone finds, as inspectors are human and each may miss or catch something the other doesn't, but anything of big concern should already be known.   Since many contracts fall apart at inspection time, having already been through an inspection means that you're much much more likely to keep your deal together and get to closing.

6. Even if you're not making any repairs from the inspection, being able to provide this report up front should still mean better offers as buyers see what they are up against.  Many buyers who purchase as-is or TLC properties come in quite low because they don't know the extent of the problems until inspection time. 

I know, I know!  Inspections can run you hundreds depending on the size of your home.   But it may be better for you to spend a few hundred now than to lose a few thousand on the offer side of things.  And the peace of mind from knowing exactly what you're up against is great.  Selling a home is nerve-wracking enough just trying to find a buyer and wondering why all those other ones didn't like your house.  With a pre-inspection, you can negotiate with your buyer in the confidence that you know what's going on with your home and with a higher likelihood that the deal will stay together and close!

For a list of registered home inspectors in our area and to discuss how it may affect your particular situation, feel free to contact me!

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Re-Blogged 12 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Cheryl Ritchie 02/20/2010 06:21 PM
  2. Cindy Lollis 02/21/2010 12:49 AM
  3. Bob Southard 02/21/2010 01:19 AM
  4. Joan Lorberbaum Moore 02/21/2010 01:56 AM
  5. Kathleen Barnes 02/21/2010 03:42 AM
  6. Erica Ramus 02/21/2010 06:21 AM
  7. Erica Ramus 02/21/2010 06:21 AM
  8. Peter Tarshis 02/21/2010 08:28 AM
  9. Tammie White, Broker 02/21/2010 12:12 PM
  10. Jirius Isaac 02/21/2010 03:38 PM
  11. Harry F. D'Elia 02/22/2010 12:18 AM
  12. John Richards 02/23/2010 10:07 AM
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Wayne B. Pruner
Oregon First - Tigard, OR
Tigard Oregon Homes for Sale, Realtor, GRI

If you have a smart and serious Seller, they want a pre-inspection. They always sell faster.

Feb 21, 2010 02:16 PM #70
Jirius Isaac
Isaac Real Estate &TriStar Mortgage - Kenmore, WA
Real Estate & loans in Kenmore, WA

I could have written this blog myself and often use pre-listing inpections with my sellers agree, so I just re-blogged yours.

Feb 21, 2010 03:44 PM #71
Sharon Parisi
United Real Estate Dallas - Dallas, TX
Dallas Homes

Agents in my office frequently use pre-lisiting inspections.  We have found the practice to be beneficial to the Seller and potential Buyers.

Feb 21, 2010 03:59 PM #72
Debbie Cook
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc - Silver Spring, MD
Silver Spring and Takoma Park Maryland Real Estate

I recommend them to every listing client and they usually have it done!  Also, makes me much more comfortable and confident with the house I am hired to sell.

Feb 21, 2010 06:24 PM #73
Stephen Stanczyk
Safe Haven Home Inspections - Puyallup, WA
Home Inspector - Puyallup WA

The best reason to have a pre-listing inspection is to not be pressured and rush repairs.  As an example:  I had a heat pump compressor go bad.  It was still under warranty but the labor was not.  The first 3 companys quoted $1300-$1500 for just the labor.  I kept shopping for another couple days.  Found a one man company, licensed and actually trained by the manufacturer.  $600.  Done in a day and real quality work.

I had to smile about the comment of using the brother electrician and Art the plumber.  No, I actually laughed out loud.  Many, many items we inspectors find are what we call, "harry homeowner" repairs.  Half done, and badly at that.  It is the cheap repairs, not inexpensive but cheap repairs, that come back to bite you.

Having the property "sale ready" is as important as having it show ready.  No hidden surprises at the last minute.  No rush to complete repairs at a higher price.  And if there is nothing further to negotiate over, a higher net price to the seller.

It costs money to make money.  Best to all.

Feb 21, 2010 07:21 PM #74
Bill Buettner
Keller Williams Greater Columbus - New Albany, OH
Your Real Estate Connection

I wish more sellers would do these inspections, especially with older homes.

Feb 22, 2010 12:36 AM #75
Joel Weihe
Realty World Alliance - Wichita, KS
Helping you to use your VA home loan benefits

Bill - Indeed! Those are the ones the buyers most knock the price down on because of unknowns.

Stephen - In this scenario, I have had sellers who actually had licensed relatives who do this kind of work and they couldn't use them because the buyers were afraid of what you suggested.  Had they done this ahead of time, their brother the licensed bonded electrician could have done the work and saved them a fortune. 

Debbie - and there's less fear of that "Oh gosh, that's so and so I sold a year ago, what went wrong" when the phone rings! :)

Sharon - Care to share any scripts for getting that past the seller's objection to paying?

Jiruis - Thanks! Got your email to and getting on that!

Wayne - It'd be cool to see some stats on that!  I believe so too but hardly anyone here does it!

Christopher - Absolutely, wouldn't have just Joe Blow on the corner!  I trust my guys!

Richard - but I never sell houses that aren't perfect! :)   Good point!

Sanna - How many times have we had the seller scoff at the buyer's "but gosh, it'd take thousands to re-roof!".  If only the seller's knew!

Simone - That's a good line to take!  I may try that payback method instead of just flat out paying it up front!

Marc, Tammy - This is true! It might not be as important on a newer home!

Eldon - Thanks!

Feb 22, 2010 04:15 AM #76
Marvelous Mary Novak

I loved the blog.  I have actually been thinking about talking to my seller's about having an inspection report available for buyers when they view the home.


Feb 22, 2010 06:25 AM #77
Jenna Dixon
DRA Homes | Cobb County Real Estate - Marietta, GA
Empowers You With a Better Real Estate Experience

Such a great idea & I recommend to all my sellers!

Feb 22, 2010 07:11 AM #78
Mark Montross
Catamount Realty Group - Burlington, VT
Listing and Buyer Specialist

I believe that having a pre-listing inspection is the best way to handle things. You know about problems upfront and no one is shocked later on.

Feb 22, 2010 11:40 PM #79
Precise Home Inspections

If anyone has ever reviewed the standard sellers disclosure, what else is there to know!  The house has no problems, has never had an inspection and has performed just fine for the past 25 years.  That's all the seller knows and that's all that most sellers want to know.  Now get out there and sale my home for $20,000 over market value.  Oh, and did I mention the motgage is 10 months behind.        

Feb 23, 2010 03:36 PM #80
Jeff Stone
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Port Washington, NY
Seniors Real Estate Specialist

Thanks Sheree, I wish all sellers would agree to this. If you want to maximize your house value have a pre-listing inspection performed. This would also put you in a better position to negotiate with the buyer should they try to whittle the price down based on their own professional inspection. No surprises will result, everything is out in the open for all to see.

Feb 24, 2010 05:58 AM #81
Ellie McIntire
Ellicott City Clarksville Howard County Maryland Real Estate - Ellicott City, MD
Luxury service in Howard County & Catonsville

Congratulations on your feature. Your post really does highlight out some very good points. My only concern is that a home inspection is still just an opinion. A seller may spend money fixing a problem, but a new inspector will find a whole host of other issues.

Feb 25, 2010 08:10 AM #82
Christopher Currins
CBC Home Inspections - Godfrey, IL
Metro East Home Inspector - IL.

Ellie, a true home inspection is much more than "just an opinion".  A thorough inspection is an observation based on facts and knowledge of structure and components that a well trained and educated inspector will have; and in accordance with the minimum Standards of Practice they must follow. A good home inspector will also know how to document any defects or recommendations without being an alarmist, unless of course there is a serious safety reason to be alarmed.

Feb 25, 2010 02:23 PM #83
Joel Weihe
Realty World Alliance - Wichita, KS
Helping you to use your VA home loan benefits

Ellie - What Christopher said!  If you're using good inspectors, there really should only be minor differences between the two.   I had one blown today by items that could have easily been fixed prior to by the seller.  The buyer just wigged over a termite treatment being needed, when if that had been done ahead of time, she very likely would have not had a problem at all.

Jeff - most work on whittling the price even before they get their own inspection! 

Precise - Precisely. Ha!  The seller's disclosure is fairly toothless...

Mary - So few listen! I'm thinking of making it a requirement and as someone else mentioned, reimbursing it at closing.

Mark - it's that unknown and shock factor that drag the buyer's offer down!

Jenna - Yay! the more we get on board, the easier life will be!

Feb 25, 2010 02:50 PM #84
Jean-Paul Peron
The Outer Banks Real Estate Copmpany - Corolla, NC
Carova Beach - Living & Working in 4-Wheel Drive

One of the most interesting things that I have found is that on the houses that I have convinced the sellers to do a pre-listing inspection. EVERY single buyer has chosen not to do their own inspection and just go off of the one done for the sellers.

Feb 26, 2010 11:24 PM #85
Matt Robinson
Professional Investors Guild - Pensacola, FL

Sheree, very good case made for pre-listing inspections!  I will certainly consider recommending them to sellers in the future.

Mar 01, 2010 12:18 PM #86
Chuck Forman
Forman Inspection Services, LLC - Highlands Ranch, CO


Sellers Inspections  (Members Only) (edit/delete)

Why would a seller want to have a home inspection performed? Truly there are a couple of simple answers. First, by having a home inspection performed prior to placing the property on the market the seller can be informed of items that will be discovered by a buyers inspector and they can then fix them saving themselves hundreds, maybe thousands, of dollars in negotiated costs. Second, and possibly most important, the seller can have the home "Move In Certified" which will help to expedite the sales process. If you are a realtor, representing a seller, please contact me to discuss the current special I am offering to break into the Colorado market. I can be reached at 720-988-3387 seven days a week to schedule an appointment. You can also reach me via my website at . I look forward to speaking with you.



Mar 02, 2010 02:27 PM #87
Nick L - San Diego, CA

Sheree -- First, I just want to say how much I AGREE with you about the value of pre-listing inspections! In fact, my business partner and I feel so strongly about this that we started a company (, explicitly designed to not only make them the norm, but to use the web to add significant value to these inspections for all parties involved -- buyers, sellers, and agents.

Our model is fairly simple. We are NOT inspectors, rather we pre-screen a pool of quality, experienced inspectors for a given market, then assign one inspector to each home seller. The seller (and their agent) can view the report and then choose to post it, along with any fixes, on our website for potential buyers to see. Because the inspectors are selected by an independent third party (us), buyers can trust the reports. This takes all the advantages of a pre-listing inspection and also turns it into a valuable marketing tool for sellers. The rudimentary analogy we use is that we are the Carfax of real estate.

We would love to begin a conversation with all of you about how to partner to achieve some common goals (namely, to educate the public about the value of pre-listing inspections). Please check out our site,, and feel free to call with any questions: 888-881-7211.

Nick Liebman


Mar 04, 2010 10:31 AM #89
Licensed Home Inspector

Good job Sheree....

Well said Sheree.. It make sense that having a pre-listing inspection is the best way to manage all the things.

Jul 15, 2010 08:30 PM #90
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