In the current market many sellers want to hold on to as much of their money as possible.
The question is, does it pay to "invest" money in a pre-listing inspection? Based on my experience in real estate, I would say it absolutely does. There are a couple of reasons why I say this.
First, you, not the buyer are in control of who inspects your home. Any agent who has been in this business any length of time knows there is no shortage of home inspectors who have no clue of what they're doing or who feel it's their responsibility to scare the buyers to justify their fee. Of course the buyer can have an additional inspection done at their expense but most of the agents who have the sellers do such an inspection find that the buyer tends to go with the provided inspection. Let me also say that it's wise to have repairs done on the items found and put a copy of the report and receipts for the repairs in the listing information that goes to potential buyers.
Second, a pre-listing inspection tends to put the sellers at ease because there are no "surprises" after contract. Again, anyone who has been through the process knows repair negotiations can get ugly at times.
Areas where trouble is often found:
Grading and drainage - When I see moisture in a basement the vast majority of the time it's either grading or gutter and downspout issues. Very seldom is there actually a foundation problem and if there is you really want to know that ahead of time. I have to add here, I've seen many home inspectors cite major foundation problems when the issue is actually a clogged or disconnected. downspout
Electrical - Occasionally we find situations where the existing seller or even the one before did some of their own work. Of course the first issue here is, was there a permit? I've seen incorrect guage wiring, ungrounded outlets, reverse polarity, double taps on breakers and many other things that should be handled up front so there is no panic on the part of the buyer when their inspector finds the problem.
HVAC - Since the heating and air conditioning systems are a pretty expensive repair item having them checked out and serviced prior to listing is very good idea. It's also not a bad idea to purchase a service agreement with a local HVAC contractor on behalf of the buyer.
Roof - The roof is another very expensive repair or replacement item. Having a detailed inspection report with the age of the roof, average life expectancy, and current condition of the shingles or other roofing material and the flashing can be a huge relief to the buyer.
Finally, the price of a home inspection can vary from area to area and the size of the property but it's a great up front investment and can save a lot of money and heartache down the road.