Should I do a pre-listing home inspection?

Real Estate Agent with Century 21 Redwood 35104

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. 


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Winston Heverly
Winston Realty, Inc. - Atlantis, FL

I say yes too it will actually help sell the home quicker in some cases. It will also relieve  some of the mystery surrounding the home if their are question marks. 

Sep 05, 2012 09:36 AM #1
Joy Daniels
Joy Daniels Real Estate Group, Ltd. - Harrisburg, PA

We definitely suggest pre-listing inspections.  In the past I have sold properties and after the inspections the buyers walk away - it's a goal for me to remove that possibility with the pre-listing inspections and give my sellers a stronger position in the negotiations.

Sep 15, 2012 02:40 AM #2
Michael J. Perry
KW Elite - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist

Acquired Knowledge must be disclosed.  Good news for this post -  !!!

Jul 03, 2014 11:38 PM #3
Larry Riggs
Century 21 Redwood - Frederick, MD
GRI, SRS Your Frederick County Specialist

Michael, Absolutely. My point is that it's better for the seller to know up front what problems may exist and deal with them rather than be surprised after contract. Also it's protection for the listing agent. I'm in Maryland where there is no such thing as a true "as-is" sale. Material facts must be disclosed regardless of contract terms. It's better for an agent to know what problems there may be and be open about them. In the case of a pre-listing inspection if I suspected the seller was going try to hide any information that should be disclosed by law I would refuse to take the listing.

Jul 03, 2014 11:47 PM #4
John Cardelli
Remax plus - Frederick, MD

Thank you for all of the great knowledge you have shared Larry!

Aug 22, 2018 04:33 PM #5
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Larry Riggs

GRI, SRS Your Frederick County Specialist
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