Why Would a Seller Do a PRE-inspection on Their Own House?

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Revolution

Pre Inspection of your HomeMost people know the process of buying a home involves a home inspection prior to closing. Typically in Missouri and Kansas this is done AFTER we have a deal that both buyer and seller have agreed upon and it's typically done at the Buyer's expense.

I tell my clients that we have TWO rounds of negotiation: 1) the purchase price and contingencies like closing costs, warranties etc; 2) Inspection negotiation


What if a SELLER did inspections on their own home PRIOR to even listing the house! 

"But Jay, that is going to cost me a few hundred dollars and then show all the problems in our home to the buyer! Why would I do that?"

Let me give you a real-world example:

During my listing consultation, I always go over a PRE-inspection with my sellers and open their minds to that option. A few months ago, one of my sellers took me up on it and had an inspection done prior to putting my sign in the yard. Here's how it went:

Cost to sellers: $300. Results: Found about $2,200 worth of repairs on about a dozen fairly minor items. (We got bids to complete EVERYTHING so the Buyers will know potential costs involved). Sellers contracted a handy man to repair the most important items (plumbing, electrical). 

As part of the 3-ring binder I put in the kitchen for buyers to look at, I included the inspection report as well as the receipt for repairs. 

A week into the listing being live, we received an offer. After reviewing our inspection and repairs, the Buyers did not perform their own inspections! Deal closed 28 days later and everyone was happy.

So what just happened??

1) Sellers eliminated the anxiety of "what will the buyers find during inspections and how much will it cost me?"

2) Buyers know BEFORE WRITING A CONTRACT more about the home and also eliminate the "what will we find wrong during inspections?"

3) Buyers saved $300-500 out of their own pocket to re-do inspections, so may have picked our home over others for that savings alone.

4) Sellers provided UP FRONT information about their home, creating a feeling of "everything is on the table" and we aren't hiding anything from you

5) Sellers AND Buyers close faster by eliminating the Inspection Period and potential delays involved with that process

6) As a Seller's Agent I can properly advise my clients better with this information ahead of time, and formulate a strategy with a much further vision of the end result.


I wish more of my Sellers would consider this step as part of their listing process. Getting all the cards on the table of one of the biggest deals of a lifetime seems like a wise strategy. Remember, a good real estate consultant will help clients think BIGGER and explore thoughts that may be contrary to what has been heard, but always looking out for our clients to get them the most satisfaction from their deal!

Posted by

  Jay O'Brien, Kansas City : Social Media Guy (RE/MAX Revolution)Jay O'Brien
RE/MAX Revolution, Kansas City, Missouri



Comments (16)

Cindy Graesser
Keller Williams - Temecula, CA
CG Premier Realty Group. "We'll Get you Moving!"

This is so true...I really push for this aswell!!

Feb 21, 2014 02:04 AM
Paula Pitts
Keller Williams Realty Gulf Coast - Pensacola, FL

I always suggest to sellers that the pre-inspect is a good idea.

It helps eliminate anxiety for them when inspection day rolls around.

It also impressed Buyers because they can get a look at some of what they want to know even before they do their own inspection.

Good all around.

Feb 21, 2014 07:13 AM
Kathy Smiley
Rodeo Realty ~ Fine Estates Westlake Village - Newbury Park, CA
"Real Estate results that make YOU smile!"

Good stuff, Jay. Why did you stop blogging on AR? Miss seeing your smiling-laughing face!

Oct 01, 2014 01:47 PM
Anna Hatridge
R Gilliam Real Estate LLC - Farmington, MO
Missouri Realtor with R Gilliam Real Estate LLC

Jay, are you still in the business?  Haven't seen you on here for a while.  We miss your writing and wit!

Mar 05, 2015 01:25 AM
Lenn Harley
Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland

I always did a pe-listing inspection on my own homes. 

I got a list of repairs, made the repairs and left a copy of the report with the repair receipts with the brochures.

If all sellers did the same thing, their net proceeds would improve.

Mar 05, 2015 03:28 AM
Jay O'Brien
RE/MAX Revolution - Kansas City, MO
Kansas City Real Estate

Thanks Anna! Yes still rocking the biz and will make more time to wrIte, not just read, all these rain blogs! Thx for the feature!!

Mar 05, 2015 04:03 AM
Frank Rubi
Frank Rubi Real Estate, LLC - Metairie, LA

I think it's a real good Idea to have a pre-listing inspection. So many Seller don't want the expense but to truly place a solid value we need to know everything. 

Mar 05, 2015 05:16 AM
Barbara Altieri
Better Homes and Gardens RE Shore and Country Properties - Shelton, CT
REALTOR-Fairfield County CT Homes/Condos For Sale

Excellent post, Jay. I have a savvy seller right now who is getting his house inspected before listing. I will bet his bottom line will be way better with than without.

Mar 05, 2015 10:48 AM
John Helmick
John Helmick Success & Ohio Property Inspection Services - Dayton, OH
Realtor Personal Growth/Success Coach

As an inspector - I think it makes perfect sense as it allows the seller to be in control and gives them peace of mind during the negotiation process knowing that they don't have any "surprise" that may be lurking once the inspections are finished!

Mar 05, 2015 12:31 PM
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M

Jay - I think the pre inspection makes a lot of sense though as you say most sellers don't want to do one due to cost.

Mar 05, 2015 01:05 PM
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Jay O'Brien as much as I recommend all sellers to do the pre-listing home inspections, most of them shy away because they don't want to spend money - and anyways, buyers are going to do it! 

Mar 05, 2015 02:08 PM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667, kat@thehousekat.com, Broker/REALTOR® - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

I think this is a great idea that would definitely help the sales process.

Mar 05, 2015 08:56 PM
Andrea Swiedler
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties - New Milford, CT
Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT

I always recommend it, few follow through. Those that have found it certainly helped. 

But... I think the buyer should still have their own inspetion done. That is just me. 

Mar 07, 2015 01:38 AM
S. Leanne Paynter ☼ Broward County, FL
United Realty Group, Inc. - Davie, FL
Davie, Plantation, Cooper City & Weston Specialist

I think if a seller is serious about selling their house for the most amount of money in the least amount of time, a pre-listing home inspection is a definite plus... assuming they're willing to fix (or replace) items that need repair.

Apr 06, 2015 04:25 AM
Todd Smith


Todd Smith- St. Louis Home Inspector 

May 20, 2015 01:14 PM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

I think the pre-inspection can give a lot of insight into where I can be improved before it’s kind of too late in a way like you said.

Sep 23, 2020 09:41 PM