Is a prelisting home inspection worth doing?

By
Real Estate Agent with Realty ONE Group Advocates 484-237-2055 PA License - AB067198

In Pennsylvania like many other states a seller completes a seller disclosure form which is intended to help a buyer identify areas where there may be issues they need to inspect further or be aware of if they purchase this home.

If the buyer is likely to be doing a home inspection why would a seller also incur the cost of doing their own home inspection before listing their home for sale?

In the last couple of years the market has been so hot that many buyers have been waiving home inspections along with many other contingencies just to have an opportunity to have their offer considered. This has made it important for seller disclosures to be accurate as buyers can sue over things that have not been disclosed. Attorneys will always advise sellers to disclose, disclose, disclose! If in doubt disclose it.

Having a prelisting home inspection can do two things. It allows the seller to accurately complete the seller disclosure form and avoid a lawsuit at a later date. Secondly, if there are any items that need addressing they can be tackled before listing the house and this can also be disclosed to any buyers, giving them confidence that things have been taken care of correctly.

As the market corrects from a sellers market to a more balanced one, buyers are able to include inspection contingencies. If an item is discovered in a home inspection it generally will cost a seller more than if they had fixed an item beforehand. Why is this? Some things are simple fixes and can be fixed by the seller themselves. If something does need a professional, the seller has time to find a contractor and get estimates and select the one that they feel most comfortable with to do a good job. 

When an item turns up on a home inspection, the buyer will generally ask for a credit for the highest amount it might take to fix the issue. Hence, getting it repaired before will save you money.

If you have only lived in a home for a short period of time, a prelisting home inspection may not be needed, but many people today stay in their homes for 10 to 15 years or longer in our area. These homeowners may not be aware of an issue even though they have lived in the house.

For example, I had a seller a little while back who had a septic system. Whilst he did a prelisting home inspection which identified several issues which he took care of, he assured me his septic system was working fine. Unfortunately, it was not, and the buyer conducted a septic inspection and the seller ended up having to pay for the home to be connected to the local sewer system as it was not possible to repair or replace the septic system. A very costly fix and time consuming as well. Luckily the buyers stayed with the purchase and everything worked out for all parties.

If you are thinking of listing your home for sale on the Main Line or Chester County contact me for a competitive market analysis, and we can discuss if a prelisting home inspection is worthwhile for you. Nick Vandekar, Selling the Main Line and Chester County with Long & Foster Real Estate Inc., office 610-225-7400, cell or text 610-203-4543, or Nick@VandekarTeam.com. I give you the confidence to make the right decisions throughout the transaction.

Posted by

 

Nick Vandekar
Nick is a Tredyffrin Easttown Residential and Commercial REALTOR selling The Main Line, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery Counties.

Giving you the confidence to make
the right decisions.

225 W Uwchlan Ave
Downingtown , PA 19335
Office 484-237-2055
SellingTheMainLine.com
Mobile: (610) 203-4543 [call or text me]
Email Me

 

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If you are buying or selling on or around
Tredyffrin Easttown or along the Main Line, 
I can help you, contact me.

Comments (18)

Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Pasadena And Southern California 818.516.4393

Hello Nick - I can see an argument (or a case) when both sides of pre-listing property inspection is a wise decision.  It may not be the ultimate "it depends" type of situation but certainly qualifies for a number of reasons.  Situations and circumstances are but two of the reasons.  

Feb 24, 2023 02:48 PM
Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400
The Top Team @ Charles Rutenberg Realty 255 Executive Dr, Plainview NY 11803 - Plainview, NY
Long Island Condo and Home Specialists

I know this done often in other areas, but here we have seen a prelisting inspection done only a few times in our career.

Feb 24, 2023 09:37 PM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Good morning, Nick... I would say "it depends." I've sold two year old homes that clearly didn't need to pay for a pre-list inspection. Some homes clearly need one to make sure a buyer doesn't find something untoward that might kill a contract. This is a situation where one size does not fit all.

Feb 25, 2023 04:09 AM
Brian England
Ambrose Realty Management LLC - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

I have never really seen the value of having a pre-listing inspection done since having an inspection is part of a prospective buyer's due diligence.

Feb 25, 2023 05:57 AM
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Hello Nick, good information and I agree a  pre inspection can take away some surprises in my opinion.

Feb 25, 2023 10:26 AM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Hi Nick- Michael Jacobs and Nina Hollander, Broker would say..it depends. An older home may warrant one to discover items that aren't necessarily seen by the owner's eye.  If a seller is not certain, then why not save the possibility of losing a sale?

Feb 25, 2023 02:12 PM
Richard Weeks
Dallas, TX
REALTOR®, Broker

Great information, thanks for sharing.  I hope you have a great day.

Feb 26, 2023 04:01 AM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
DFW FINE PROPERTIES - Flower Mound, TX
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543 - Excellent advise! I was at our TX Winter Meetings last month and they were really ecouraging pre-home inspections before sellers list. I think it is a great idea. You did a fine job on your blog post.

Hey! Did you hear? Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist and I are co-hosting the March Challenge. I have no doubt that you would make significant contributions for the challenge. Would love to have you enter. 3 posts = 3,000 POINTS! Or 1,000 each if you can't get to 3. 

Hope to hear from you soon!

Mar 02, 2023 03:43 AM
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Realty ONE Group Advocates 484-237-2055 - Downingtown, PA
Selling the Main Line & Chester County

Michael Jacobs I understand why sellers might not want to do one, fear of unearthing a major problem, but it is better to know in advance than wait for a buyer to unearth it.

Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400 that used to be the case here, but becoming more common.

Nina Hollander, Broker it depends is very true, although some new homes might warrant an inspection.

Brian England the reasoning is to find those issues and have them fixed beforehand and usually at a cheaper price.

Mar 02, 2023 08:38 AM
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Realty ONE Group Advocates 484-237-2055 - Downingtown, PA
Selling the Main Line & Chester County

Will Hamm it can also insulate the seller from a later lawsuit over non-disclosure too.

Kathy Streib it can never hurt, if it comes up clean all the better to share with prospective buyers.

Richard Weeks thanks for stopping by.

Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP I will check out the challenge for this month. 

Mar 02, 2023 08:41 AM
Leanne Smith
Dirt Road Real Estate - Golden Valley, AZ
The Grit and Gratitude Agent

Before we listed our home in NW AZ we did a pre-inspection as well as paid for a certified appraisal. My husband made the corrections per the inspection report. We put together a 3 ring binder with that report and the noted corrections. This binder was on our breakfast table for potential buyers to review.

Mar 03, 2023 07:13 AM
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

Thanks for sharing - a pre inspection can be a great tool to further ensure a smooth transaction - of course, if a seller is willing to do it, and many aren't! 

Mar 03, 2023 07:13 AM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning Nick. Have always been a fan of the home inspection. As a predominantly listing agent many times I have suggested to sellers to get a home inspection to understand what issues they may face in the sale of the property. And, you are correct, you can pay for it now or really pay for it later. Either way, you pay. Enjoy your day.

Mar 04, 2023 05:20 AM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543 -Talking about disclosure... I remember a case in California that a buyer was able to back out of a home because there were way too many pigeons pooping on the property.  It wasn't disclosed and they were able to back out!  That one stuck in my mind. 

Mar 04, 2023 08:43 AM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

Thank you very much, Nick, for sharing your observations and advice. Prelisting home inspections do not seem to be common in our area. 

Mar 04, 2023 10:36 AM
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

I am so glad that Carol Williams repeated your blog post since not everyone read it the first time around! 

Mar 04, 2023 02:18 PM
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Realty ONE Group Advocates 484-237-2055 - Downingtown, PA
Selling the Main Line & Chester County

Leanne Smith that is the perfect use of the pre-listing home inspection.

Lise Howe that I believe is because they do not fully understand the benefits.

Wayne Martin you got it exactly.

Sheri Sperry - MCNE® that is a very unusual way out.

Roy Kelley I think if sellers understood the benefits fully more would have one.

Mar 08, 2023 08:33 AM
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Realty ONE Group Advocates 484-237-2055 - Downingtown, PA
Selling the Main Line & Chester County

Lise Howe thank you, I always appreciate the boost.

Mar 08, 2023 08:34 AM