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The Importance of Having a Pre-Sales Home Inspection

Home Inspector with lookSmart Home Inspections, LLC 24GI00058700

NJ Home inspectors typically can provide a Pre-sales home inspection or a "sellers inspection". A presale home inspection is when a seller of the property hires a home inspector to do a home inspection before it is listed for sale. Presale inspections are an important piece of due diligence for a seller of the property. The biggest positive aspect of having a presales home inspection is that it has the potential to alleviate large surprises for the seller. It is difficult to understand fully the condition of the house that you are selling. Having a thorough and complete presales home inspection will allow you to understand fully the condition of the home you’re selling and get ahead of any problems that exist before you put the house on the market.

The only difference between a presale inspection and a buyer’s inspection is who the NJ home inspector is working for. In the case of a presale inspection the home inspector works for the seller of the home rather than the buyer. Everything else in the inspection process remains the same. A good home inspector will be as thorough and complete doing a presale home inspection as they would be working directly for a buyer. It’s the same exact process only the client is different.

Having a presales home inspection allows you as a potential seller of the property to get ahead and fix small problems before the buyer does their own home inspection. Today’s NJ home inspection reports are very long, and home inspectors include a lot of photos in their inspection reports. If you can alleviate some of those concerns and fix them before you list your house on the market, you will be drastically ahead of much of the competition in the sales market. Why wait for the buyer’s home inspection because their home inspector is going to report on many small items that you can easily address before you put the home on the market. Often buyers are overwhelmed with very long home inspection reports. If you can fix the items beforehand you drastically shorten the report and you put yourself in a much better position to sell your house quickly and efficiently. If you wait for the buyer to have a home inspection and issues are documented the buyers are likely to want professional remediation or repair of those issues. If you can understand the issues before you list the home you can make some of those repairs yourself, saving yourself considerable money in the process.

Having a presales home inspection will also allow you as the seller the benefit of having time. If you do your presales inspection a couple of months before you list your home, you have the luxury of obtaining estimates and developing a game plan for the repair of the issues. If you wait until the buyer has a home inspection, you are likely to be more time crunched. In today’s fast-paced real estate environment homes sell very quickly and it is unlikely that you will have adequate time to fix the things necessary and to get estimates from reputable contractors if necessary. This can lead to a larger credit amount that the buyer asks for. Having a presales inspection gives you the luxury of time because you are not rushed in this process, and you can get estimates for larger fixes easily before your home is on the market. This is a significant added benefit of having a presales inspection.

If you have a presales inspection and you get ahead of the problems and you repair most of the smaller problems and understand the larger issue you are likely to have a smoother negotiation with the buyer of your home. If you take care of many of the small items, the buyer will have less negotiation power because most of the issues have already been taken care of. If you decide not to fix some of the larger items, you can disclose that to the potential buyer and thus the buyer can provide a more reasonable offer on your home that is reflective of the conditions that exist because you already disclosed the larger issues. There will not be any surprises. Surprises often stall real estate transactions. If the buyer knows upfront what some of the major issues are and they accept them, you are likely to have a more confident buyer and a stronger offer.

Having a presales inspection also allows you to come up with a list of priorities. You can work with your agent to prioritize the list of repairs so you can fix some or all the problems. Your real estate agent having years of experience will generally know what items may cause friction in a potential home sale. You can then try to repair the problems or lower your asking price to reflect the condition of the home for those items.

Having a presale inspection can also allow you to set a more realistic asking price. Without a presale inspection you’re basically flying blind and do not know in total what will come up in the buyer’s home inspection report. If you understand the major problems, then you can reflect your pricing in the condition of the home based on your initial presales home inspection report, so your home is likely to sell more quickly and efficiently if the price accurately reflects the condition of the house.

Having a presales inspection can also allow you to have a faster closing on the home. If you have already addressed the issues and your asking price already reflects the condition of the home, you will likely have a more efficient and faster closing which is a benefit to you.

Having a presale inspection can help you get a better price for your home. If you have a presales inspection and address any of the issues found, you are likely to maximize your price as a seller of a home. The cost of the presale inspection could realistically pay for itself many times over if a higher price is received for the home. Having a presales inspection also allows you to understand what a potential buyer may ask for and be ready for that negotiation process. You may also be able to price your home more realistically if you have a presales inspection because you can lower the pricing if major issues are found. This can save you time and aggravation because the pricing of the home will reflect accurately the condition of the house. A buyer is less likely to come back and want significant credits or repairs if the pricing is already reflecting the condition of the property with the problems.

Having a presales inspection can help you market your home. If you have copies of your presale inspection that indicate the home is in very good to excellent condition and provide these copies to potential buyers that is likely to give them greater peace of mind and you could possibly even get a higher offer because of it. The buyer is certainly likely to get their own inspection which is an important part of their due diligence however if you provide a home inspection report that indicates your home is in good condition it is likely to give the buyer more confidence about giving you your asking price for the home and can also allow you to maximize your pricing.

There is one potential significant drawback of having a presales inspection and that is some states will require you to disclose major problems if they are found during your presales home inspection. Here in New Jersey sellers of homes must disclose material defects to their potential buyers if they are aware that these defects exist. Certainly, if you have a presales home inspection you as a seller of a home will be aware of these potential larger problems called material effects. Material defects are any defect or problem in a home that can significantly affect the safety, habitability, or value of the property. This is something to consider before you have a presales inspection.

Another possible drawback is the emotional one that sometimes sellers have. Let’s face it is challenging to hear negative feedback about the home that you own. As a seller I would recommend allowing the home inspector to perform the home inspection without you in attendance. You can read the home inspection report once completed. If you are not there or involved in the initial home inspection process you are less likely to get emotionally involved. Let’s face it, real estate is an emotional transaction. Sometimes it is hard to hear negative feedback about a home that you own. Attempt to use the report as if it were reporting on a home that you were considering purchasing. I find this tip very useful to help separate that emotional attachment that sometimes can get in the way of rational decision-making.

The benefits of having a presale inspection in my opinion drastically outweigh the negatives. Having a presale inspection is an important piece of due diligence for the seller of the property but is often foregone. Spending some money on a presale inspection will give the seller of the home a leg up on the competition, the ability to get ahead of necessary repairs, and provide the ability to more accurately price the home and have a smoother negotiation and sales experience. It is highly recommended that sellers of homes have presales inspections so they can put themselves in the bestselling position in a very competitive real estate marketplace.

Michael Elliott
Fathom Realty - Burlington Township, NJ
Burlington, New Jersey Residential Sales

Yes yes yes!!!!   I am amazed more people do not do this.   I am in Burlington, do you cover Mercer and Burlington ?   I just followed you.

Apr 11, 2024 05:35 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Pasadena And Southern California 818.516.4393

Hello John - I believe that a pre-sale home inspection can be beneficial for many sellers.  While I am aware there are those who disagree with the practice, it is my opinion that the good outweighs any negative thoughts.  

Apr 11, 2024 06:03 AM
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Hello John  and great information to share with us today in the Rain.  Make it a great week.


Apr 11, 2024 10:13 AM
Joe Jackson
Keller Williams Capital Partners Realty - Columbus, OH
Clintonville and Central Ohio Real Estate Expert

It’s a great post. Thank you for sharing!


Have a super fantastic week!

Joe Jackson, Realtor-KWCP

Apr 11, 2024 10:50 AM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Hi John- I've heard pros and cons of having a pre-listing inspection but it makes sense for me. No surprises. 

Apr 11, 2024 05:42 PM