Success of a Pre-listing Inspection

Home Inspector with Home Sweet Home Inspection Services

I received a call this morning from a client I did a pre-listing inspection for about 3 months ago. He told me that he is in contract and the buyer just had their inspection done and only one thing was found. One thing! Missing screws for a face plate cover. How awesome is that.

 I did find many areas of concern that he did address to get his home in tip top shape. Decayed siding and trim he took care of. Caulking issues on the exterior of the home and in the interior of bathrooms. Repaired glazing on sashes and peeling paint.  He replaced a faulty GFCI.  He repaired all his sink pop-ups so they work as intended. He made sure all his windows worked and weren't painted shut. He reinsulated the refrigerant lines at the AC unit. He repaired the grading to get the dirt and wood chips off of the home. He tightened all the hardware on cabinets and attic stairs.

One thing he didn't do was repair the landing guard on the second floor and the hand rail that leads down to the first floor. He had someone replace the knee wall on the second floor with a newel post and a guard rail and balusters. He also replaced the knee wall and railing that transcended the stairs with a decorative railing, newel post and balusters. The problem with the new work was that it did not meet the code required height requirement of 36" to the top of guard for the second floor landing and between 34" and 38" for the stair hand rail.

 He had this work done two years ago and wasn't aware that there were requirements that needed to be met and apparently neither did the handyman who did the work. The guard rail height was at 33" and the stair rail height was at 32". I pointed this out as a safety/liability issue and a defect and that it needs to be repaired. He contacted the handyman who never returned his phone calls. So, he left it the way it was because of the cost to repair it.

 When the buyer went to contract, my client, in the disclosure, let them know that they had a pre listing inspection done and they were more then happy to provide it to them. The buyer declined to see it because he had his own home inspector. How the inspector missed the height of the railings is beyond me.

 I talk to so many realtors about prelisting inspections and many of them don't even discuss it with their clients. I guess they feel that it's up to the buyer to figure out what's wrong. From my point of view, all the pre listing inspections I have done has made a house easier to sell. The seller is able to repair problems, defects and maintenance issues and get their home in tip top shape. Any problems or issues found by the buyer's inspector are minimal at best which makes for a smoother transaction for all parties involved.

 I guess I shouldn't be doing this but I am gloating. I like receiving phone calls like this. I believe that successes should be trumpeted out loud. So many times the inspector get's bashed. One question I have is, How many realtors in the AR community advise on getting a pre listing inspection done? By the way, I'll be inspecting his new home purchase next week.  Have a great week.

Comments (3)

Daniel Rogers
Final Analysis Home Inspections - Virginia Beach, VA
Virginia Beach Home Inspector

Hey Louis,

A good portion of my inspections are pre-listing. I've even developed a package called "sellers adantage". It's been a big hit with the sellers as a marketing tool, But the majority of agents have not warmed up to this yet. I'm not sure why. Fortunately I have good market penetration directly to sellers and buyers but  I'd like agents to realize and share these benefits as well. Obviously the seller can save money by being proactive about the repairs. However, This saves the listing agents from complications when the buyers shows up with their inspector. "A stitch in time saves nine" right.  Mostly all my pre-listing inspections sell faster with less aggravation and for more money. The bottom line is, whoever get the inspection first....wins.

Aug 27, 2008 10:56 AM
Louis Agudo
Home Sweet Home Inspection Services - Roswell, GA
Roswell Home Inspector

Hi Daniel,

Good response and we are on the same page with this issue. Seller's advantage package sounds interesting. You and I both know , when we inspect a home for a buyer, which homeowners have taken the time to get a home ready for sale and those that don't. I think that there is nothing more frustrating for a buyer then to get a list of 25 items that should have been repaired prior to listing the home. Being proactive is what it's all about.

"But the majority of agents have not warmed up to this yet. I'm not sure why." My guess is because there is nothing in it for them. My response is a quicker and smoother transaction for all.

"I'd like agents to realize and share these benefits as well."  I hope that they are starting to see the benefit. Homes are staying on the market for longer periods of time. There are certainly many more sellers then there are buyers. It's the agents who are proactive for there clients that will see success of pre-listing inspections.

What a great marketing tool to have for a seller. A pre-listing inspection available to a buyer with receipts by companies who performed the work to repair what was in the report.


Aug 29, 2008 05:00 AM
Warming them up

Maybe they need help warming up.  I've been asking experienced and professional agents their thoughts on this and most are responding possitively saying it's a good idea. Some have told me they need a brochur or marketing device to include in their presentation to the seller.  My sellers advantage package is gettting very possitive feedback from agents but I don't market it enough.

None the less...change takes time, even possitive change. I remember the days of selling the very concept of home inspections. I had to carry a blow torch with me. Talk about the wild wild west....shoooeeey. Them where the days.

Aug 29, 2008 08:12 AM