Are you thinking of selling your home? If yes, then a pre-listing inspection is probably on your mind. So, should you get one? Let’s take a look…
As experienced home sellers will know, there are many rites of passage to do before listing your property.
Things like finding a real estate agent (which 90% of sellers do), completing home improvements (done by 50% of home sellers), and coming up with an independent listing price (39% of sellers)…
But a close fourth, and still one of the most common pre-listing activities, is getting a professional home inspection before putting it on the market.
So, what is a pre-listing home inspection? And should you consider getting one?
Let’s get into it.
What is a pre-listing home inspection?
A pre-listing home inspection is a thorough examination that takes place before you list your house for sale, and it’s meant to identify any potential issues a buyer might come across when visiting the property.
Pre-listing inspections can be conducted by a licensed professional—either a contractor or an inspector.
The inspector will visit your home and check as many as 1,600 items during the inspection – looking for problems like the plumbing, mechanicals, roof and foundation, and signs of water damage, lead paint, mold, and cracks.
How much does a seller’s inspection cost?
Depending on your location and the size of your home, a pre-listing home inspection can cost anywhere from $250 and $1000.
Should you get a home inspection?
Real estate agents generally agree that a home inspection is essential for the buyer.
But should the seller take the time and money to have their home inspected before a buyer enters the picture?
The answer is… maybe. And the older your home, the most helpful the inspection will be.
Let’s dive into all the things you should consider to decide if you need to get a pre-listing home inspection.
‘Forewarned is Forearmed’, a Pre-Inspection Can Identify Problems Ahead of Time
One of the main reasons sellers do a pre-inspection is to know ahead of time what a buyer is going to find during their own inspection.
“Preparation is the keyword here: ‘forewarned is forearmed,” says Russell Spornberger, Georgia home inspector. According to Spornberger, having a pre-listing inspection can “arm” the seller with the information they may not have had about their home.
It may not be worthwhile to get a pre-inspection if your home is brand new, you’ve made updates recently, or you already know there are issues and you don’t have the money to make repairs before listing.
So it’s more important to be ‘forewarned’ if your home is older or in less-than-perfect condition, so…
How old is your home and what is its condition?
Give some thought to your home’s current condition.
- How old is your home?
- When was your home last inspected?
- Has your home suffered any significant damage?
Take a walk around and look at the key structural areas yourself (a sort of pre-pre-inspection). Do you spot any issues yourself? Issues like:
- Leaks in the roof
- Visible cracks in the home’s foundation
- Issues with the walls and siding
- Traces of mold or water damage
If there are obvious issues, it’s a good sign to get a pre-listing inspection and potentially solve these issues before they start to turn away potential buyers.
Are There Other Benefits to Getting an Early Home Inspection?
Yes! Benefits like:
Avoiding ‘Deal Breaker’ Problems
A home inspection ensures that you will be able to take care of any potential deal-breaking issues that could ruin a sale.
Even if you decide to skip repairing some of the minor issues, taking care of things like cracks in your foundation, mold problems or old electrical wiring will all help with keeping your sale on track.
Getting a Speedy Sale
Another excellent reason to get your home inspected early in the selling process is that it’s likely to speed things later.
If there are any repairs required, you can have them taken care of before you start staging your home, having professional photos taken, and hosting open houses.
Plus, according to Athina Boukas, broker and Realtor from North Carolina, presenting the pre-inspection report to a potential buyer makes it “less likely that the buyer will ‘renegotiate’ the offer after their own inspection because it is less likely they will find a surprise or a ‘new’ deal breaker.”
A Competitive Edge
Finally, offering potential buyers a pre-inspection report can also give you a competitive edge over nearby or similar homes that are for sale.
That’s because it signals to potential buyers that you’ve taken care of your home and that they are unlikely to uncover any major issues when they have their own inspection done.
Are There Reasons NOT to Get a Pre-Inspection?
Unfortunately, there are a few. You should consider them carefully before opting to get your home pre-inspected.
The Cost (Obviously)
Depending on the value of your home, the pre-listing inspection of $250 to $1000 could eat significantly into your sale profits.
Flagging Issues that Buyers Might Have Missed
Just because you found issues during your inspection, doesn’t mean that the buyers would have found them during their own inspection…
Once you do your own inspection, you are usually obligated to fix the issues that you find or disclose problems. This can really damage your property’s value and scare off potential buyers.
So, Should You Get a Pre-Listing Home Inspection?
As you can see, there are both benefits and drawbacks to getting your home inspected before you list, so it’s really up to you.
Take your home’s current condition, its age, and the potential value into account when deciding whether to get a pre-inspection.
If you do decide to go ahead with it…
…You’ll have peace of mind that your home is in great shape before officially starting the selling process!
Once you are ready to sell, our AQRE Home listing team will be happy to share our experience to ensure that your selling process moves along quickly! Contact our team to get professional advice, or even get connected with a pre-approved agent in your area.
Selling your home on www.aqrehome.com is as easy as listing and watching the offers arrive in your inbox, so don’t miss your chance and list your home for free today!