Pre-Listing Home Inspections - Good or Bad?

Most real estate agents do not encourage sellers to conduct a pre-listing home inspection even though they probably agree it's a good idea. Why is this?

This has nothing to do with money and everything to do with fear. Fear that problems with the home are going to be uncovered and will need to be disclosed. Well, there is a 99.99% chance that a buyer will conduct a home inspection and find these problems anyway! If a seller can discover these issues first and correct them so that there are fewer surprises for a buyer, isn't that a good thing?

Yes, a pre-listing home inspection means a little bit more money and work up front on behalf of the seller. Yes, any material defects about the home will need to be disclosed (even if repaired). Yes, this can potentially save a seller money AND even save an entire deal.

All of you real estate agents reading this right now know that most deals fall apart due to home inspection issues. Either the buyer gets hit with a ton of stuff they didn't expect, get scared and walk away or they ask the seller for a huge sum of money in repairs or credits and the seller says 'no way.'

Ask yourself, would your sellers appreciate any or all of the following...

  • Potentially more money in their pocket at closing?
  • A fully informed buyer that knows exactly what they are buying when they write a contract?
  • A more appealing product to go to market with to attract buyers?
  • A transparent negotiation process?
  • A smooth transaction that does not fall through and allows them to get to where they want to go, on time?

YES?! Then it's time to educate sellers on the value of having their home inspected before they go to market. Don't skip out on the up front work. It will save you time and money down the road AND reduce stress on all parties.

So put some power into your pre-listing process and talk to your sellers about having their home inspected before they list it for sale.