While it’s almost always the case that a prospective home buyer will have a home inspected before finalizing an offer to buy a house, the home seller also has the option to have a pre-listing inspection done before their home even goes on the market. That’s right, both the buyer and seller have an option to perform a home inspection. 

What is a pre-inspection?

A pre-listing inspection is when the seller hires a certified home inspector to inspect the house before putting it on the market. And the inspection is the same as when a buyer’s inspector does it. Regardless of who is doing the hiring, a certified home inspector evaluates about 1,600 items that make up the property’s foundation, structure, electrical, plumbing, and HVAC systems. The purpose is to uncover hidden and potentially expensive problems that could affect the value of the home.

Is it a good idea? 

There are certainly pros and cons to doing a pre-inspection, and we’ll talk through them. Be sure to discuss both the pros and the cons with your real estate agent, as they may have specific recommendations for you that you didn’t consider before.  

Pros to doing a pre-inspection

There are a number of positives to doing a pre-inspection. Here are a few of the major ones.

  • Fewer surprises – Doing a pre-inspection offers the seller some peace of mind by identifying problems, or lack thereof, and this can soften the suspense of waiting to hear back from the buyer’s inspection about possible expensive repairs that might be deemed necessary by the prospective buyer.
  • Gives seller time to fix problems – A pre-inspection allows sellers the ability to fix problems ahead of time, especially ones that the seller knows will concern prospective buyers, before the sales process begins – and hopefully can help not only attract more buyers but also present buyers with a clean bill of health on the property.
  • Evidence can substantiate a higher asking price – Performing a pre-inspection can present a strong first impression to buyers, who may see your house in a more positive light and may boost their offer because of it. Or it may allow the seller to list the house for a higher price. 

Cons to doing a pre-inspection

And as with anything there are some cons to doing a pre-inspection as well. Again make sure you discuss this with your real estate agent before doing this. 

  • Costs money – As with when a buyer does an inspection, the seller’s inspection costs money. An average home inspection cost is around $340, but inspection fees will vary depending on the size of the home. For example, condos and small homes will typically cost less. And larger homes over 2,000 square feet will run $400 or more. The average cost will also vary from market to market and state to state as well, depending on local costs. 
  • Disclose issues – Not that the seller shouldn’t have done this anyway, but getting an official inspection report could mean that the seller is required to disclose the issues contained therein. The seller may be obligated by law to do so, depending on the state. 
  • Doesn’t mean you’re done – And just because you hired a home inspector doesn’t mean the buyers won’t hire their own (they will), and their results won’t necessarily be the same. Some of the issues that the seller addressed may not have come up at all on the buyer’s inspection. And because naturally, buyers will typically trust their inspector more than the seller’s, they may demand that these other issues get fixed also. 

Boil it down

So for the purposes of a real estate transaction, it might be the right thing to do a pre-inspection, or it might not. There is no right or wrong answer, so it pretty much boils down to whether the seller prefers to fix potential problems before they develop, or wait and see if anything happens.

Get a good real estate agent

A key to helping either the seller or the buyer through the inspection process is finding the right real estate agent, one that knows how to negotiate inspection contingencies and other aspects of home sales. Selling a home and buying a home is a tricky and sometimes difficult process. 

You always want somebody that is most familiar with your circumstances, with your neighborhood, with your market and has the most experience in order to help you get the best possible results.

If you’re looking for a top agent in Arizona, Colorado, North Carolina, or Washington state, do your homework and find someone that does more than a few deals per year. Look for experts who can help you. When you hire Trelora you’ll get best-in-class customer service, and a team of expert agents who close hundreds of deals per year.