The Benefits of Pre-Listing Home Inspections for Sellers

The Benefits of Pre-listing Home Inspections for Sellers

The buyer wants to know more about the home you’re selling, but so do you. This is what a pre-listing home inspection does for home sellers. As the name suggests, these are thorough checks for properties, done before listing.

If it’s the first time hearing about pre-listing inspections, you may have questions. What are pre-listing inspections for, why should you pay for one, and how do you benefit?

Of course, you probably already have a lot of things to do. This makes it even more important to know if pre-listing home inspection should be on your checklist. 

Inspections aren’t as costly as you’d think - Photo via Canva

What is the Definition of a Pre-Listing Inspection?

Before buyers get to meet your property face-to-face, it needs to be listed (unless it’s sold directly to a waiting buyer). But, before listing, sellers have the chance to do a pre-listing home inspection. 

A pre-listing inspection isn’t the same as a normal home inspection, which is usually done at the buyer’s request (and at the buyer’s expense).

Think of the pre-listing inspection as a sneak peek, like checking the answers of a test before handing it in. Here’s what a realtor says about this type of pre-listing check:

“Pre-listing inspections are an extra step that home sellers can take to find repairs and red flags. A professional inspector goes through your home ahead of the listing stage, which turns up potential issues - long before they can negatively affect your sale. It’s a valuable service since issues from small to large can dramatically affect a buyer’s interest.” 

Sandy Jamison has been one of The Bay Area’s top-performing realtors for almost two decades. She currently manages The Jamison Team with her husband, Bob Jamison. You can read her story here.

Why Should Anyone Consider a Pre-Listing Inspection?

One or two minor issues may cause a slight delay, which isn’t the end of the world. However, you’d probably agree that the time to fix these issues is before the buyer sees them. 

What if there are more serious fixes that you’ve missed? We’re referring to things like cracked water piping, a leaking roof, or a broken moisture barrier at the foundation. With problems this large, a delay is the least of your worries. When the buyer makes an offer and inspects the home, they’ll become aware of any shortcomings. Instead of avoiding a pre-listing inspection and waiting for that moment, you could solve problems ahead of time.

You can also use the pre-listing inspection to make buyers more interested and generate better offers.

Let’s imagine that you have a potential buyer and you have a pre-listing inspection that was passed with flying colors. Due to this, you could receive a better offer that probably won’t need to be renegotiated in the future, when the buyer does their home inspection.

So, pre-listing inspections can lock in better offers ahead of time, plus, keep you somewhat protected from future renegotiations.

Main Benefits of Pre-Listing Inspections:

  • Find potential repairs.
  • Ensure a smoother real estate transaction.
  • Preserve the perception of value by correcting problems.
  • Advertise a clean real estate bill of health to prospective buyers.
  • Receive more accurate offers, less likely to change later on.
  • Know exactly what you are selling.

Now, let's talk about what parts of the home are covered by a pre-listing inspection.

Pre-listing inspections often help sellers avoid problems - Photo via Canva

Who Pays for a Pre-Listing Inspection and What Does it Check?

Let’s talk about the cost first. The good news is that a pre-listing inspection is cheap, compared to your home price. Yes, you’ll need to cover the cost, but the valuable information pays for itself. 

How much do pre-listing inspections cost? 

A home inspection can cost a few hundred dollars, usually topping out around $400. However, you can choose focus areas and limit the scope of the pre-listing inspection, if you choose to.  You could also opt for a comprehensive inspection, as potential buyers will request.

What do pre-listing inspections check?

Home sellers sometimes direct the inspector to check specific features or areas. For example, you may ask the home inspector to evaluate your foundation, roofing, HVAC systems, or any other home systems/features. However, the cost is low enough that many sellers just choose to fully pre-inspect their home. Honestly, this makes the most sense. If you isolate a single area, you may miss something that the buyer’s inspection doesn’t miss. 

The Important Question: Do You Need a Pre-Listing Inspection?

Let’s say you’re living in a nearly brand-new condominium and are the only owner in the property’s history. In this kind of situation, do you need a pre-listing inspection? 

The pre-listing inspection aims to make you aware of issues and fixes - but you might already be fully aware of your home’s condition. Take a realtor’s recommendation on this, but newer properties might not need a pre-listing inspection. If you are quite sure your home is in fantastic condition, waiting for the buyer’s inspection could be optimal.

Pre-Listing Inspections and Mandatory Disclosures

There’s one more important thing to know about pre-listing home inspections. In states like California, you (as the seller) must disclose potential issues. This includes details about the home, plus any worrying aspects. This kind of thing can’t be hidden from potential buyers, nor should you attempt to.

And so, if your pre-listing inspection finds cracked concrete siding, leaking faucets, or even minor mold, you may need to disclose that to buyers. You and your realtor will do this with forms like the Transfer Disclosure Statement and Natural Hazard Disclosure Report/Statement. The forms ask yes/no questions and request details on “material” aspects that are relevant to buyers.

If you need to talk more about the disclosure process or anything related to pre-listing inspections, our team of professionals is here. Whether you contact us online or at our San Jose, California offices, you’ll be talking with an experienced and licensed realtor. The Jamison Team is looking forward to meeting you!

More Questions? Follow Up With Us!

If you have more questions about what to expect from the markets around the Bay Area, don’t be afraid to reach out to us today. Our experts are experienced in all property types and the entire San Francisco Bay Area, and we can help you to find what you need to know today.

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