Pros and Cons of Pre-Listing Home Inspections

Real Estate

Most real estate agents agree that a home inspection is an essential part of the home buying process. But is it worth it for a seller to have their home inspected before they put it on the market?

Some listing agents may believe that a pre-listing home inspection is a waste of time and money for a seller, setting them up for potential risk and hassle. The home seller might be taking a gamble having their home inspected, as it can reveal issues that must be disclosed to prospective home buyers. Inspections can reveal information sellers may not have known about their home, for better or worse. If an inspection uncovers any issues that are too expensive for a seller to repair, it could end up being a liability rather than an asset. And a pre-listing inspection does not take the place of the buyer’s inspection.

Other agents may argue that pre-listing inspections are a true win-win for sellers and buyers alike. A professional home inspector will review the major visible and accessible components of the home, and provide a detailed written report rating each element. It also fosters an atmosphere of openness and trust, letting prospective buyers see the big picture from the very beginning, building their confidence in the home seller and listing agent. In some cases, a seller will make an effort to repair or replace defective items uncovered in the inspection. A pre-listing inspection makes the home stand out from others on the market, which can help it sell faster. It also reduces the risk of having to re-negotiate the deal based on surprises found later in the process by a buyer’s inspection.

As an agent, I try to use my best judgment when recommending a pre-listing inspection to my sellers. The goals of a pre-listing inspection include proving the home is in good shape, uncovering major repairs a seller needs to fix before listing, or facilitating negotiation of an as-is offer.  Either way having this knowledge will allow you to set reasonable expectations for your sale in price and time on the market, and build a win-win scenerio for everyone.

Learn more about home inspections and view ASHI Standards here:  ASHI Standards