Pre-Listing Inspection FAQ

Explore some of the most frequently-asked questions related to Pre-Listing and Pre-Sale home inspections. Just tap or click on the question.

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Common Questions about Seller's Inspections

A Home Seller's Inspection is an inspection of a home systems and services prior to it going on the market or getting listed. Depending on the inspector, it can be as thorough as a traditional buyer's home inspection or just focused on particular systems and components of the home (such as the foundation, roof, and electrical systems).

Seller's Inspections are known by several other names such as, 'pre-listing inspection', 'pre-sale inspection',or 'pre-inspection'..
The most appropriate time to get a pre-listing/pre-sale inspection is before your home officially goes on the market, MLS, or is 'officially' listed. This gives you time to make repairs. During this period, your home inspection is not part of the settlement process because no buyers are involved and no contracts have been signed.

It doesn't make any sense for you to perform an inspection once your house is listed for sale. At that point, an inspection becomes the responsibility of buyers.
The most appropriate time to get a pre-listing/pre-sale inspection is before your home officially goes on the market, MLS, or is 'officially' listed. This gives you time to make repairs. During this period, your home inspection is not part of the settlement process because no buyers are involved and no contracts have been signed.

It doesn't make any sense for you to perform an inspection once your house is listed for sale. At that point, an inspection becomes the responsibility of buyers.
First, it is always the moral and ethical thing to do if your inspector discovers that there are deficiencies in the house that could pose a danger to buyers or anyone else who enters your house. This goes for any other issues that you know will require a lot of money to fix. Though real estate disclosure laws vary by state, nearly every state requires that you disclose potentially dangerous systems or structures that you are aware of to prospective buyers.

Second, the seller's inspection report covers a lot of this for you if you are willing to share it with the prospective buyer. This helps to boost a buyer's confidence in you and often alleviates the potential of disclosure-related lawsuits in the future. Consult with a real estate attorney in your state and jurisdiction to learn more.
Not necessarily. However, that decision is entirely up to you. There is no law that requires a home seller to show any receipts or reports to prostect home buyers. That said, you are required by most state laws to disclose your findings in a Seller's Disclosure provided by the real estate agent.
Should your inspector discover an issue that will be extremely expensive to fix, then you have the option to fix it or negotiate it with the buyer. If you do not want to invest the time into making repairs, then you can offer the buyer additional money to fix it themselves, or you can reduce the asking price.
If you were already planning on making repairs and doing renovations prior to listing your home, then having a seller's inspector find severe damage and defects is a good thing!
As much as some real estate people criticize pre-listing/pre-sale inspections because of disclosure policies that can lead to negotiations and delays, sellers need to keep in mind that the buyer's home inspector are likely to find the issues anyway! That could also trigger negotiations and delays except that home seller is now at a disadvantage with a buyer who is ready to close. Without a pre-listing/pre-sale inspection, the buyer has total control of potential negotiations.
If the damage is severe enough that it would cause prospective buyers to walk away, then the seller will have to fix the issue anyway in order to attract more buyers. Remember, once the buyer's inspector discovers major issues with you home, then you will have to disclose them anyway. So, you might as well discover those potential issues before they do!

Benefits of a Seller's Inspection

In some cases, yes. This is especially true if your repairs turn into upgrades and home improvements. In other cases, a pre-listing/pre-sale inspection will help you to preserve the value of your home by identifying damage and defects that could cause buyers to request repairs or negotiate a lower price without repairs.
Not in most cases. If you are taking your home off the market because it hasn't sold, but you intend on putting it back on the market in a few weeks, then there is no need to perform another pre-listing/pre-sale inspection unless an initial inspection discovered damage and deterioration that you haven't fixed, yet. For example, a leaking pipe that was discovered during the first inspection can serious damaged if left unchecked. Such damage could include water stains, warped beams, dips in ceilings, collapsed drywall, wood rot, and mold growth. If you weren't compelled to fix the problem when it was a smaller issue, then you definitely need to get another pre-listing/pre-sale inspection if several weeks have gone by before putting your home back on the market.
How fast your homes sells is based on several factors such as market conditions, asking price, and the existing condition of your homes when it hits the market. Lending rates, weather, location, and curb appeal are other factors to consider. However, the pre-listing/pre-sale inspection will boost the confidence of many buyers which could possibly decrease the length of time that your home is on the market.
Though the home buyers are likely to get their own Buyer's Inspection, they will certainly appreciate your willingness to disclose any damage and defects with the home. If you made repairs or paid a professional contractor to make repairs, then that goes a very long way to boosting the confidence of the buyer. It can also potentially subdue eleventh-hour negotiations and closing to help the buyer close faster.



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