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Pros and Cons of a Pre-Listing Home Inspection

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The buyer, in the majority of cases, will either want or require a home inspection. They will probably want one to know the condition of the home they are purchasing, or they will be required to purchase one for their mortgage application. It is rare for a buyer to waive the inspection, but it does happen.

The seller, on the other hand, can choose what he wants to do with his property; have the home pre-inspected, or wait for the buyer to order the inspection. Both options have their benefits and their risks.

Pros

1. Know the condition of your home ahead of time. It is common for a home sale to fall apart during inspection if the inspection uncovers significant issues such as structural defects, mold, bug infestation, cracked pipes, and so on. Knowing ahead of time about potential issues can give the seller a chance to plan their strategy and may even influence whether they want to sell the home at all.

2. Pricing the home accurately. Avoid wasting a significant amount of time marketing your home for the wrong price. If the inspection comes back with significant issues the buyer will likely ask for the seller to pay for the issues out of the proceeds of the sale and could eat up much of the seller’s profit, potentially changing the desirability of the sale.

3. Minimizing stress. Selling a home is not an easy process and can be the source of tremendous stress for both the buyer and seller. There are numerous pitfalls and ways to fall out of contract for the seller to worry about without worrying about what the inspection might uncover. It can make a lot of sense to minimize stress and the potential fallout of a less than perfect inspection.

4. Time to make needed repairs. A less-than-perfect inspection can delay the closing of the deal, potentially inconveniencing the parties who had already made plans based on an earlier timeline.

5. Minimizing negotiations. Knowing about and addressing potential problems ahead of time gives the buyers fewer bargaining chips at the negotiating table. Buyers will often use the home inspection as a means to renegotiate the sale. You can avoid the typical interactions that follow the buyer’s inspection because the likelihood of the buyer uncovering something new are very low.

Cons

1. You will have to pay for the inspection. A typical home inspection costs between $400 and $1000, and the inspector may charge extra for things like radon testing, well water testing, mold, and lead paint. Additionally, if the buyer is able to negotiate for you to pay for their inspection, you may end up paying twice.

2. Disclosure laws will require you to disclose any known issues. Even if the issue is minor, it may put off potential buyers and make it harder for you to sell your home, and also may cause problems depending on whether the seller has the funds to fix the issues prior to the sale of the home.

3. The buyer is still entitled to their inspection. No matter what you do, a pre-listing inspection does not take the place of a buyer’s home inspection. It is important to know that, though it is unlikely, the buyer’s inspection may turn up additional issues with the home that did not show up on in the pre-listing inspection, or vice-versa. If this happens the seller’s home inspection takes precedent because they have the option to scuttle the contract based on its findings.

If you need further assistance…

There are many factors when considering adding a pre-listing inspection to your home sale. If your house is aging or has not had any recent repairs, it might be wise to have an inspection done to uncover any issues before it goes on the market. If the home is relatively new and you are confident that a pre-listing inspection will not uncover any latent defects, then spending the money is probably not worth it. If you are somewhere in the middle, it is best to consult your REALTOR®, and if you don’t have a REALTOR® and need further assistance, the helpful staff at Sellstate Alliance Realty is always available to answer your questions.

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