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Why Sellers May Want to Consider (or not) a Pre-Listing Home Inspection

Home Inspector

There are some very good reasons to have your home inspected prior to putting it on the market.  But sometimes, depending on the seller’s situation or the home itself, there are good reasons to hold off.  Here are the pro’s and con’s of doing a pre-listing home inspection that are worth discussing with your realtor.

Pro’s of doing a Pre-Listing Home Inspection:

Planning:  One of the most prominent reasons for having your home inspected prior to listing the home for sale is your ability to be able to plan for the repairs both timewise and financially.  Before the listing you have all the time you want to get something fixed.  If it’s going to be expensive you may consider financing options that you can pay off as part of closing.  You have time to get multiple estimates to ensure you get the best deal.  This flexibility doesn’t take place after a buyer’s inspection when you are trying to get things done within the few weeks before closing.

Marketing:  If you have two homes for sale and one had been inspected and all those items that came up during the inspection have been addressed.  And they buyer can look at the inspection report for that property and know a professional has checked the various aspects of the home and considers them to be in good working condition.  Is that buyer more likely to purchase that home over a similar home that has not been inspected?  Might they pay more for it?

Other “Pro’s” to Consider:  If for no other reason than to minimize surprises that may come up after a buyer’s inspection, it may be worth having one done up front.  By doing so, you eliminate some of the stress that sellers go through waiting for the buyer’s agent’s Inspection Amendment asking for the sellers to repair certain items, or a price reduction, or an altogether cancelation of the purchase agreement.  You may also eliminate some of the negotiating involved after the buyer’s inspection.  And best-case scenario, the buyers may decide not to do a home inspection based on what the seller’s inspection report.

Cons of doing a Pre-Listing Home Inspection:

Cost:  If you do a pre-listing inspection that is your choice and you the seller will need to pay for it.  You may also decide to test for radon.  Both inspections the buyer will probably still perform themselves, so you are paying more out of pocked to gain some control over the process.

Doesn’t Eliminate Buyer’s Inspection:  As stated above, just because you have your home inspected prior to sale doesn’t mean the buyer won’t still perform their own inspection after they put in an offer.  And it’s typical that the buyer’s inspector will come up with items not mentioned on the seller’s inspection report.  If you do choose to have a pre-listing inspection, ask your agent for a reputable inspection company that is used widely by agents in your area.

Disclosure Issues:  If you do decide to do a pre-inspection you may have to disclose any problems found to potential buyers.  In Minnesota you must disclose all “material facts” that could adversely and significantly affect an ordinary buyer’s use and enjoyment of the property.  If you have the finances to repair these items prior to sale, not a problem.  If you don’t, you are letting the problems be known to buyers upfront.  Which will be for the best in the long run, but you’ll probably need to address the issues with a lower price on your home upfront.

Fixer-Uppers:  If you have a home that you are selling to investors.  You are pretty much already saying that the home will need some work.  The seller’s Realtor may even market the home as being sold “as-is.”  In these instances, it makes very little sense to have a pre-inspection.

Every home sale is different because every home is different.  As is every buyer and seller.  Whether you choose to have a pre-inspection is going to be specific to your situation and your wants and needs for the sale of your home.  The above should give you the knowledge to ask your Realtor the right questions and come up with the right plan for your specific situation.

If you are thinking about selling your home, contact Minneapolis area Realtor Dan Kokesh for a free, no-obligation seller’s consultation.

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