Are Pre-listing Home Inspections Worth It? Here’s What Sellers Need to Know

Home inspections are often the biggest obstacle to a quick sale. Your buyer may use the findings of the inspector to negotiate for a lower sale price or walk away. According to the National Association of Realtors, home inspection issues accounted for 11% of contracts that were delayed and 9% of those that were terminated in 2021.

You can be proactive by completing a home inspection before listing your property. You can avoid delays and price cuts by completing a pre-listing home inspection.

Your unique property and the market conditions will determine how an early inspection affects your sale. Let’s look at how a home inspection can help you sell your house.

Home inspections for pre-listing are the same as standard inspections
Pre-listing inspections are the same as standard inspections, except the seller is responsible for paying the cost before the home is listed on the market.

Sellers complete their pre-listing inspection at least two months prior to listing the property. Buyers can trust the findings of the inspection as a reflection of the current condition.

A certified home inspector will inspect the property and note the condition of the major structural features and components. A home inspection, according to the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), checks:

Electrical systems
Plumbing systems
HVAC systems include heating and air conditioning systems
Windows and Doors
Attic space

Inspectors will look for damage, such as cracks, leaks, faulty wiring and code violations. Keep in mind that the majority of home inspections don’t evaluate the condition or paint, wallpaper and other finishes.

How a home inspection before listing can help your sale
A pre-listing inspection allows you to find problems and make repairs before the buyer gets involved. Take a look at this and other benefits that can help accelerate the sale of your home.

Repairs are a good idea to start early
Booking and completing common home repairs can take up to several months. Pre-listing inspections give you the time to research contractors and make repairs before a buyer threatens to back out of the deal.

State laws require that sellers disclose to buyers any known property problems. If you decide not to repair any issues that were found during your pre-listing property inspection, then you’ll have to disclose them to the buyer.

Negotiation points to reduce
Home inspection results are often used by buyers to negotiate a lower price for the home or credit towards repairs. Say, for example, that an inspection revealed a large crack in the foundation which would cost $4,000 dollars to fix. You may be asked by the buyer to either repair it or provide a credit of $4,000 at closing. If you do not agree with the buyer’s request, the earnest money will remain intact.

You can beat the buyer by making these repairs (or acknowledging them) before listing your home. You can close faster by skipping the normal inspection negotiations, which often last one to three business days.

Calculate the effective price point
Knowing the condition of your home can help you set a price that is strategic, whether you address all or some of the findings from a Pre-listing Inspection in Raleigh NC. You might, for example, disclose that your roof requires repair and explain that the price of the property reflects the discount. If your home is in excellent condition, you may want to price it and market it like a turnkey property. This will encourage more offers.

Encourage more aggressive offers
You can show the buyers your inspection report and any relevant repair invoices if you have conducted a home inspection before listing. This document gives buyers confidence to make a higher bid because they are confident that there will be no surprise repair costs.

The pre-inspection incentive may be the deciding factor for a buyer who is torn about whether or not to offer on your house.

Prepare for a FHA appraisal
Your home must pass an FHA appraisal if a buyer has a Federal Housing Administration loan. The FHA appraiser will assess the overall condition of the property during this intensive appraisal process.

The seller must make any necessary repairs to ensure the safety, soundness, and security of the Property. This will also preserve its marketability and ensure the health and safety for the occupants.

There are many issues that need to be addressed.

Cracked glass
Missing handrails
Poor workmanship
Trip hazards
Lack of a driveway surface that is all-weather

Pre-listing Home Inspections Cost $279 to $400
An inspection of a residential property of average size usually takes a few hours and costs between $279 to $400. HomeAdvisor reports that many home inspectors charge flat fees for homes under 2,000 square feet, and then charge per square inch afterward.

Even if a home inspection is completed prior to listing, the buyer can still order an inspection before buying your property. In this situation, the buyer is usually responsible for paying for the inspection.

Find out if you should have a home inspection done before listing your house for sale
A pre-listing inspection is a great way to speed up the process, but it’s not always the best choice. Many times, the seller will not pay the extra cost if they know that the buyer will also do an inspection.

Consider the following to help you decide if a home inspection before listing is right for your situation:

You’ve deferred maintenance. If you know that your home has maintenance issues, but haven’t taken care of them properly, inspecting it before listing is a great idea.
You should prioritize a quick sale. If you are in a hurry to sell, it might be worth a home inspection before listing your house. This way, you can ensure that you have done all you can to expedite the process.

If you’re selling your house as a “fixer upper”, buyers looking for one need to know the total cost of repairs. Buyers may try to lowball you if they don’t conduct a pre-listing home inspection.

Selling the house remotely: If you don’t live near the property that you are selling, and you haven’t been keeping tabs on it’s condition, you can benefit from a home inspection before listing to get a better idea of its condition and determine if you should list the home at a higher price.

You’re in a hot market: If your local housing market favors sellers, and houses are selling everywhere you look, then you don’t need to conduct a home inspection before listing.

Pre-listing inspections are not necessary if you intend to sell to a cash buyer. Direct buyers have specific criteria for evaluating properties; they will want to inspect your home rather than accepting it at face value.

You are selling a newly built home: Buyers may feel more confident about the condition of your house if it was constructed within the past few years. A pre-listing inspection will not affect offers or negotiations in this situation.
If you are a contractor, your home is in perfect condition. You may not wish to pay for any information that you already know.

Consult your real estate agent if you’re still not sure whether you want to spend money on a home inspection before listing. A real estate agent who is familiar with the local market can give you advice on whether a pre-listing inspection will benefit your sale.

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