Once a house is under contract, the buyer typically hires an inspector to check the property’s condition. In certain situations, however, the seller should be proactive and spring for a pre listing home inspection. When is this a good idea?
When you need to sell quickly
A pre listing home inspection saves you time when you need to sell your house quickly. With your inspection report in hand, the buyer won’t need to hire his own inspector, wait for a report and then decide whether to challenge the price or seek repairs as the days tick by. On the other hand, don’t be surprised if the buyer still wants to hire his own inspector for a second opinion despite your pre listing home inspection. He has the right to do so.
When you want to know the price is right
If you have a pre listing home inspection, you’ll have done due diligence that competing sellers probably haven’t. That means you can begin your listing at a price that accounts for any repairs that are needed. This will shorten the negotiating process. Having an inspection done before listing can also lead to multiple offers, since potential buyers will know the true value of your home if you’ve taken the inspection’s findings into account in setting your price.
When you have reason to think repairs are needed
Knowing that repairs may be needed cuts both ways when it comes to pre listing home inspections. Having one done shows that you are transparent, and gives you the chance to make repairs before the house is under contract and the clock is ticking.
On the other hand, a pre listing inspection might reveal items you are not prepared to handle, forcing you to deal with price concessions. Additionally, the buyer may still choose to have his own inspector examine the house. No two inspectors are alike in what catches their eye, so your pre listing inspection may reveal only a handful of actionable items, whereas a buyer’s inspector may ignore those but cite others. In this sense, the risks of a pre listing inspection versus a buyer’s inspection probably balance out.