Man examining house, representing home seller pre-inspection

The Value of a Pre-Inspection When Selling Your Home

Most homeowners know about home inspections, as they likely went through the process when buying the house. It is an important step in any real estate transaction to help protect the buyer and their lender. It provides useful information about the true condition of the property to help avoid any major surprises after the buyer moves in.

Understanding Market Conditions

In a sellers’ market (like what we have in Southeastern Pennsylvania in May of 2024), buyers are often faced with a competitive landscape. To compete, they may feel that waiving inspections will give them an advantage. However, they are hesitant to do so because of the inherent risks. This may keep them from making an offer. Given the increased home prices and the higher mortgage rates, this may be too much for them to risk. If you provide them with inspections that were recently done, you may allay their fears and keep them in the game.

For a seller in a buyer-friendly state (such as Pennsylvania), inspections during the transaction pose a risk and level of anxiety most sellers would like to avoid. Doing inspections ahead of time can identify unknowns and allow for repairs to be made on the seller’s timeline without the added leverage that a buyer gains once under contract.

As a home seller in today’s market, you have to take the necessary steps to prepare your property for sale. This will include better staging and marketing. It should also include deep cleaning and making repairs or upgrades that will increase its buyer appeal. A house that is in better condition will attract more potential buyers and higher offers. It will also help ensure a smoother closing process—especially when you get to that final home inspection.

This is why more and more sellers are opting to perform a home pre-inspection before listing their property on the market. This can be a very worthwhile step to take when it comes to home preparation.

What is a Home Seller’s Pre-Inspection?

Similar to the buyer’s home inspection performed during closing, a seller can hire a certified home inspector to complete a pre-inspection prior to listing. It can also be referred to as a “pre-listing inspection.” The inspector would go through the same inspection process. They will identify any potential problems and recommend specific home repairs. This way, you can take care of these issues before you list. If you don’t have the time or money to make repairs, you can at least disclose any key findings from the inspection report in the listing. Then, the buyers know exactly what they are getting and you can avoid closing delays or cancellations when those issues are noted in the final buyer’s home inspection.

Let’s say you have a crack in your foundation that you didn’t even know about. A pre-listing inspection can identify this problem. You can make the necessary repairs before you list. Some repairs, upgrades and pre-inspection grades may be noteworthy in the listing to reassure the buyers that the house is in great shape and that any potential issues have already been resolved.

What Will the Home Inspector Look for?

A home pre-inspection will be very similar to a buyer’s home inspection. The inspector will look at the home’s exterior, including roofing and siding. They will inspect the structure, foundation and framing. In addition, they will check out the plumbing, HVAC system, electrical systems, windows, walls, doors, ceilings, basements, attics and insulation—just to name a few things. They look over everything and provide a detailed report that will identify which repairs are needed.

How Much Does a Pre-Listing Inspection Cost?

Most seller’s pre-listing inspections will cost a few hundred dollars, but the price may depend on various factors like location, property size and property features. Ask your real estate agent for a good recommendation or interview several home inspectors to find one with the services, experience and price point you like best.

Why to Consider a Seller’s Pre-Inspection

There are many reasons why you should consider a pre-inspection when selling your home. You can identify and prioritize any repairs that are needed before listing the property on the market. You can take care of repairs yourself and hire your own workers, rather than letting the buyer dictate the terms or ask for significant price discounts/credits. Ultimately, you can streamline the closing process by reducing the risk of any issues being found during the buyer’s home inspection. Bad home inspections can cause closing delays, reduce your financial returns, and can even enable the buyer to back out of the deal.

If you are planning to sell your home in Southeastern Pennsylvania or Northern Delaware, contact The Cyr Team today. Let us help walk you through all the steps you should take when preparing to sell. If a pre-inspection is recommended, we can connect you with reputable home inspectors throughout the area and make sure the job is done right.

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