Everything You Need to Know About Getting Your Home Inspected Before Selling

Everything You Need to Know About Getting Your Home Inspected Before Selling

Are you planning to sell your home in the near future? As you’re probably aware, buyers are encouraged to get a home inspection done before they decide to purchase your home. To get ahead of the game, many sellers opt to do a pre-listing inspection so they can get a good idea of what a buyer’s inspection will reveal. This helps them set a competitive price, make necessary repairs, and gives them more control over the negotiating process. A pre-listing inspection can also reduce stress, as they’ll know what (if anything) is wrong with their home before a buyer’s inspection reveals it. They will also have more time to schedule or make repairs as they won’t be on a tight timeline.

If you’re considering a home inspection before selling, read on for information to learn about the inspection process, what it includes, and how you can use it to sell your home.

The difference between a buyer’s inspection and a pre-listing inspection

A pre-listing inspection and a buyer's inspection are both critical components of the real estate transaction process, but they serve different purposes and occur at distinct stages.

A pre-listing inspection is initiated by the seller before the property is listed for sale. Its primary objective is to identify any potential issues or repairs that might affect the home's value or marketability. By addressing these concerns beforehand, the seller can enhance the property's appeal, streamline the selling process, and potentially justify a higher asking price. It also fosters transparency, giving prospective buyers confidence in the property's condition.

On the other hand, a buyer's inspection occurs after a property goes under contract, initiated by the potential buyer. This inspection is a due diligence step that ensures the property meets the buyer's expectations and doesn't harbor undisclosed defects. Depending on the findings, the buyer can negotiate repairs, request a price adjustment, or, in some cases, withdraw the offer without penalties.

While both inspections assess the property's condition, a pre-listing inspection aims to preemptively address issues to facilitate a smoother sale, whereas a buyer's inspection seeks to protect the buyer's investment.

What does an inspection include?

Both the pre-listing and buyer’s inspections will look at the house's condition and identify any hazards or areas that need to be repaired. Areas that are typically inspected include:

  • Heating and cooling systems
  • Plumbing
  • Electrical
  • Roof and structure of the home
  • Doors
  • Windows
  • Siding
  • Appliances and environmental systems
  • Insulation and ventilation
Pre-listing inspections typically do not include the following:

If a buyer wants to include any of these in their inspection, they can do so at their own expense.

Cost of pre-listing inspection

A pre-listing inspection will cost the same amount as a buyer’s inspection and is usually anywhere from $350 to $500 if a professional, qualified inspector with E&O insurance conducts the review. This cost may vary depending on your home's age and square footage, any special conditions, and location.

How to prepare for your inspection

Once you’ve scheduled your home inspection before selling, it’s time to prepare. Prior to your inspector’s arrival, do the following:

  • Make sure your home and yard are clean, tidy, and as free of clutter as possible
  • Be at your home at least 30 minutes prior to the inspector’s arrival time
  • Ensure all appliances and utilities are connected
  • Provide access to the garage and attic if applicable
  • Leave keys for exterior buildings, unlock covers of electrical boxes and sprinkler systems, and leave remote controls for garage(s) if needed
  • Make all documents and invoices related to remodeling projects or repairs available to the inspector

What to do after you get the results of your inspection

If you get a lengthy list of issues from your pre-listing inspector, try not to worry. You may not be required to fix them all. However, you will be required to share the results with any prospective buyers who make an offer. You may show buyers a summary of the inspection or elect to show them the entire report.

Go over the results of your inspection with your real estate agent. He or she will be able to tell you which repairs or replacements are necessary to take care of prior to listing. In some cases, you may address minor issues to increase your home's listing price and expedite the selling process.

How can a pre-inspection be used to help sell your home?

Buyers have more peace of mind when making an offer on a home that has been pre-inspected because they can reasonably believe that all significant issues have been identified and addressed. Your real estate agent knows this and will make sure all prospective buyers know your home has been pre-inspected. In addition to putting it on listings, your agent may include this information on flyers, ads for open houses, social media posts, and when they are talking about your home to their industry contacts.

Can a buyer conduct their own inspection?

Many will still choose to hire an inspector, especially if the pre-listing inspection uncovered issues that you have claimed to resolve. The buyer may choose to use the same inspector you used for the pre-inspection, or they may choose a different inspection company.

Preparing, listing, and selling a home can be a stressful and time-consuming process. Working with an experienced agent who can give you advice, connect you with professionals in the industry, and walk you through the steps is the best way to minimize anxiety and possible complications.

Need a reputable, knowledgeable expert to guide you through a home inspection before selling?

Ready to list your home for sale? Reach out to the experienced professionals at Argent Realty. They can offer you peace of mind, from pre-listing inspections and preparing your home for listing to negotiating with buyers and navigating closing day.

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