Reasons to have a Pre-Listing (Home Seller's) Inspection


If you are selling a home, you'll get the highest price in the shortest time, if your home is in top condition. And you want to find out about any hidden problems before your house goes on the market. Almost all sales contracts include the condition that the contract is contingent upon completion of a satisfactory inspection. This is known as the "inspection contingency". Buyers will insist on a professional home inspection performed by an inspector they will hire. If the buyer's inspector finds a problem, it can cause the buyer to get cold feet and the deal can often fall through. At best, surprise problems uncovered by the buyer's inspector will cause delays in closing, and usually you will have to pay for repairs at the last minute, or take a lower price on your home.

It's better to pay for your own inspection before putting your home on the market. Having a pre-listing inspection done will make the whole sale process easier. Find out about any hidden problems and get them corrected in advance, on your own terms. Or present the items "as is" and reflected in the purchase price. Otherwise, you can count on the buyer’s inspector finding them, at the worst possible time, causing delays and costing you more money.

One of the key benefits of having the inspection done early is that if there are any problems discovered that need to be repaired, you can have the repairs done on your own terms, on your own schedule. When a problem isn’t found until the buyer has an inspection performed, the deal you've worked so hard to get done may fall apart unless you act quickly to get the repairs done. Or you may have to take a lower price, in order to keep the deal moving. In either case, you'll almost certainly have more headache, and spend more money, than if you’d known about the problem and had it repaired before negotiations began. You could save thousands by simply being able to shop around and get competitive bids from contractors, rather than being forced into paying for a rush job at the last minute. Another area where you can save money is in having flexibility to choose the materials used in repairs. Sales contracts usually specify repairs must be made using materials of comparable quality. By identifying needed repairs early, you’ll have the option to save money by using less expensive materials for the repairs.

You can also benefit from simply offering certain items "as is". Often, you can negotiate with a buyer to accept items in the current condition by stipulating that they are reflected in the purchase price. But that same buyer may walk away from the deal if the conditions come as a surprise, after an offer has already been made. If the home is inspected before the house goes on the market you will be aware of the condition of the house before an offer is made. There won't be any surprises and the deal is far less likely to fall apart. It takes a lot of effort to get a sales agreement signed in the first place. If the inspection turns up problems, the buyer will want to negotiate a new deal and that second sales agreement is usually even harder to get done than the first one.

By having a pre-listing inspection done, you can identify problems early. Then either correct them or present them "as is", assuring that the first offer you accept can move quickly and smoothly to closing without delays or costly surprises.

When the inspection is complete; You will receive a thoroughly written report accompanied by digital photographs. I will also discuss any routine maintenance tasks that are required to keep the home and it's systems in top condition, as well as answer any questions you may have.

Based on what is Present, Visible, and Accessible the Inspector will inspect the following items that may be included in your thorough inspection:

  • (AFCI) ARC FAULT CIRCUIT INTERRUPTOR TESTING

  • AIR CONDITIONING, HEATING EQUIPMENT, VENTS, AND DUCTWORK 

  • ALARM SYSTEMS, SMOKE, FIRE, AND CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTION

  • ATTIC, STAIRS, INSULATION, VENTS, AND ASSOCIATED STRUCTURE SYSTEMS

  • BATHROOM FIXTURES, EXHAUST VENTS, AND HEATERS

  • CABINETS, COUNTER TOPS, AND CLOSETS

  • CRAWLSPACE, PIERS, BEAMS, GIRDERS, VENTS, AND SUBFLOOR STRUCTURES

  • DISHWASHER

  • DOOR BELL OR CHIME

  • EIFS: EXTERIOR INSULATED FINISH SYSTEMS 

  • ELECTRICAL SERVICE ENTRANCE, PANELS, AND BRANCH CIRCUITS

  • EXTERIOR WALLS, DOORS, SEALANTS, AND WEATHER STRIPPING

  • FIREPLACE, HEARTH, DAMPER, FLUE, CAP, AND ARRESTORS

  • FOOD WASTE DISPOSAL

  • FOUNDATION

  • FLOOR COVERINGS

  • GARAGE DOOR(S) AND OPENER(S) 

  • GAS LEAK DETECTION (TIF 8800) not matches or soap bubbles

  • GAS SUPPLY SYSTEM FROM METER TO APPLIANCES

  • (GFCI) GROUND FAULT CIRCUIT INTERRUPTOR TESTING

  • GRADING, DRAINAGE, GUTTER, AND DOWNSPOUTS

  • HYDROTHERAPY TUB & EQUIPMENT   

  • INTERIOR WALLS, DOORS, CEILINGS, AND FLOORS

  • LANDSCAPING EFFECTS ON STRUCTURE

  • LAWN AND GARDEN SPRINKLER SYSTEMS

  • MICROWAVE

  • OVEN, COOKTOP, AND RANGE

  • OTHER INSTALLED KITCHEN APPLIANCES

  • OUTDOOR COOKING EQUIPMENT

  • PLUMBING SUPPLY, DRAINS, WASTE, AND VENTS

  • PORCHES, DECKS, BALCONIES, STAIRS, AND HANDRAILS

  • RANGE HOOD AND EXHAUST VENT 

  • ROOF COVERING, FLASHINGS, AND ROOF STRUCTURE

  • SEPTIC SYSTEMS

  • STORAGE BUILDINGS WITH UTILITIES

  • SWIMMING POOL, HOT TUB, SECURITY, AND ASSOCIATED EQUIPMENT 

  • TRASH COMPACTOR

  • WATER HEATER 

  • WELLS

  • WINDOWS, SCREENS, LINTELS, FLASHING, AND DOOR GLAZING

  • WHOLE HOUSE VACUUM SYSTEMS

  • WOOD DESTROYING INSECTS AND MICROBIAL ORGANISMS

  • Additional items and systems unique to a particular property can also be inspected.

Advantages to the seller:

  • The seller can choose a certified NACHI inspector rather than be at the mercy of the buyer's choice of inspector.

  • The seller can schedule the inspections at the seller's convenience.

  • It might alert the seller of any items of immediate personal concern, such as radon gas or active termite infestation.

  • The seller can assist the inspector during the inspection, something normally not done during a buyer's inspection.

  • The seller can have inspector correct any misstatements in the inspection report before it is generated.

  • The report can help the seller realistically price the home if problems exist.

  • The report can help the seller substantiate a higher asking price if problems don't exist or have been corrected.

  • A seller inspection reveals problems ahead of time which:

    • might make the home show better.

    • gives the seller time to make repairs and shop for competitive contractors.

    • permits the seller to attach repair estimates or paid invoices to the inspection report.

    • removes over-inflated buyer procured estimates from the negotiation table.

  • The report might alert the seller to any immediate safety issues found, before agents and visitors tour the home.

  • The report provides a third-party, unbiased opinion to offer to potential buyers.

  • A seller inspection permits a clean home inspection report to be used as a marketing tool.

  • A seller inspection is the ultimate gesture in forthrightness on the part of the seller.

  • The report might relieve a prospective buyer's unfounded suspicions, before they walk away.

  • A seller inspection lightens negotiations and 11th-hour renegotiations.

  • The report might encourage the buyer to waive the inspection contingency.

  • The deal is less likely to fall apart the way they often do when a buyer's inspection unexpectedly reveals a problem, last minute.

  • The report provides full-disclosure protection from future legal claims.

Advantages to the real estate agent:

  • Agents can recommend certified NACHI inspectors as opposed to being at the mercy of buyer's choices in inspectors.

  • Sellers can schedule the inspections at seller's convenience with little effort on the part of agents.

  • Sellers can assist inspectors during the inspections, something normally not done during buyer's inspections.

  • Sellers can have inspectors correct any misstatements in the reports before they are generated.

  • Reports help sellers see their homes through the eyes of a critical, third-party, thus making sellers more realistic about asking price.

  • Agents are alerted to any immediate safety issues found, before other agents and potential buyers tour the home.

  • Repairs made ahead of time might make homes show better.

  • The reports provide third-party, unbiased opinions to offer to potential buyers.

  • Clean reports can be used as marketing tools to help sell the homes.

  • Reports might relieve prospective buyer's unfounded suspicions, before they walk away.

  • Seller inspections eliminate buyer's remorse that sometimes occurs just after an inspection.

  • Seller inspections reduce the need for negotiations and 11th-hour renegotiations.

  • Seller inspections relieve the agent of having to hurriedly procure repair estimates or schedule repairs.

  • The reports might encourage buyers to waive their inspection contingencies.

  • Deals are less likely to fall apart the way they often do when buyer's inspections unexpectedly reveal problems, last minute. 

  • Reports provide full-disclosure protection from future legal claims.

Advantages to the home buyer:

  • The inspection is done already.

  • The inspection is paid for by the seller.

  • The report provides a more accurate, third-party view of the condition of the home prior to making an offer.

  • A seller inspection eliminates surprise defects.

  • Problems are corrected or at least acknowledged prior to making an offer on the home.

  • A seller inspection reduces the need for negotiations and 11th-hour renegotiations.

  • The report might assist in acquiring financing.

  • A seller inspection allows the buyer to sweeten the offer without increasing the offering price by waiving inspections.

Common myths about seller inspections:

Q.  Don't seller inspections kill deals by forcing sellers to disclose defects they otherwise wouldn't have known about?

A.  Any defect that is material enough to kill a real estate transaction is likely going to be uncovered eventually anyway.  It is best to discover the problem ahead of time, before it can kill the deal.

 Q.  A newer home in good condition doesn't need an inspection anyway.  Why should the seller have one done?

A.  Unlike real estate agents whose job it is to market properties for their sellers, inspectors produce objective reports.  If the property is truly in great shape the inspection report becomes a pseudo marketing piece with the added benefit of having been generated by an impartial party. 

Jerry Yost

940-367-7730

HomeInspectorOne@hotmail.com

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