The Pros of a Pre-List Home Inspection

When it’s time to put your home on the market, is it worthwhile to do a pre-list home inspection?  Here we will explore the “pros” of hiring a home inspector to perform a pre-list home inspection before putting it on the market.  Spoiler alert – I’m not doing “cons” now because they are minimal.

As home inspectors, our typical client is the purchaser who is about to close on a house. This is almost standard operating procedure because obviously, you want to diagnose your potential purchase to see what you are buying, what might need repairing by the seller, and what you might need to maintain once you are the occupant. Well, what if you are a seller? Recently at Summit Home Inspections in Norfolk, Virginia, we have seen more and more savvy homeowners and their knowledgeable listing agents recommend that we perform a pre-listing home inspection for them. 

We always suggest that you trust your agent’s expertise and many agents these days, including Courtney Violette with Howard Hanna in Norfolk who I recently spoke with is a proponent of pre-list inspections. The primary benefit she says is that a pre-list inspection will allow you to find out the exact condition of your home and make repairs before it ever goes on the market. The benefits are all-encompassing.  

First off let’s consider that the pre-list inspection can be part of the preparation and process to get your home on the market and get it looking good for potential buyers. Because the home inspection is often considered a “hurdle” for the seller to clear, it’s beneficial to have any glaring defects taken care of before it goes on the market. By doing this you are taking control over the sale in a way. The expense is minimal, a mere fraction compared to dealing with problems you didn’t know about or worse, losing the sale or at least delaying the closing.

To explain, let’s look at a scenario I recently witnessed firsthand. We performed a home inspection just before closing on an older ranch home in Norfolk that had 30-year-old asphalt shingles on the roof, missing shingles, glaring repairs, leaks in the attic, the works. It was determined that the shingles were at the end of their usable life and it would be beneficial to have them replaced. The buyer said that her brother-in-law is a roofer and could come over and give a quick quote that afternoon. The quote was high. The buyer became nervous and asked to delay the closing date while they negotiated and it was finally agreed to that quoted amount of the contract price to cover the expense. This scenario includes stress, negotiations, unexpected out-of-pocket expense, and a delayed closing. 

Here is a better scenario. You get a pre-list inspection. It’s determined that you need to replace your shingles. You get 3 quotes. You choose the company. The new roof really adds to the curb appeal and value. You decide to add the cost of the roof plus a little to the asking price because your house looks way better than the comp down the street and you quickly get an offer. Congratulations! You’ve accomplished the following and achieved the “pros”: sold the home quicker, eliminated the likelihood of a negotiation, improved the buyer’s confidence, made the agent’s job easier, and come out on top financially all for a very nominal fee! If you’re putting your home on the market it’s a good idea to ask your agent if it’s worthwhile to get a pre-list home inspection. When you are ready either buying or selling, call Summit Home Inspections in Norfolk, Virginia.

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