Should Your Seller Have a Pre-Listing Inspection Done?

Pre-listing home inspections are not required when listing a home, but they can help to keep any surprises from coming up during the listing process. No matter how long your seller has lived in their home, there could always be an underlying issue hiding within the walls and a pre-listing inspection can help identify them—or put worries to rest.

A certified home inspector performs a pre-listing inspection; it is like any other home inspection, only requested by a seller or the seller’s agent prior to the real estate listing of a home. In most cases of a home sale, a potential buyer requests an inspection (pre-purchase inspection) after making an offer but before signing the final closing documents. A pre-listing inspection is one way for the seller to get ahead of any issues and to assist them in determining an asking price.

If the home is brand new and your seller is the builder, an investor, or other party who has never lived in the home, a new construction inspection is recommended over a pre-listing inspection to ensure all aspects of the home were built according to plans and municipal codes. An AcuSystem Inspections agent can help you determine the best type of inspection for your real estate needs.

How Much is a Pre-Listing Home Inspection?

The cost of a pre-listing home inspection depends on the size of your home and where you live. It is common for the price to be between $250 and $700—although this amount is purely an industry estimate and not a guaranteed price.

For your seller, the out-of-pocket inspection cost can be worth the investment to have the peace of mind knowing the full condition of their home.

What Does a Pre-Listing Home Inspection Consist of?

A pre-listing home inspection is identical to a buyer’s home inspection. The inspection includes checking mechanicals, major systems, doors, windows, and looking for signs of mold, water damage, and cracks.

It is up to the homeowner at the time of requesting the home inspection to decide if they want to pay the extra fee(s) for additional, more investigative testing such as radon testing, well-water testing, lead-paint testing, termite/pest inspection, internal mold testing, or an energy audit of the home. These can also provide similar benefits/withdrawals as those mentioned below for a pre-listing inspection.

Common Motivation Behind a Pre-Listing Home Inspection

There are many reasons your seller may want to request a pre-listing inspection—or reasons for you to encourage one to your seller. Some of these include the following worries:

  • Fear of losing a buyer due to the condition of the property.
  • Fear of a limited number of offers due to inaccurate pricing.
  • Suspected issues desired to be addressed prior to sale of home.
  • Provide a “clean bill of health” to prospective buyers.
  • Have a competitive edge over other properties by repairing the home in advance to showings.

The Benefits of Having a Pre-Listing Inspection Done

There are many reasons to support your seller in the decision to request a pre-listing inspection or to encourage them to seek one.

  • Better marketing
  • More leverage when negotiating
  • Saves time
  • Attracts serious buyer
  • Opportunity outweighs repairs

The Disadvantages of a Pre-Listing Home Inspection

During an inspection it is possible issues may be uncovered that may lower the value of the home or be mandatory to repair or disclose to potential buyers.

Do Sellers Have to Disclose to Buyers About Repaired Issues?

If an issue uncovered by a pre-listing inspection has been fixed, sellers do not have to inform the buyer there was ever a concern. Not disclosing completed repairs can help keep a buyer from being “spooked” but they can be a great selling point to describe in the listing; for example, the roof was newly replaced, or plumbing was updated.

From a realtor standpoint, certain repairs or recently updated aspects of the home is often attractive to potential buyers and can help to better advertise the home. Some such repairs or upgrades to point out when marketing the home to improve the overall advertisement and sell-ability of the home are:

  • New roof
  • Updated wiring or plumbing
  • Upgraded appliances or fixtures
  • New flooring
  • Fresh paint
  • New HVAC (or clean bill of health)

What Do Sellers Have To Disclose?

Florida law requires sellers to disclose (upfront, without being prompted) any known latent defects which can “materially affect the value of the home or property.”

What does that mean?

These issues must be known to exist at the time of listing/sale the home and cannot be readily seen during a regular walk-through of the home. Sellers do not have to disclose obvious and visible issues such as a broken window, missing cabinetry, or holes in the wall.

Examples of qualifying disclosures can include:

  • Termite infestation
  • Roof leaks
  • Prior water leaks/damage
  • Environmental hazards
  • Title issues or liens
  • Foundation issues
  • Property boundary disputes
  • HVAC or electrical problems

If issues go unrepaired, then advertising the home “as is” may be preferred to avoid lower offers or repair negotiations—or your seller should be aware of this as a possibility during the sale process.

Choosing a Home Inspector in Tampa

When recommending a home inspection company to your real estate client, you’ll want to opt for a home inspector who is licensed by the state and is a member of the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI). ASHI certified inspectors are held to a higher degree of standards to become a member, which helps you to know you are recommending someone trustworthy.

All inspectors at AcuSystem Inspections are state, InterNACHI, and ASHI certified (as well as holding other awards and certs), plus we have decades of experience in the business and there isn’t much we haven’t seen or uncovered. Each of our home inspection reports includes detailed documentation of the concern, pictures, and recommendations for repairs. Contact us to schedule your home inspection before putting your client’s home up for sale.

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