Pros and Cons of a Pre-Listing Home Inspection

Are you overpaying for car, home, or renters insurance? Compare to find out in 45 seconds.
Quotes from up to 45 companies · No long forms · No phone calls
Fixing a window (Photo: @vedrana2701 via Twenty20)
When it comes time to sell your home, there’s often a desire to get the home on the market immediately. But many homeowners who are listing their home decide to take a detour before putting it on the market. These sellers opt to have a pre-listing home inspection.
When someone makes an offer on your house, they will likely have the home inspected. An inspector will spot any undisclosed damage or faulty elements of the home, and then the seller and buyer can negotiate how much those repairs will cost, and who will be responsible for paying them.
Getting a home inspection prior to listing your house results in finding those areas of damage before the buyer does. There’s a lot of benefit in that, but also some drawbacks. Read on to find out the pros and cons of a pre-listing home inspection.

Pro: Make repairs ahead of time and save money

By opting for a pre-listing home inspection, you can make the repairs before the buyer is at all involved. This can help you save a huge amount of money. If the buyer notices a needed repair in their home inspection, then you’ll have to negotiate the price of the repair. The buyer is likely to start pretty high with their negotiations, and you’ll likely end up on a figure that is more costly than if you had the repair handled on your own terms.

Pro: Quicker and easier transition to the buyer, with no obstacles

If you have a pre-listing home inspection, then a potential buyer’s home inspection is unlikely to turn up anything. That means that they can get straight to buying your house. It makes the entire process much quicker, as well as smoother and less stressful. There are no hurdles that you need to clear.

Pro: Have a more accurate idea of what your home is worth

If your home needs a lot of repairs, then it’s pretty hard to accurately figure out how much the home is worth. Once those repairs have been handled, you should be able to get a very accurate figure. Having an accurate idea of what your home is worth is really important, because most buyers have a pretty clear and specific budget. If you’re not listing your home at the right price, you’re going to attract buyers in the wrong price range, and never get the attention of buyers in the right price range.

Pro: Better marketing opportunities

A pre-listing home inspection gives you the opportunity to upsell all the new repairs. Instead of making repairs as a concession to the buyer, you’re making them ahead of time and marketing them as features of your home.

Con: It costs money

Normally a home inspection is commissioned by a potential buyer, and they pay for it. But a pre-listing inspection will be billed to you, and can cost from $250 to $700.

Con: It delays the start of the sale

If getting your home on the market immediately will give you peace of mind, a pre-listing home inspection can be a drag.

Con: Potential to pay for unnecessary repairs

For the most part, pre-listing home inspections will dig up things that would be caught in a home inspection from the buyer. However, there is the potential for a pre-listing inspection to reveal some needed repairs that a buyer’s inspection would not have caught. In this case, you run the risk of paying for repairs that never would have been noticed otherwise.
Even if you decide not to pay for the needed repairs, you would still be obligated to disclose them to the buyer when you list the house for sale. In this case, you’ve discovered a problem you didn’t know about before the inspection, and now you either need to get it repaired or tell potential buyers about it in your seller’s disclosure statement.