It’s always important for every home buyer to hire a home inspector to check out a property before proceeded further in a prospective sale. Sometimes, it can be a requirement for a mortgage. But should a home seller hire a home inspector to conduct a pre-inspection before the home is listed for sale?
Is a pre-inspection worthwhile? Here are some pros and cons:
Pro: A pre-inspection means fewer surprises
One of the most nerve wracking things a home seller has to go through is the home inspection. A certified home inspector will evaluate about 1,600 items that make up the property’s foundation, structure, electrical, plumbing, and HVAC systems. The sole purpose is to uncover hidden and potentially expensive problems that could affect the value of the home. Some home sellers have no idea of existing problems, or issues that a home inspection may bring up. Knowing this beforehand and having the opportunity to fix problems or safety concerns can mean less stress to the home seller when it comes tot he actual buyers home inspection and can soften the suspense of waiting to hear back from he home inspector. It may also alleviate other concerns- sometimes when a home buyer hears about a problem, whether large or small, fixable or not- they can start to question other potential issues- and possibly start building a mountain out of a mole hill- whenever this can be avoided it is beneficial for everyone involved.
Con: A pre-inspection costs money
On average, a home inspection will cost about $400 to $700. Because pre-inspections aren’t required, that’s cash you could put toward other things such as home improvements or repairs that you know will help sell your home.
Pro: A pre-inspection gives you time to fix problems
Pre-inspections give sellers the ability to fix problems ahead of time—and present buyers with a clean bill of health on the property.
If the seller knows what an inspector thinks is wrong with the house, they can fix it before the buyer’s inspector shows up. This also presents a strong first impression to buyers, who may see your house in a more positive light and boost their offer.
Con: A pre-inspection doesn’t mean you’re in the clear
Just because you hired a home inspector doesn’t mean the buyers won’t hire their own—and their results won’t necessarily be the same.
If you had 10 different inspectors out to the home, you would very likely get 10 completely different reports. Some of the issues that the seller addressed may not have come up at all.
In other words, even if you spring for a pre-inspection and address the issues that come up, the buyer’s inspector might have overlooked those problems—instead identifying new problems that require more repairs. And because buyers will typically trust their inspector more than yours, they may demand that these other issues get fixed, too.
Con: A pre-inspection could obligate you to disclose these problems
Another downside to pre-inspections is that once home sellers are aware of a problem, they may be required by law to disclose them to buyers. These laws vary by state, so ask your listing agent for more specifics. Generally, bad history—flooding, sewage backups—must be disclosed if you know about it. And because this could perhaps scare off buyers or complicate negotiations, it’s no wonder that some sellers may prefer to stay blissfully ignorant.
Is a pre-inspection right for you? There is no right or wrong answer, so it pretty much boils down to whether you prefer to nip potential problems in the bud, or wait and see if they develop.
Realtor.com/Lisa Gordon Aug 16, 2016