The Best Time to Inspect - Part 1
Home inspections conducted prior to a home being placed on the
market is one of the wisest moves a seller can make. The initial
response from sellers when approached with the idea of an
inspection done as the home is about to be put up for sale is
most always the same - "What?!"
Let's review a few of the most common concerns about Pre-Listing
1. "The buyer will not accept an inspection done for the seller."
That is correct! The inspection done for the seller is not
intended to replace the inspection done for the buyer. The
purpose of the pre-listing inspection is to put the seller in
Given that no good surprise can come to the seller during the
home inspection, regardless of when it is done or whom it is
done for, it makes perfect sense to get every strand of
information as soon as it can be gotten. Bad news doesn't get
better with time.
If there is some bad news, or more correctly, some items that
needs attention or might have an impact on the home's value, who
better to receive that information than the seller? And when is
a better time to receive that information than before the home
is placed on the market?
The simple fact is this - a home inspection at the time of
listing will put the seller in the best possible position. With
the complete and clear view of the home's strengths and
weaknesses, the home can be marketed to the best benefit of the
2. "I don't want to pay for the inspection."
This is certainly understandable. The seller generally perceives
that the inspection is intended for the buyer, hence, should be
a buyer's responsibility. But to have the benefit of the
information it must be paid for. Never have we had a complaint
from a seller about the value of the inspection! In every case
at the conclusion of a pre-listing inspection, the seller felt
they had made a good choice in spending the money to get the
In most cases, the seller's feel good getting the peace of mind
of knowing that no major event or expense will be uncovered by
the buyer's inspector. And on the rare occasion when it is
discovered by the pre-listing inspector that the roof is
completely shot or there is some other big expense or danger,
the sellers, while not happy to have the problem, are glad to
have discovered it on their own terms. The small expense of the
inspection is always less then the cost and aggravation of a
hurried hunt to get something repaired or replaced after the
home is under contract.
Save the pain, spend the money. Get every home inspected prior
to putting it on the market!
3. "The home is selling 'as is'."
This may be the best reason of all to inspect at listing! If the
home is being sold "as is", reduce your risk and liability as
the seller by getting a pre-listing inspection. In order for the
home to sell quickly and at the highest price, disclose every
condition of the home. The inspection gives both the buyer and
the seller the comfort of knowing that the home "is as it is".
With a pre-listing inspection, there is a high likelihood that
the home is as represented.
Even in an "as is" contract, the buyer may still have their own
inspection performed. If these two inspections are similar in
content, it is rare the buyer will walk or counter offer. That,
in fact, is the goal of the "as is" sale.
Another concern of sellers is that they will have to repair
every item that is discovered to be discrepant on the inspection
report. This is simply not true. It would be true that every
discrepant item needs to be disclosed, and those disclosures may
impact value and hence asking price, but nothing need
necessarily be corrected.