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Tips for Hiring a Pre-listing Home Inspector

Photo: Interior of a Home

The question of whether to conduct a pre-listing home inspection is a polarizing one. Some real estate agents believe that hiring a pre-listing home inspector is a critical component for a successful sale, while others consider the idea too risky and a waste of time and money. If you’re on the fence, here are some tips to consider.

Commit to the Inspection Process

Before you hire a pre-listing home inspector, make sure you’re fully committed to the process. This means accepting the additional investment – “additional” because in most home sales, only the buyer invests in a home inspection. This leads to one of the main arguments against hiring a pre-listing home inspector: the idea that the seller is better off waiting to have the buyer’s inspection completed before completing any necessary repairs.

Another part of being fully committed is understanding the risk involved with hiring a pre-listing inspector. Due to the existence of “full-disclosure laws”, anything found during the pre-listing inspection must be shared with the buyer. If the pre-inspection turns up something major that the seller is unwilling or unable to repair, potential buyers could walk away. This risk-reward scenario is something that the seller needs to consider from all angles and discuss with their real estate agent before moving forward with a pre-listing home inspection.

Be Prepared for Push Back From the Seller

In an ideal situation, a pre-listing inspection will boost the confidence of the buyer because it represents transparency on the seller’s part. If the seller is willing to go the extra mile, gain an understanding of their home’s condition from an experienced inspector, and pass this information onto the buyer, the buyer will be less likely to renegotiate the price because their own inspection will uncover many of the same issues discovered during the pre-listing inspection.

However, not every negotiation is ideal, and sellers should be prepared for a situation in which they hire a pre-listing inspector and pay for the recommended repairs, only for the  buyer’s inspector to identify and ask for several additional repairs. Whether valid or not, it’s not unreasonable for a seller to find themselves believing that they have “given the buyer an inch and now the buyer is taking a mile” by asking for even more repairs. Such situations can cause animosity between the buyer and seller, and could ultimately kill a deal.

In the end, it’s important to establish a budget for repairs and stick to it. If you have the money to cover a pre-listing home inspection as well as any requested repairs stemming from the buyer’s inspection, hiring a pre-listing home inspector can be very beneficial. However, if you’re worried about your budget or you’re steadfastly against doing “double-work” – that is, paying for your own inspection-related repairs and those of the buyer, then you probably want to play it safe and rely on the buyer’s inspection to discover any necessary fixes.

For more information on the benefits and drawbacks of hiring a pre-listing home inspector in Minneapolis or St. Paul, contact Inspecta-Homes today.