It makes sense to invest in a home inspection when buying a house, but opting to have a pre-inspection after listing a home for sale is a smart move. While it might seem like you’re borrowing trouble, knowing if there are any major issues that need fixing before your house goes on the market gives you a chance to repair any deal-breaking problems now.
A Buyer’s Home Inspection
Home buyers interested in your property will often get an independent home inspection. But waiting for the results can be stressful for the home seller. If problems are identified in the buyer’s home inspection report, it might be enough to give them second thoughts.
A pre-listing home inspection offered as part of the property disclosure documents can provide the assurance a home buyer needs to move forward. It also puts the home seller ahead of the game – they will know what the buyer’s inspection will or will not find.
While a house inspection does reveal what is wrong with a home, it also highlights key areas that are in optimum condition. Full disclosure about structural components, the roofing system, gutters and downspouts, and plumbing and electrical systems protects everyone involved – the real estate agent, the buyer, and the seller.
Getting a pre-inspection done allows the home seller to identify any deal-breaking problems before the house is listed. You might not have the budget or time to fix everything, but it will give you the opportunity to address the problems most likely to make potential buyers walk away. Common deal breakers are:
- foundation issues – cracks, shifting, pitting
- electrical system not up to code
- water damage
- roofing issues – missing shingles, inadequate flashings, etc.
- rotted fascia, soffit, or window/door trim
- leaks; faulty plumbing; outdated pipes
If it never came up when you first bought the home you are now selling, a home inspection can also reveal add-ons, finished basements, and altered porches, sunrooms, or garages that were built without the proper permits or not built to code. When a home buyer’s house inspection report discovers illegal room additions, it gives them more bargaining power or a reason to collapse the sale.
A pre-inspection gives the homebuyer confidence and peace of mind that the home seller is being upfront about the condition of the property. It also highlights a home’s assets such as newly installed seamless aluminum gutters, updated siding, and new energy efficient windows.