If you're putting your home up for sale, you should know that once you accept an offer, your home will be subject to an inspection by someone your buyer elects before that sale is completed. The purpose of a home inspection is for your buyer to make sure there aren't any major hidden issues with the home, such as outdated electrical work or shoddy plumbing.
But you don't have to wait to find a buyer to put your home through a detailed inspection. Some sellers sign up for what's known as a pre-listing inspection, where that inspection takes place before a home is even listed. But is that a worthwhile route to take?
The benefits of getting a pre-listing inspection
There are several good reasons to do a pre-listing inspection on your home.
1. You'll get a clear picture of your home's condition
You might think your home is in decent shape, only to find out you've got a sinking foundation or a termite problem on your hands. House-related issues aren't always obvious, and a home inspection will give you a clear picture of where yours stands.
2. You'll have an easier time landing on a listing price
The condition of your home should play a role in the price you decide to list it for. Getting a pre-listing inspection could make it a lot easier to land on the right number. If it turns out your home is in excellent shape, you might choose to ask for a higher price. In fact, a pre-listing inspection could be especially useful if you're selling your home without a real estate agent and are on your own to nail down the right price for it.
3. You can address issues that might turn sellers away
If a pre-listing inspection reveals problems with your home, you'll have an opportunity to fix them before putting your home on the market. That way, you won't run the risk of having offers fall through.
The downsides of getting a pre-listing inspection
Here are a few reasons you may not want to get a pre-listing inspection.
1. You'll have to pay
Once your home is under contract, it's your buyer's financial responsibility to pay for a home inspection. If you do a pre-listing inspection, that's a cost you'll need to cover yourself.
2. You'll have to go through the inspection process twice
Home inspections can be stressful. After all, it's never fun having someone scrutinize your home from top to bottom. If you do a pre-listing inspection, it won't take the place of a buyer's inspection, so you'll effectively go through the process a second time.
Is a pre-listing inspection necessary in today's market?
While a pre-listing inspection could pay off in a normal housing market, right now, it's a seller's market thanks to record low inventory. As such, you may not need to bear the expense of a pre-listing inspection.
These days, buyers are so desperate to scoop up properties that they may be willing to overlook certain issues -- issues that would usually be deal breakers. But once the market opens up and there's more competition, pre-listing inspections are something sellers should consider. Getting one could put you in a position to help your home stand out.