Ordinarily, a serious buyer would pay to have a home formally inspected. The goal is to uncover any potential problems before signing on the dotted line, while there’s still time to negotiate.
But sometimes, sellers will have their homes inspected before they even put them on the market. Here are three reasons why a pre-inspection may be a good idea.
1. It shows your home is ‘an open book’
A pre-inspection is a goodwill gesture. It demonstrates a willingness to go beyond what’s expected, and that sets you apart from other sellers. You’re sending a signal that your house is an “open book,” and that you’re being upfront about the property. All of this can give potential buyers peace of mind and confidence.
2. It can save you money in the long run
A pre-inspection gives you, the seller, a heads-up if there are problems that a potential buyer will likely want repaired. Once you know what’s wrong, you can have those issues fixed before you list. The cleaner and more problem-free you can make your home, the faster it’s likely to sell.
Because a pre-inspection lets buyers know what they’re getting from the beginning, they can factor any needed repairs into an offer. And by disclosing all known issues upfront, you’re protecting yourself against claims the buyer might make later — which sometimes result in lawsuits.
On the other hand, let’s say you don’t have a pre-inspection. During escrow, the buyer’s inspector discovers problems you didn’t know about. You can be sure the buyer will try to negotiate a lower price, which will cost you money and can delay the sale. The buyer might even cancel the contract.
3. It can highlight your home’s assets
Assuming you’re not trying to sell a fixer-upper, a pre-inspection can shine a spotlight on your home’s selling points, such as any electrical upgrades you might have had made.
When not to have a pre-inspection
If you’re trying to offload a fixer-upper that would give even the Munsters reason for concern, there’s no point in paying for a pre-inspection. But if you’ve maintained your home and want to sell it as quickly, and as profitably, as possible, a pre-inspection is almost always a good idea.