Everything To Know About Pre-Listing Inspections

Home inspector reviewing an inspection report with the owners

When you are preparing to sell a home, there are several things to knock off of your to-do list. One more thing that might significantly help you in your efforts is obtaining a pre-listing inspection.

What is a pre-listing inspection?

A pre-listing inspection is simply a home inspection performed on a property prior to it being listed for sale. The inspection will inform soon-to-be sellers about the condition of their property as well as any issues that buyers might want repaired.

How does a pre-listing inspection differ from a home inspection?

There are two differences between a pre-listing inspection and a home inspection- when the inspection is performed, and who pays for it. Home inspections are the most common inspection that home buyers opt for. These are performed after a willing buyer goes under contract on a property, and the buyer is responsible for the cost associated with the inspection.

A pre-listing inspection is paid for by the seller, often times before the buyer ever knows the property will be listed for sale. They are intended to help the seller become aware of their properties condition, rather than helping a buyer become aware of it.

What is covered in a pre-listing inspection?

Instead of a highly thorough investigation of a particular aspect of the house (ie. the electrical system, or septic tank), a pre-listing inspection is a more generalized inspection that covers a broader scope. Just like a home inspection, a pre-listing inspection will reveal any defects a property may have in the roof, windows, plumbing, electrical, appliances, structure, floors, and basements/crawlspaces.

These inspections cover the entire house with just one inspection, which is why they are they most popular inspections we see in our market. The only drawback, as we have already mentioned, is that they are like a wide river that is very shallow. They cover a lot of information, but they do not go very deep into the condition of each portion of the home.

Most inspectors, especially experienced ones, do a great job of determining the condition of homes. Some things, however, are simply out of their scope of work. For example, if they believe the wires are incorrect in the breaker box, they will suggest you hire an electrician to take a closer look. If they see a crack in the exterior brick, they will suggest a structural engineer determine the condition.

How much does a pre-listing inspection cost?

According to HomeAdvisor, the national average price for a home inspection is $340. The price you will pay will likely be determined by the size of your house, with prices in our North Carolina market ranging from $300-500.

Should you obtain a pre-listing inspection?

A pre-listing inspection will be more beneficial for some than others. For example, if your house is only a few years old, it isn’t as likely to have serious issues or anything that buyers would want fixed. If the property was a rental and you have never lived in it, a pre-listing inspection would be a fantastic way to become very familiar with the property fast.

What are the benefits of a pre-listing inspection?

As a seller, these inspections are a way to be proactive rather than reactive in the transaction. When a buyer purchase a home inspection, the typical seller will be reacting to the report in forms of repair requests, or other negotiation attempts.

On the contrary, with a pre-listing inspection you are being proactive. You are addressing any issues that buyers might want repaired, or doing touchups that will increase the value of the home more than the repair cost. The buyer won’t see those red flags at a showing after they’ve been repaired, and if the buyer has a home inspection performed there will not be any surprises when they show it to you.

When you obtain the report from the inspector, you can showcase it to prospective buyers if the report looks good. This transparency about the home will give buyers much more peace-of-mind regarding the condition, and will have a clear affect on their offer.

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