Having a pre-listing home inspection can be and usually is a "waste of time and money" and Here's why.

Before making a decision on a pre-listing home inspection let's look a the Big Picture and the Process outlined below.

Pre-Listing inspection pro and cons

In a typical Real Estate contract the buyer usually has a Due Diligence Period specified in the Purchase and Sale Agreement. This due diligence period is typically a time frame measured in days from the binding agreement date. It also spells out the terms of who will pay for any inspections, typically the buyer.

This Due Diligence Period allows the purchasers amble time to perform any desired inspections. Also, during this time frame any and all requested repairs must be agreed to in writing by the parties.

Two of most common misconceptions, in regards to inspection items, are #1 the sellers are required to repair all items listed in the inspection report and #2 the repairs must be completed by the end of the Due Diligence Period. Neither of which are true!

What happens post inspection but prior to the end of the Due Diligence Period

The requested repair item are placed on the proper Real Estate Form and presented to the seller's agent or listing agent.

From this point all requested repair items must be negotiated and agreed to by all parties prior to the expiration of the Due Diligence Period.

Here's a list of typical home inspection items

Sample List of Typical Exterior Items from a Home Inspection

  • Sagging or Uneven Steps to Sidewalks Due to Settling
  • Sagging or Incorrect Sloped Gutters
  • Improper Sloped Grading away from Foundation to Prevent Water intrusion
  • Improper field set for proper drainage on Exterior AC unit
  • Exterior HVAC overflow tube to close to house or installed over a window
  • GFCI Outlets not tripping when tested on patio or in garage
  • Garage door safety switch inoperable
  • Loose Exterior Light Fixture Mounting
  • Cracked or uneven Driveway
  • Hedges to Close to the house
  • Doorbell not working
  • Exterior Opens to allow for Wildlife Entry
  • Malfunctioning Garage Door Safety Switch
  • Water Service Line From Road is Polybutylene
  • Inferior Siding i.e. masonite siding

Sample List of Typical Interior Items from a Home Inspection

  • Out of date and or non compliant GFCI outlets
  • Loose Toilets
  • Aging or Leaking Hot Water Tank
  • Water Intrusion in Basement
  • Mold in Basement
  • Uneven Floors mainly in Older Homes
  • Gas Depletion From Sealed Windows i.e. Fogging Windows
  • Fireplace Cracks
  • Carbon Monoxide From old Heat Exchanger
  • Termite Damage
  • Sewage Sump Pump not correctly sealed
  • Carbon Monoxide From old Heat Exchanger
  • Polybutylene water pipes inside walls
  • Carbon Monoxide From old Heat Exchanger
  • Higher than normal levels of Radon Gas

The possible ramifications of a pre-listing home inspection

The Seller's Property Disclosure Statement

So now we've had a look at the simplified model of the buyers right to inspect the property let's tie this to a pre-listing inspection.

When selling a home a seller must disclose any latent defects know by the seller. There's even a form called a seller's property disclosure form for this purpose.

A pre-listing home inspection might just uncover defects that you were not previously aware of and now must be disclosed to all future and potential buyer's.

Two Home Inspections are never a good thing for a seller.

The buyer will hire and pay for their own inspection anyway! So even of you repair all items from a pre-listing inspection the buyers inspector will find additional items.

Why? Because they are being paid and have to justify their costs. So having a pre-inspection and repairing many of the items will cause the buyers inspector to look deeper than they normally would.

But let's assume you have a pre-listing home inspection and it reveals a list of a dozen or so minor items and two or three semi-major items.

You as the seller decides to repair one of the semi-major items. Of course you choose the one item you believe would be most important to a buyer.

But remember you still must disclose, on the Seller Disclosure Form, the remaining two items.

So guess what's going to happen next. You guessed it; the buyer's are going to ask for the remaining two items be addressed. Why? Because you've just removed the one repaired item off the negotiation list. In the buyer's mind the starting point for negotiating begins with items that have yet to be repaired. We've seen this more times than not. On the flip side if no pre-listing inspection were completed there's a good chance the buyer's home inspector would have only found one to two items or even if they did find all three the buyer's would have been just as happy negotiating just one of the semi-major items. But for sure if you approach this from a pre-listing inspection standpoint you'll end up repairing more in the long run.

So let's recap why a pre-listing Home Inspection in our opinion is never a good idea.

  • You'll have to place all recently discovered latent defects on the seller property disclosure statement.
  • You'll end up repairing more items that if you didn't have a pre-listing inspection.
  • You'll save the money for the pre-listing inspection
  • If your property goes under contract but fails to close then you'll only have to disclose items from one inspection report verses two.
  • The opinion of two different home inspectors usually differs. This often causes friction in the process on which inspector is correct.

If you still have questions please feel free to contact us anytime.

Owner Mark Tidwell Flat Fee Listing

About Mark Tidwell

Cell 678-617-7167

Office 678-394-3200

Email Mark Now!

Our Final Thoughts

The Ebb and Flow of the Real Estate industry is changing forever. There are companies that will buy your home below market value i.e. "ibuyers" We call these companies Equity Sharks because that's exactly what they are! Do you know your giving away up a HUGE chunk of your equity. I promise one day you'll wish you had your equity back!

Then there are agents that look at you like you've got a "lollipop stuck side ways in your mouth" when you ask them to reduce their commissions and there's a few that will but probably not enough to make you happy.

We're here to say that our business model is just all that all the time. You don't have to beg and pry just to get a good deal because that's what we offer. Consumers have spoken and we've listened.

In our opinion the current Real Estate commission structure is circling down a half clogged drain and we're here to clean up the mess.