What is a pre-listing home inspection?

A pre-listing home inspection benefits buyers and sellers by uncovering potential problems ahead of time that could derail a home sale. (Photo courtesy of Home Pride Inspection Service)

A pre-listing home inspection benefits buyers and sellers by uncovering potential problems ahead of time that could derail a home sale. (Photo courtesy of Home Pride Inspection Service)

If you are ready to sell your home and want to ensure the sale process will go smoothly and quickly, you may want to consider a pre-listing home inspection. A pre-listing inspection, which is paid for by the seller or listing agent, provides a written report as to the pre-sale condition of the property. It could uncover any concerns that might compromise a sale.

Typically, home inspections are paid for by the buyer and performed right before closing the sale of the home. By moving the inspection to the beginning of the sales cycle, sellers are able to shorten the process by removing obstacles before they can interfere with a potential sale.

Why get a pre-listing home inspection?

Pre-listing inspections benefit all parties involved, and they are gaining in popularity. Here are seven benefits to a pre-listing home inspection.

1.) Time. Selling agents are given time to help the seller decide what areas to work on to improve the home’s appeal.

2.) Options. Sellers can choose who they want to perform the inspection and assist in providing details of equipment maintenance, supply dates of improvements and explanations for current conditions.

3.) Flexibility. Sellers gain more time to make repairs and compare bids on work to be done and can truly provide full disclosure to their potential buyers.

4.) Accurate pricing. A pre-listing home inspection helps the agent set the seller's price expectation and can be used to substantiate a higher asking price.

5.) No surprises. Agents will have fewer issues to negotiate at the 11th hour, and buyers may even waive their inspection.

6.) Full disclosure. Buyers’ benefits include receiving a third-party review of the home’s condition before making an offer and that can assist in procuring financing.

7.) Stress relief. The inspection can remove doubt in the buyer regarding initial concerns and may reduce the stress associated with purchasing a home.

Pre-listing inspections may eventually become the more common home inspection, but the importance of having a home inspection as part of the home sales process cannot be understated. It protects all parties involved by providing invaluable information so that educated decisions can be made. It is also important to be sure that your inspector is a member of the American Association of Home Inspectors or meets the requirements of your state.

Editor's Note: This is an updated version of a story originally posted on June 23, 2011.


Very good article! I wanted to add that there are three main home inspector associations that you want to make sure your inspector is party of. The largest is InterNACHI and holds their inspectors to high standards. There is also NAHI, which has strict regulations as well as ASHI.

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