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Brian Fish WIN Whatcom

Cost and Benefits of a Pre-Listing Inspection

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A Pre-Listing Inspection is a service to help sellers during their home selling journey. This type of home inspection allows sellers to take a proactive approach and get ahead of repairs needed within their home. A Pre-Listing Inspection can also help the home sell faster and reduce unexpected negotiations and issues that tend to occur after the buyers' inspection. There are several benefits to a pre-listing inspection, and it can be a cost-effective and helpful tool for any home seller.

What is a Pre-Listing Inspection?

A WIN Pre-Listing inspection gives the seller a complete picture of their property's current condition before they list it on the market. The inspection examines similar components as a buyer’s full home inspection except it occurs before the home is listed, giving the seller ample time to make any repairs deemed necessary. During the homebuying process, the full home inspection is often a pivotal point in which many deals fall through, but a pre-listing inspection can be an excellent investment for sellers to stay one step ahead.

What is Covered in a Pre-Listing Inspection?

A Pre-Listing Inspection by WIN provides sellers with a detailed assessment and valuable insights regarding their home’s condition. The only difference between a pre-listing inspection and a full home inspection is the time at which it occurs, all the same components are examined during both inspections.

A Pre-Listing Inspection includes a thorough examination of:

  • Foundation 
  • Structure 
  • Basement and/or crawl space 
  • Interior and exterior walls 
  • Doors and windows
  • Siding 
  • Water heater 
  • Heating and central air conditioning systems 
  • Electrical system including lighting and receptacles
  • Plumbing system and fixtures 
  • Porches and decks 
  • Attic 
  • Roof 
  • Gutters/downspouts
  • Garages including garage doors and openers
  • Fireplace and exterior chimney 
  • Interior and exterior doors 
  • Interior stairway components 
  • Bathrooms 
  • Kitchens and the major kitchen appliances
  • Laundry areas and their hookups
  • Immediate exterior grading
  • Presence of Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors

When Should I Get a Pre-Listing Inspection?

A Pre-Listing Inspection makes sense for anybody that is trying to sell their home. It’s useful because it allows the seller to be proactive in uncovering, understanding and repairing any issues with their homes they may or may not have been aware of. It can also help the seller get organized and prep the documentation of their home and add on additional items like WIN360 or Appliance recall. We recommend that sellers schedule their pre-listing inspection at least 45-60 days before they intend to list their home on the market, this gives them ample time to conduct maintenance and make repairs.

What are the Benefits of a Pre-Listing Inspection?

A Pre-Listing Inspection benefits buyers, sellers and their agents. The inspection gives sellers time to make repairs ahead of listing their homes and allows prospective buyers to see a full transparent report of all issues both former and current with the home, providing them with peace of mind and confidence in their investment. This also impacts real estate agents because it makes negotiations shorter and easier, often resulting in a faster close.

How Does a Pre-Listing Inspection Benefit Sellers?

1. Allows the Seller to Make Pre-Listing Repairs

A Pre-Listing Inspection will identify issues that the seller may not know about, like leakage in their crawl space, roof damage, insect or wood destroying organism infestation and many more, allowing the seller to make the proper repairs before listing.

2. Ensures a Smoother Transaction

When issues are discovered during a Pre-Listing Inspection, the seller can either have them fixed ahead of putting the home on the market or choose to disclose the issues to potential buyers. Either choice will help the home sell faster because it will prevent the buyer and seller from becoming entangled in long negotiations after the buyer’s full home inspection.

3. Helps the Seller Accurately Price the Home

Sellers who do not wish to fix the issues revealed during a Pre-Listing Inspection can factor the repair costs into the asking price of the home and explain to buyers that while the home has certain issues, they will be getting it for a lower price as a result. Conversely, sellers who decide to make repairs or who come up with a clean home inspection can elevate their asking price.

4. Saves the Seller Money

When issues are discovered during a buyer’s home inspection, the buyer and seller will enter negotiations to determine who will cover the costs of repairs. In general, buyers tend to significantly overestimate the costs of these repairs, and the seller loses far more money than he or she would have paid to have completed the repairs before listing the home. The seller can potentially save themselves thousands of dollars by making the repairs identified in their Pre-Listing Inspection ahead of time.

5. Makes the Seller More Trustworthy

NACHI called a pre-listing inspection "the ultimate gesture in forthrightness on the part of the seller." By disclosing any issues in advance, the buyers can feel confident they are making a deal with a trustworthy person who is not trying to hide anything.

How Does a Pre-Listing Inspection Benefit Buyers?

1. Gives Buyers Access to Information

A Pre-Listing Inspection gives buyers access to information about the home that they would not have received otherwise. It allows buyers to understand the full scope and condition of the home they intend to buy, giving them the ability to make an informed and educated decision.

2. Inspires Confidence in the Home

A Pre-Listing Inspection also gives confidence to buyers that the investment they are about to make is a sound one. Purchasing a home is the largest investment most people make, and they deserve the ability to be confident in their investment, a pre-listing inspection provides that.

3. Emphasizes the Importance of Regular Inspection and Maintenance

Many buyers believe that their home only needs to be inspected upon purchase, but that could not be further from the truth. A Pre-Listing Inspection helps debunk that myth and makes buyers aware of the fact that their home should be inspected regularly. In fact, it’s recommended that a home should be inspected once every 3 years in order to ensure safety and durability. WIN offers a service for homeowners called a Home Maintenance Inspection that will re-inspect every item that was originally examined during the pre-listing and full home Inspection to ensure the health and safety of the home and those inside it.

How Does a Pre-Listing Inspection Benefit Agents?

1. Helps Them Market the Home

NACHI explained that when a pre-listing inspection reveals no issues, real estate agents can use it as a marketing tool to help sell the home. Even when issues are revealed it still helps the real estate agent market the home because they can be completely transparent with the condition of the home

2. Helps the Sellers Appreciate Them - and it May Even Legally Protect Them

The Foundation of Real Estate Associates explained that real estate agents are obligated to act in the best interest of their clients and failing to at least discuss the option for a Pre-Listing Inspection with them is not doing so. If clients lose time and money that could have been saved with a Pre-Listing Inspection, they may blame the agent for not telling them about the possibility. Conversely, sellers will appreciate an agent who takes the time to discuss every possible option.

FREA said discussing pre-listing inspections with a client may even protect the agent from being sued for failing to act in the client's best interest.

3. Aids in Smoothly Brokering the Deal

NACHI explained that when a buyer and seller enter negotiations following the buyer's home inspection, the real estate agent generally must figure out repair estimates and schedule repairs in a very short amount of time. A pre-listing inspection will eliminate this last-minute rush as buyers, sellers and agents will be aware of issues far in advance of these negotiations. As a result, the deal is more likely to go smoothly and be closed in a timelier manner.

How Much Does a Pre-Listing Inspection Cost?

The cost of a Pre-Listing Inspection varies from inspector to inspector, but most sellers can expect to pay around $350 for their inspection, which is roughly the same price as a full home inspection.

What is the Difference Between a Pre-Listing Inspection and Full Home Inspection?

The major difference between a Pre-Listing Inspection and Full Home Inspection is the time at which they occur. A Pre-Listing Inspection is scheduled by the seller and occurs before they list their home on the market, while a Full Home Inspection is scheduled by the buyer and occurs before they close on the home. Since they aren’t required, pre-listing inspections are also a bit more customizable for the seller, they follow the same format as a full home inspection and inspect roughly the same components, but the seller can add or remove items to be examined as they see fit. Additionally, it’s recommended that homeowners continue to have their home inspected throughout the course of their homeownership and this can be accomplished by scheduling a Home Maintenance Inspection which will re-inspect all the components that were previously inspected during the pre-listing inspection and the full home inspection.

Conclusion

A pre-listing home inspection is a service that all home sellers should explore. The journey of closing a deal can be a long and tedious one and this proactive approach is a wise move that puts you ahead of the game while ensuring a win-win outcome for you and the buyer. Not to mention, it can save you thousands of dollars in the long run.

If you are looking to sell your house and would like to schedule a pre-listing home inspection with a WIN Home Inspection expert near you, please click here. Alternatively, for more information or for help with a residential home inspection, please call (800) 309-6753 or email us at info@wini.com and one of our experts will contact you promptly.