Home Seller Pre-Listing Inspection: Worth it or Wait?
Knowing that there's a very good chance your buyers will get a home inspection, is it worth doing your own before listing so you know what needs to be fixed? Or, is it better to wait and see what the buyer finds at the start of escrow? Keep reading to learn.
Most sellers wait until they are in escrow, and then they let the buyer schedule a general home inspection and termite inspection. But our opinion is that this is a mistake. The seller saves the cost of the pre-listing inspection (typically between $300 - $800 for a home inspection and $100 - $150 for a pest inspection). However, they stand to lose much more when they get served with repair requests or credits during escrow.
If issues come up in your pre-listing home inspection, you have time to get a specialist to come out and provide an estimate. For example, if the general inspector says the roof may be leaking or ready to be replaced, you can have a roofer or two out to inspect the issue and make a repair estimate. Then, you have to options.
- Decide to handle the repairs yourself before you list; or
- Provide the inspection report to your buyers along with repair cost estimates so they can consider the cost of repairs as they put together their offer.
When you provide these inspection reports and estimates to buyers, you can shrink escrow times, eliminate inspection contingencies and eliminate repair requests.
In the San Francisco Bay Area, the inspections are almost always done prior to reviewing offers, and transactions run more smoothly and quickly. Thus, the price sellers go into escrow at in the Bay Area is the price sellers take home when they close escrow.
By contast, in other parts of the country where pre-listing inspections are not done, there are typically buyer inspections and Requests for Repair while in escrow. Sellers make costly repairs or take purchase price reductions. Sellers can typically avoid such repairs and purchase price reductions by having a pre-listing inspection.
Questions about pre-listing inspections? Ask us!
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