Susan  Bodie

Susan Bodie


Bosley Real Estate Ltd., Brokerage *

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Home Inspection

Why Buyers want a Professional Home Inspection

Normally, a buyer coordinates and pays for a home inspection so that they know the true condition of the home when purchasing a property. Sometimes, buyers will pay for a home inspection before making an offer, so that they can factor in the cost of necessary repairs into their offer price; other times, they will make their offer conditional on a home inspection, which may not occur until days after negotiating the sale.

What is a Pre-list Home Inspection?

A pre-list home inspection is a home inspection that is coordinated and paid for by the seller prior to putting their house on the market. There are numerous reasons why I recommend this route, first and foremost of which is that in order to price the property appropriately for the market, the seller must understand the true material condition of their home.

A pre-list home inspection puts you, the seller, in control. You choose the home inspector. It’s your home inspector, not the buyer’s. You thus ensure that you will be the first party to find out about any mechanical or structural problems with the house.

Moreover, a pre-list home inspection enables you to choose to repair identified issues before putting your house on the market. Often you can repair smaller issues and have the inspector remove them from the inspection report altogether, thereby making your house more appealing to potential buyers.

Buyers Appreciate Pre-list Home Inspections

If you have already had the home inspection done before putting your property on the market, then this home inspection report can be included in your property’s listing package, so it is readily available to all potential buyers. Buyers appreciate this, because they don’t want to order $400-$600 home inspections on every house that they are interested in, especially when there is no guarantee that their offer will win or that the deal will close.

In fact, these pre-list home inspections have become so popular that if other houses on the market offer a pre-list home inspection, and yours doesn’t, yours will be less appealing to potential buyers. People are attracted to certainty, especially when a lot of money is on the line. Having uncertainty hanging over your listing will generally result in less buyers putting in offers, and the ones that do will be less likely to come in with firm (unconditional) offers.

The Risks of a Home Inspection Condition

Offering a pre-list home inspection encourages all potential buyers to make firm offers on your property. If a buyer makes their offer conditional on a home inspection, it will hold up the firm sale of the property by as much as 2-5 days.

Having an inspection done after an offer has been negotiated is risky as a buyer could use the home inspection report as a negotiation tactic to ask for an abatement in price. They may argue that their post-purchase home inspection identified a bunch of costly repairs that need to be done, and so now they should pay less for the house.

You, the seller, may balk at this abatement request, but the buyer has already isolated you from the other potential buyers. Offer night is over. You went with their offer. And now they have the upper hand at the negotiation table.

Furthermore, let’s not forget about the common tendency for people to doubt their decisions when it comes to large purchases. A buyer suffering from buyer’s remorse may decide to use the home inspection condition as an out.  

The Takeaway

The bottom line is that a pre-list home inspection gives the seller the opportunity to better prepare their house for the market, it makes their listing look like a safer bet to buyers, and it shores up the seller’s own position in the negotiation process.


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