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Should I Get a Pre-Listing Inspection?

In this insane housing market, a lot of buyers are waiving their inspection periods. That might sound great for you if you are selling your home. But there can be hidden costs if the home you sell doesn't get a quality inspection.

First off, let's define a pre-listing inspection. These are inspections performed before you put your home up for sale, or even shortly afterward. As the seller, you hire an inspector to come out and give you an objective view of the home's condition. The report goes to you, the seller, rather to any potential buyers.

A pre-listing inspection can help you find minor maintenance issues that might come up on a buyer's report, saving you a headache during negotiations. A great example would be discovering that your sump pump is broken. You can replace it yourself for $60 and ten minutes of work if you know about it ahead of time, while a buyer might demand that a contractor with proof of work do it for two or three times the cost. Since an inspection will often reveal many such small maintenance issues, you can easily save yourself hundreds of dollars, even including the cost of the inspection. Not to mention the chance that you might sell your house for more.

Given how fast houses are being sold, however, the above reason might not be enough to justify the time and expense of having your home inspected. But there is a much more significant reason to have your home inspected: litigation.

With so many people waiving inspection periods, there are countless opportunities for lawsuits to arise. If your buyer does not have their own inspection, or even if they do, the lawsuit may come down to little more than your word against their proof that something is broken. A pre-listing inspection can demonstrate that the home was in the condition that you signed off on before you sold it. Having a professional in your corner to present evidence that you told the truth can protect you in this lawsuit-happy culture.

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