While it’s almost a guarantee that a prospective home buyer will have a home inspected before finalizing an offer, the home seller also has the option to have a pre-inspection done before their home even goes on the market.

Why would someone selling their home have it inspected before it even goes on the market?

According to the U.S. General Accounting Office, more than 85% of homebuyers request an inspection – meaning that anything you would find in a pre-inspection will most likely be found in the formal inspection further along in the sale process. Home inspections can reveal hidden flaws and potentially pricey repairs, not only opening up the conversation to further price negotiations but slowing down the sale and potentially putting off the home buyer.

A pre-inspection, like Windermere Real Estate’s Certified Listing 5-Point Pre-Inspection, completed prior to listing your home will reassure prospective buyers – giving them peace of mind and confidence in the price and condition of the home. In some cases, a pre-inspection can even point out your home’s selling points, such as kitchen and bathroom upgrades. During a pre-inspection, a professional home inspector will identify problems or potential problems with your home, such as leaks in the roof, possible water damage, remodeling efforts that don’t meet current building codes, and improperly grounded outlets. The home inspector will then prepare a written pre-inspection home report, detailing its findings and outlining a list of recommended repairs.

The home’s pre-inspection report can then be offered to a potential home buyer, reassuring that prospective buyer and adding to the confidence the buyer has in the decision to make an offer.  A potential home buyer might not waive a follow-up inspection but will feel more comfortable about writing an offer with a pre-inspection completed.

What should a pre-inspection include?

  • Roof- General conditions, skylights and flashings
  • Exterior – General conditions of siding, sealants, grade and drainage
  • Mechanical – Furnace, air-conditioner, water heater and water main shut-off
  • Electrical – Main distribution panels and sub-panels
  • Structural – Trusses, joists and foundation

In some cases, such as Windermere Real Estate’s Certified Listing program, the real estate company responsible for helping you sell your home will include a pre-inspection in its service fees. If your agent doesn’t include this as a part of his or her service offering, you may still want to consider bringing in a professional inspector to pre-inspect your home, ensuring that you sell it quickly and as profitably as possible.