Home Pre-Inspections by Seller…Good or Bad?

During the course of a real estate transaction, the buyer will most generally condition the purchase on the ability to have a home inspection via a licensed home inspector.  This gives the buyer the details of the condition of the home, prior to completing the sale.  Items are identified and most generally given to the seller as “a request to repair or replace to proper working condition”.  Depending on how well the seller has maintained the home, used professionals to do repair and maintenance or merely just “lived” in the home and deferred the maintenance to some later date, the inspection will tell the tale about the home via the home inspection findings.

I pose the question:  Is it better for a seller to do a home pre-inspection to know what the issues are and to deal with them prior to finding a buyer for the home, or take their chances and see what condition their home is in from a buyer’s perspective?  If the seller knows what issues their home has, they can and should take care of them prior to listing the property.  This would put the home in tip-top shape and considered as a plus to doing the home pre-inspection.    If the seller does have a pre-inspection, then they are still obligated to truthfully answer the Form 17 Disclosure Statement on the condition of the home.  Even with the repairs being made, they should be listed on the disclosure statement with as many comments to explain the situation…in essence, it’s better to over-disclose and tell what has really happened with the property.  The work can be done by chosen tradesmen of the seller’s choosing and in a less-pressured time period.  Having a seller ‘over-disclose’ is a sign of good ethics in disclosing the condition.

The other side of this scenario is for the buyer to find all the concerns via a buyer’s inspection contingency.  This is very commonly the process that plays out.  The buyer then submits their inspection requests to the seller.   This path can lead to more costs on the seller than had they done the pre-inspect and corrections prior to a buyer finding them.  Sellers are often surprised with the items found deficient with their property and many times overwhelmed with the costs, volume of request items &  timing to complete before the sale closes.  And sometimes the findings are such that the buyer chooses to walk away for the transaction.

So I ask you again, which type of home would you be more inclined to purchase?  Which type of home do you think sells faster and for more money?  When you know the condition of your home as a seller, you can negotiate more efficiently and more to your benefit.  A buyer is more confident of the purchase their making when they feel the home is in quality condition.  So, what do you think makes more sense…Pre-inspections by sellers or let the buyer find all the deficiencies?

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