When a Realtor® is listing a home for sale for his or her clients, they want to do their best to sell the home quickly and for the most money. One of the best decisions that a listing agent can make in accomplishing this task is to have a pre-listing (or "Ready For Purchase™" seller’s) home inspection performed.
A pre-listing home inspection will highlight potential issues (such as safety concerns or possible expensive repairs) that a home buyer’s inspection may also uncover but will also re-enforce the properly functioning systems in the home. Most sellers believe that they know their home best since they’ve lived there for years and maybe even decades. Very often, though, an unbiased pair of educated, professional eyes will find issues that a seller never even knew existed. Outstanding issues that a seller is aware of and may have gotten used to over time during their ownership, may be a glaring red flag to a potential home buyer. The findings of the pre-listing home inspection can assist the seller and the listing agent in determining what areas of concern warrant being addressed prior to putting the home on the market. It can also provide sufficient time to get repair quotes from various qualified contractors in order to know what the real cost of addressing an issue may be. Multiple studies have shown that when a seller takes care of repairs ahead of time, they can often save 30-50% over what a buyer might ask for in credit for the same exact repairs. A pre-listing home inspection may theoretically save a seller thousands of dollars later. It also puts the home’s seller in a much stronger position in the home transaction and allows them more control of the process.
A pre-listing home inspection is performed using the exact same ASHI (American Society of Home Inspectors) Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics as a buyer’s home inspection. The inspector will perform a visual non-invasive inspection of the home’s major systems. The inspector will also, similar for a buyer’s inspection, not move furniture, boxes, appliances, shelving, etc., however for a seller’s inspection, the seller is the client and the home owner, and, if needed, can move these items to allow the inspector to perform a more thorough inspection than he may otherwise be able to do for a home buyer in an occupied home.
Many home owners, based upon the seller disclosures that I have read, make errors in their disclosures concerning the types of systems in their home, such as the electrical service size, type of heating equipment installed, and type of plumbing materials in use. Since the disclosure is a legal document that potential buyers will read, the accuracy of the disclosure statement can go a long way in re-enforcing a buyer’s interest in a home.
Having a pre-listing home inspection performed and advertising the home as having had one performed recently, can help make your new listing stand out above the crowd and can help attract otherwise weary potential buyers. Serious buyers will appreciate this fact which can then lead to a quicker settlement with fewer headaches.
Keep in mind, however, that the completed pre-listing inspection agreement is a binding contract between the inspector and the home’s seller, and therefore the pre-listing inspection report is only for the eyes of the client. The home seller can not readily hand out the pre-inspection report to everyone who comes along later. Should a later buyer or home owner call the inspector with questions concerning the pre-listing inspection report, the inspector cannot legally or ethically discuss the inspection report without a separate inspection agreement contract with the new buyer or home owner which would most often also be tied to a separate inspection report or consultation.
WIN Home Inspection provides pre-listing "Ready For Purchase™" home inspections to assist sellers in getting their homes ready to put on the market. A WIN Home Inspection "Ready For Purchase™" home inspection helps put the home's seller in control of the home's transaction.
© 2014 Matthew Steger
Matthew Steger, owner/inspector of WIN Home Inspection, is an ASHI Certified Inspector (ACI) and a Certified Level 1 Infrared Thermographer. He can be reached at: 717-361-9467 or email@example.com.
WIN Home Inspection provides a wide array of home inspection services in the Lancaster, PA area. This article was authored by Matthew Steger, ACI - owner of WIN Home Inspection in Lancaster, PA. No article, or portion thereof, may be reproduced or copied without prior written consent of Matthew Steger.