Realtor - Amanda S. Davidson: Should Sellers Get a Pre-Listing Home Inspection?

Should Sellers Get a Pre-Listing Home Inspection?

Should Sellers Get a Pre-Listing Home Inspection?

A pre-listing home inspection is something I rarely see homeowners want to do. I can count on my fingers how many times I’ve had a client agree to one and while I see both sides of the story I think the benefits of having one outweigh the drawbacks. I’m not going to say one is needed on every single home but, more often than not I do recommend one be conducted.

Pre-Listing Home Inspection

The majority of the time a buyer is going to have a home inspection conducted, even if the market is competitive and it’s a void only contingency an inspection is highly likely going to be part of the puzzle that has to be put together before closing can happen. If you possess a solid idea of the condition of your home and the opportunity to fix any major problems before going on the market you lessen your risk of your home sale falling apart.

Let’s look at the pros and cons!



Identifying Serious Problems Upfront

Surprises and real estate are not a good match. Finding out you have a serious moisture problem before you list is far better than finding out once you’re under contract.


Timing For Repairs

In Virginia, most homes close in 30-45 days and in a typical situation the home inspection contingency is 7-10 days after ratification. This puts pressure on sellers to get any agreed upon repairs done FAST. There’s no time to waste. If you know about them before you list your home you control the timing and can get multiple estimates and have the work done without the pressure of a closing date looming over you.


Cost-Effectiveness For Repairs

Timing also plays into the cost of repairs. Whether it’s a contractor of your choice or the buyers if you’re on a time crunch your options for who can do the work in the allotted timeframe may be limited. If there isn’t enough time to complete the repair or if the buyer requests a credit you can bet they are going to want more than what the actual repair costs due to the burden being placed on them to then coordinate the repair after closing.

Pre-Listing Home Inspection

Fewer Repair Requests

If you’ve already taken care of any deal breakers or large repair items it’s less likely you’ll get a laundry list of repair requests from a buyer. The overall condition of your home is revealed during an inspection and it can either leave the buyer feeling comfortable or make them want to run.



I’ve never met a buyer who didn’t appreciate a transparent seller. You can’t get more transparent than sharing your pre-listing home inspection along with repair receipts for any items you took care of. It sends the message to buyers that you’re not trying to hide anything.


The Report

An inspection report is an excellent tool to have – not only does it allow you to advertise to buyers up front that your home has been professionally inspected it also gives you a great comparison tool to use when the buyer obtains an inspection as well.


POSSIBLE BENEFITS (keyword – POSSIBLE … not always going to apply)

Higher List Price

If you get an inspection done and based on the findings determine you need to replace your HVAC or have a new roof put on you may find your agent recommends listing higher than if they’re old and in need of replacement. This is going to apply to significant replacement items, caulking the bathroom isn’t going to make a difference on your list price so you’ll want to rely on guidance from your agent when it comes to what will impact the list price.


Faster Closing

The less there is to negotiate on the faster closing can occur. If repairs have already been identified and completed you’re setting yourself up to be able to close faster. Now, not everyone wants to close fast so I understand this might not be seen as a benefit for every buyer and seller but, even just knowing you’re waiting to close and everything is ready to go vs. worrying over repair negotiations and timing for repairs is a benefit.



Based on my experience the odds of another homeowner completing a pre-listing inspection are low. Think about if a buyer is torn between your home and another home. Knowledge of your pre-listing inspection could sway a buyer or even attract a buyer faster. There’s something to be said for peace of mind when it comes to the condition of a home and that goes for buyers and sellers.



A pre-listing inspection is going to cost you somewhere in the range of $300-$600 depending on what size and type of home you have.


Doesn’t Replace The Buyer’s Inspection

Although it’s possible the buyer will waive their inspection if you’ve already had one done it's not likely. The majority of buyers will still want to hire their own inspector and quite frankly they should. The pre-listing inspection is provided to a buyer for information only, not in lieu of the buyer having an inspection conducted.

Pre-Listing Home Inspection


No two inspection reports are the same. Don’t expect for the same items to be found during the buyer’s inspection if you’ve had a pre-listing inspection. Some will be the same and some will be different. Inspectors are human and that factor alone means there’s going to be varying opinions and findings.



This is going to vary greatly by each state so I won’t go into much detail but, I will say in most states if you know of a serious issue with your house it needs to be disclosed. Some states require far more disclosure than others so this is something to check with your agent about.


This post was inspired by a comment from Jay Markanich, Northern Virginia Home Inspector who has also experienced the majority of homeowners opt not to have a pre-listing inspection conducted. Think about the confidence you could have when buyers come through the door of your home knowing that you’ve done everything you can to get your home ready to sell.

Have you sold a home before and conducted a pre-listing inspection? If so, were you glad you did?




Amanda Davidson Real Estate Group

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Comment balloon 19 commentsAmanda S. Davidson • April 05 2019 07:35PM


Hi Amanda S. Davidson, like you, I wouldn't suggest a home inspection on every home for different reasons but it would be beneficial on some. My buyers canceled a contract after the home inspections just last week. The sellers could've saved a lot of time and money if they had a home inspection prior to listing.

Posted by Beth Atalay, Cam Realty of Clermont FL (Cam Realty and Property Management) about 1 year ago

This is great information to share with prospective home sellers. 

Posted by Roy Kelley (Realty Group Referrals) about 1 year ago

We rarely see this done too Amanda. Is it a good idea? Absoultely as you point out!

Posted by Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400, Long Island Home and Condo Specialists (The Top Team @ Charles Rutenberg Realty 255 Executive Dr, Plainview NY 11803) about 1 year ago

I try to get sellers to have a pre-listing inspection. When they refuse, it's usually due to them preferring to be ostriches - not wanting to know what's wrong that they'll have to disclose

Posted by Lorrie Semler, REALTOR® in the Dallas area. Call/text 972-416-3417, Real Service. Real Results. Real Estate (United Real Estate) about 1 year ago

Hello Amanda,  Great suggestions about pre-inspection,  Sometime I recommend it  and sometimes I pass.  Can I reblog this in May?

Posted by Will Hamm, "Where There's a Will, There's a Way!" (Hamm Homes) about 1 year ago

Great post and generally speaking a pre-listing inspection is a good idea.  We can all appreciate having a homeowner willing to admit there the property is not in perfect condition.  Setting expectations is another positive result from the inspection.

Posted by Keith McMullin, Port Aransas Real Estate (Port Aransas Realty) about 1 year ago

Hello Amanda - suggesting a pre-sale inspection to some sellers may be uncommon in some areas and widely accepted in others. The same is true for agents too. Business is practiced differently even in the same market.  Your analysis of positive/ negative aspects of each is good.

Posted by Michael Jacobs, Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393 about 1 year ago

Good afternoon Amanda - I certainly see this a a win for the seller.  I would certsinly want to know.

Posted by Grant Schneider, Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes (Performance Development Strategies) about 1 year ago

Hi Amanda S. Davidson - You always do such a thorough job with these informative blog posts. I do my best to add something that might benefit the reader but never can find anything to add.  

What this tells me is that you and your team are exactly the type of broker and agents that I would want representing people. Anyone who hires you is hitting the jackpot!

Posted by Sheri Sperry - MCNE®, (928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR® (Coldwell Banker Realty) about 1 year ago

I think the benefits outweigh the detriments as well, but then again, sometimes not knowing something is better than knowing, haha.

Posted by Brian England, MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ (Arizona Focus Realty) about 1 year ago

Hi Amanda... I've never sold one of my own homes without an pre-sale inspection. I hate surprises and don't want my buyer to be anything but delighted with their selection of my house.

Posted by Nina Hollander, Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor (Coldwell Banker Realty) about 1 year ago


We firmly believe in that and did this with when we sold a home.  It just makes life so much easier.  A

Posted by Ron and Alexandra Seigel, Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy (Napa Consultants) about 1 year ago

Agreed...more pluses than minuses and always something we recommend in an estate should any financial stumbling blocks be this RE-Blogged !

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Real Estate Agents - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) about 1 year ago

Ha!  A market I have been trying to crack for years!  And I got a call to do a pre-listing inspection just before I got home to the computer today (between appointments, I have another appointment later)...  that one is scheduled for next week.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 1 year ago

Amanda, important points, pro and con! The hardest part about having a pre-listing home inspection (after speaking with my principal broker about this) is that we have to disclose EVERYTHING that was found. And that could scare a potential buyer away. I look at it this way: one home inspection offers the opportunity for a seller to offer items to be repaired as a good will gesture to prove that the seller wants to make it right and it makes the buyer feel that they are getting what they want. 

For example: if a roof needs to be replaced: get 3 estimates and then decide what you, as the seller want to offer towards that as a credit. Some buyers may opt for the higher priced metal roof, but the seller doesn't want to go that route. It is up to the buyer to make up the difference then, but they get what they want, as opposed to settling for a comp roof that was already put on prior to a sale. 

After finding out what an owner has to repair, rather than get that done, they may have to offer a LOWER price because they can't afford to have major things fixed. Selling AS IS can certainly also scare a buyer off. Rehab loans might work in this case. Or a cash buyer who knows how to do all of these home repairs. 

Very gray areas here. The most amount of litigation cases in real estate are related to property disclosures. Dicey, for sure! 

Posted by Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate, "Your Local Expert!" 503-755-2905 (John L Scott Market Center) about 1 year ago

Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate I think you bring up a really good point - the disclosure factor and then that leads into it varying by each state. It really can get dicey on what's best and is just another reason that working with a local agent who is an expert is so important. You, my friend, are so on top of your game and every detail, you never cease to impress me!

Posted by Amanda S. Davidson, Alexandria Virginia Homes For Sale (Amanda Davidson Real Estate Group Brokered By eXp Realty) about 1 year ago

Amanda - the last time I checked this I did not read until the end!  Wow, ¡muy impresivo!  Not realizing I "inspired" the post, I commented having one happen just today!  As to the inspiration for the post, may I say ... aw, shucks ...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 1 year ago

Good morning, Amanda S. Davidson it's basically unheard of in my one has a pre-listing inspection.... 

Posted by Barbara Todaro, Marketing Agent for The Todaro Team (RE/MAX Executive Realty ) about 1 year ago

Good evening Amanda. This is thoughtful and beautifully presented. If you know, in most states you must disclose, but I still think it is a good idea.

Posted by Sheila Anderson, The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133 (Referral Group Incorporated) about 1 year ago