Should I Have My Home Inspected Before I List It?

If you’re getting ready to sell your Wilmington area home, you may be wondering if you should have a home inspection done before you list. In Wilmington, many home sellers choose not to, but the choice should really be made on a case-by-case basis. While it may not be needed for some homes, it could be beneficial for others. Here are some points to consider:

Why You Would Want to Get a Pre-Inspection

  1. A pre-inspection gives you a good dose of reality. It will give you a clearer understanding of the condition of a home, which can affect the list price and how you market the home. This is especially important if you never lived in the home, because other family members lived there or it was used as a rental. If your main goal is to get the home sold, an inspection can help you get it prepared to compete against other homes on the market. If you don’t need to sell right now, this may be the information you need to decide if you want to wait or go ahead and list.
  2. A pre-inspection can reduce your time on the market. If a buyer feels that a home has more repairs than they are comfortable with handling, they will terminate the contract, which means you’ve wasted days or months on the market. It also creates a stigma with the home. Future buyers will want to know why the contract was terminated and will be hesitant to put in an offer. A pre-inspection allows you to make repairs before you list the home reducing the amount of work that may turn buyers away.
  3. A pre-inspection creates peace of mind in buyers. If you’ve already taken the time to get an inspection and address repairs, it shows buyers that you are serious about selling and respect the risks they’re taking buying a new home. It’s bound to grab the attention of buyers as an additional marketing tool (and you can further that affect by including a home warranty).
  4. A pre-inspection can create a smoother transaction. By eliminating repairs prior to a purchase contract, you get rid of potential big surprises that often lead to additional negotiating, unexpected costs, and a postponed closing.

Why You May Want to Skip a Pre-Inspection

  1. A pre-inspection is an additional cost. If your home isn’t very old or hasn’t had many issues, the possibility of facing surprises when the buyers do their own inspection may be low. So, the additional cost may not be warranted. This is probably the most popular reason for not getting a pre-inspection.
  2. If an issue is revealed, you need to disclose it. Of course, if you’re getting a pre-inspection, you’re probably already planning on making repairs. But, if you find you can’t make all of the repairs, you need to disclose any that you weren’t able to complete. This may hurt your ability to sell, because buyers will be hesitant to take that first step of making an offer. It may also drastically lower their offer price.
  3. A pre-inspection doesn’t eliminate the buyer’s home inspection. If your intention is to speed up the sale, the pre-inspection won’t shorten the buyer’s Due Diligence Period. The buyer can choose to trust your home inspection and not get one of their own, but the Due Diligence Period also includes all efforts by the lender to finalize funding, as well as any additional inspections (pest, sewer, septic, chimney, etc.), land surveys, and research into anything that will affect the intended use of the property (HOA restrictions, improvement projects, zoning, etc.). At the most, it will eliminate the chance of surprise repairs that may lengthen the closing timetable.
  4. Not everything wrong with a home may be caught with a home inspection. Home inspectors aren’t perfect, nobody is, so there’s always the chance that something will be overlooked. They’re also limited on how thoroughly they can inspect a home. For example, inspectors will not make holes in walls to inspect pipes or wiring, and are not required to climb on top of roofs to inspect. So, if an interior pipe has degraded so much that it starts to leak while the home is listed, that’s not something that could have been prevented with a home inspection.

As you can see, a pre-inspection isn’t for everyone and can actually be more detrimental for a sale. However, if your home has been rife with issues or time is nearing the end of the predicted lifespan for the original building materials, it may be a good idea to consider a pre-inspection. It could save you time and money, which are often the same thing when your home is on the market.

Have questions about pre-inspections or listing your Wilmington area home? Give us a call or send us a message through our Contact page.

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About the Author
Meghan Henderson
Meghan is the Marketing Specialist for The Cameron Team and a published author of two young adult books. She also creates digital and printable planners and trackers, as well as coloring pages for Larkspur & Tea.