Pre-Listing Inspections

Should Sellers Have an Inspection Before Listing for Sale?

Over the past two years and with this crazy real estate market, the idea of having a seller’s home inspected prior to listing has met with mixed reviews. Many homeowners will ask their real estate agent if getting their home pre-inspected before putting it on the market is a good idea. There are more good reasons for having a pre-listing inspection than there are against the idea. Consider the pros and cons.

You find out what condition your home is in.

Quite simply, many of us learn to live with certain ‘less than desirable conditions’ in our homes. Little annoyances like leaky faucets and sticky windows or doors are all very common. However, most homeowners are not educated in the major components a home. Heating and air conditioning, structural/foundational building principles, electrical, plumbing and roofing are all very specialized and require a properly trained individual or company to properly evaluate. By having a qualified home inspection company inspect the home before hitting the market, the seller and Realtor find out the exact condition of your home, the age of major appliances and receive recommendations for repairs or replacements.

Pricing the home accurately is much easier and can minimize stress.

The Realtor and seller can benefit from a pre-listing inspection. Having the house evaluated by a professional will give everyone a better understanding of the current condition of the home allowing for an informed approach to pricing the home. If major repairs such as a new roof or new HVAC system are recommended, a lower sale price may be in order. The inspection report findings and can also minimize the stress of the unknown on the seller.

The seller can make repairs for outstanding issues on their own time.

When a buyer comes to the seller’s home with their own inspection company, they have already put a contract in on the home with a limited time to move forward. That limited time period is allowed for repairs or replacements to be made based on the buyer’s home inspection report findings. With a pre-listing inspection, the seller can set the schedule and budget for repairs. There is no rush to list the property until you have made sure the home is in good shape.

Less likelihood of negotiations.

Quite often, buyers will use the home inspection as a point of asking for additional concessions. They may use the home inspection to renegotiate the sale. When one or more major issues come up, the buyer may want to reconsider the price of the home or ask for excessive amounts of money back. Negotiating after a home inspection is a common hurdle in the real estate process.

If the seller has had a pre-listing inspection, both the buyer and seller are already aware of any issues from the beginning of the interaction. Negotiations may still occur, but they may be minimal.

Help improve the buyer’s confidence.

Buyers naturally are skeptical about a home’s condition until their home inspection is completed. For most people, purchasing a home will be the most money they will ever spend. Anytime a potential buyer can receive an inspection report that details the present condition of a home, the seller is probably going to make the potential buyer feel more confident about the purchase. It is also very helpful for them to work potential future costs into their budget.

Cons for having a pre-listing inspection

Many people wonder about the drawbacks of having a home inspection before putting their home up for sale. Here are the primary reasons:

There will be two inspections of your home.

If the seller has had a pre-listing inspection and made appropriate repairs before listing, the buyer’s inspection should not be too worrisome. At a minimum, the seller is now aware of potential repair recommendations and should not be surprised. It is worth noting however, that the seller will still need to go through the buyer’s inspection report regardless of the findings from pre-listing inspection report.

You will have to pay for the pre-listing inspection.

When a seller requests a pre-listing inspection, that cost is paid by the seller. When a potential buyer comes to the table with an offer, and plans to move forward with inspections, the buyer typically pays for those inspections. The pre-listing inspection cost will come out of your pocket. The price is arguably worth it for the benefits it offers.

In Maryland, buyers and sellers can expect to pay anywhere from $400-$900 for a typical home inspection. Additional inspection costs aside from the general home inspection can be radon testing, lead testing, a well yield, septic inspection, water sampling test, and mold test. Going back to the PRO’s of having a home inspection, issues can be revealed, and decisions made up
front prior to listing the property for sale.

Being proactive makes sense

Performing a pre-listing inspection offers too many benefits to ignore for most sellers. It is a proactive step that puts the seller ahead of the curve, allowing for a better understanding of the current state of the home. The seller can plan better, rest easier and possibly get a better price for the home if major repairs or replacements have already happened.

You should speak to a few real estate agents in your area and get their thoughts on having a pre-inspection done. More than likely, the agents will look favorably upon doing one.

If you have any questions about home inspections, please call to schedule an appointment. One of our nine fully licensed and ASHI certified inspectors (two Spanish speaking and one Portuguese speaking) would be glad to come out to look at your property and provide a report for you.

Call 410-772-9332 or reserve an appointment by going to

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Highland Home Inspections is a Veteran Owned local business with offices in Ellicott City and Prince Frederick, Maryland, and serves Central and Southern Maryland the Eastern Shore, Ocean City, and Fenwick Island, DE. Now also in Northern Virginia.