Most people are probably familiar with buyers requesting a home inspection, but it’s becoming more and more common for sellers to initiate a pre-sale home inspection themselves. It’s something that’s already common practice in the San Francisco Bay Area, but we’re now seeing it in other markets across the country.
A pre-sale home inspection is something I usually recommend to sellers, but they sometimes question why they should pay for a home inspection when it’s traditionally been up to the buyers. My answer is that it can only help sellers in terms of a successful sale. Remember, this is a market that regularly receives multiple offers on homes.
When you get a pre-sale home inspection, you’re able to present potential buyers will a full and complete disclosure package, including inspection reports. Buyers can then fully review those inspection reports on your home before submitting an offer. This works to your advantage, because buyers are now able to make an “as is”, no inspection contingency offer.
This makes it a lot easier to compare offers on your home, especially if you’re getting multiple offers that are quite similar. If all the offers are essentially the same, in that there’s no contingency, a 30-day close of escrow, etc., a buyer can then simply choose the highest offer. If you don’t have the pre-sale home inspection and you receive multiple offers on your home, each of which also includes an inspection contingency, it makes it more difficult to choose the best offer.
Say, for example, you go with the highest offer. You’re now locked in with that buyer. If the home inspection report comes back and finds some potential issues that need to be addressed, such as aging plumbing or an aging roof, the buyer you chose may now want to try and negotiate repairs. They could want a lower price to compensate for those repairs, whereas the second highest offer may not have wanted to negotiate anything. You’re now at a disadvantage.
Of course, there could always still be something, but buyers now have less ability to negotiate if the home’s already been inspected. That’s especially true when there’s non-contingent, escrow earnest money already deposited. If you already have the inspection reports, questionaries, and disclosures ready to go, your buyers have had the opportunity to review everything before submitting their best offer.
Sure, you’ll have to spend a few hundred dollars for a pre-sale home inspection in the beginning, but you could end up making several thousand dollars more when your home sells if you’re able to accept a non-contingent, as-is offer. I should probably point out we use reputable home inspectors that buyers and agents are comfortable with.