Should Sellers Get Pre-Inspections Done for their Property?

Many Sellers routinely request that prospective Buyers acknowledge that they have read and acknowledged the reports, disclosures, and inspections that the Seller/Seller’s Agent have made available for the property prior to presenting an offer. This does not mean that the Buyer cannot have additional inspections or investigations on the property. To the Seller, it means that when they accept an offer from a Buyer who has reviewed all of the information on the property, the Buyer has been apprised of the overall condition and situation of the property. That being the case, the Seller can be confident that the Buyer is unlikely to find any large surprises during the investigative time period and the transaction has a much higher rate of successful completion.

Few Sellers are experts, or have the professional knowledge, of all systems and structures of their homes. Over the course of my career, I have had more than one Seller with a “perfect” home discover that there were some damages or defects, of which they were unaware of, in the inspections. Conversely, I have had Sellers with properties that looked like disasters with big ticket repairs lurking, only to find that the repairs were more cosmetic that structural, and the costs to remedy was far less that imagined.

Each house is different, so obviously not every house will suit every Buyer. As Agents, our job in working with a Seller is to help them make their home appealing to the greatest possible number of potential Buyers. One easy way to do this is to eliminate as many unknowns as possible, which is partially accomplished by having pre-inspections performed on the property. If there is a repair that is needed, pre-inspections allow the Seller the chance to repair or disclose whatever has been discovered, so that is not a surprise. No one likes surprises in real estate.

This goes to the heart of why it is advantageous for a Buyer to be able to see and review property information ahead of time. While there are always things to learn about a property. it is nice if there are no big surprises. Given the high costs of home ownership, the competition and stress involved in the process, surprises are not fun. Keeping surprise at a minimum is one factor that becomes advantageous to the Buyers when they find a Seller has obtained pre-inspections on the property. This, combined with the Seller disclosures available for the Buyer to review, allows a Buyer a better understanding of the property they are considering. For the Buyer, ready to write an offer, the Buyer can do so with more confidence they understand the condition of the home at the time of writing the offer. It also means that if a Buyer discovers any issues that make the property unsuitable for them before entering contract, they haven’t wasted time and money on a property that does not meet their needs.

It seems that everyone benefits when a Seller obtains pre-inspections. Let’s keep the surprises for birthdays.