With multiple offers becoming more and more common place beginning in late 2014/early 2015, some listing agents implemented a strategy where the seller conducts a professional home inspection prior to listing the house. The inspection report is then made available at no cost to the buyer, making it easier for them to write a stronger offer by waiving the inspection contingency. I was one of those agents, in on the ground floor of this seller provided inspection movement, and I’m still a very strong proponent of this strategy, even a less competitive market. Below are 5 reasons why I continue to recommend to that my sellers conduct a professional home inspection prior to listing:
1. I often talk to my clients about how the house they are selling is the product they’re selling and that it makes sense to understand their product. For example, most homeowners rarely go into their attic or crawlspace. I believe it’s better for the owner and listing agent to know if there’s 6 inches of water in the crawl space before that house goes on the market. If the seller opts of fix the problem prior to listing, then the flooding issue and the repair are disclosed to potential buyers who are put at ease knowing the problem has been addressed. If the seller chooses not to fix the problem, then the issue is disclosed to potential buyers and the house is priced accordingly. I believe it makes sense for sellers to understand their “product” and they’ll get there if they conduct a home inspection prior to listing.
2. I think one of the best strategies for selling a property is for the buyers to have as much information as possible about the home prior to submitting an offer. If a house has issues, I don’t want the buyer to be surprised during the inspection. Home inspection “surprises” turn excited buyers into worried buyers and worried buyers tend to rescind their offer. If the seller conducts a home inspection prior to listing and a potential buyer understands the condition of the property prior to submitting an offer there should be no inspection surprises. When buyer understands what they are buying from the get-go, they are considerably less likely to back out during escrow.
3. If a seller receives multiple offers and the seller conducted home inspection report is available to buyers, it’s nearly a 100% certainty that the buyers will waive the inspection contingency. With a waived inspection contingency, it makes it very difficult for a buyer to rescind their offer without being at risk of losing their earnest money. Even if a seller receives 1 offer, it’s been my experience that 75% of buyers will still waive the inspection contingency based on the seller conducted home inspection.
4. Professional home inspections can be expensive, depending on the size of the house they can range from $350 to $700+ but I think that providing a seller conducted home inspection will end up saving the seller thousands. If a seller has provided an inspection report, we’re signaling to the buyer and the buyer’s agent that we’ve priced the house based on the condition and they shouldn’t expect price discounts. If there isn’t a seller conducted inspection available and the buyer performs their own inspection, a seller can typically expect request for repairs or price reductions starting at $2,500 and going up from there.
5. When a seller conducts a home inspection prior to listing and the buyer still chooses to conduct their own inspection, the stress and anxiety of waiting for the buyer’s inspection is greatly reduced if not alleviated completely. It’s likely that 2 different inspectors will discover a few different items and the reports won’t be exactly the same, but two inspectors aren’t going to miss 6 inches of water in the crawl space and only very minor issues should be difference between the two reports.