Pre-Listing Home Inspection: Pros and Cons

A pre-listing house inspection is a term you must be familiar with if you have bought or sold a house before; it is an essential process for real estate in which sellers get their home inspected before showing it to the buyer. This makes the selling process easy and the negotiation swift because the seller gets all the problems of the house fixed, and thus they can get a higher offer for the home.  

Before officially selling your home, a professional home inspector will inspect your property and identify potential repairs. Think of it as an opportunity for the seller to find out what the buyer wants before making an offer or signing a sales contract. Angelica Olmsted, a real estate agent at Team Denver Homes, said that this also helps sellers understand the cost of repairs, and she also said that “Pre-listing inspections also help sellers determine selling prices and accept offers.” It encourages potential buyers as well. In fact, according to a survey conducted by Porch, a home information & services site, nearly 88% of new buyers relied on a home inspection before making the purchase. As such, a pre-listing home inspection can lay the groundwork and increase the prospect of selling at a reasonable price.

Also See: Questions to Ask a Home Inspector Before, During, and After a Home Inspection

What does pre-listing inspection cover, and when to get it done?

The pre-listing inspection covers many things, including some that you might not have paid attention to as a seller. To elaborate, the house’s structure is evaluated, and whether the foundation is strong is thoroughly examined as well. Evaluations of the conditions of the roof, the walls, and the yards are covered by pre-listing inspection at the same time. It also includes a comprehensive inspection report on the internal parts like electricity, plumbing, and other interior components. For example, as per the survey by Porch, about 20% of home inspections discovered issues with the roofs, while nearly 13.6% found problems with the plumbing systems.

If the house is new and the owner is the first and only resident of the house, then there is no need for the inspection because you will be aware of the significant problems of the house. On the other hand, if the house is relatively old, or other people are residing in it, it is beneficial to the inspection done, as it saves the seller from the hassle that comes when the problem arises. It makes the process of selling much easier and swift.

The cost of the pre-listing inspection varies from house to house based on their age, size, and location. An estimate can be made by comparing the inspection cost from a nearby house. Usually, a regular pre-listing home inspection falls between $300 and $450.

Pros of a pre-listing inspection

To find out the condition of the house

When an owner decides to sell a house, they must have lived in it for at least a few years, and they know if there is any problem with the home, which they can get fixed before any potential buyer comes looking for the house. Pre-listing house inspection prevents the buyer from finding out the problems and backing off. However, if the pre-listing is not done and the owner is unaware of the problem, he can’t get it fixed, and if the buyer gets his inspection done, then they can ask for credits to get these problems fixed, or they can back away from the offer. This happens often; that’s the reason why people get their house inspected before calling any potential buyer.

Buyers request for credit can be eliminated

When you get the pre-listing inspection of your house, you find out all the problems it might have, and you can get it fixed before a buyer can find out. Let’s say, in the pre-listing inspection of your house, some problem with the plumbing was discovered. This would provide you with an opportunity to get it fixed, and your buyer won’t find out about it. However, when a buyer finds any issues with the house, they ask for the credits from the seller to get it fixed and demand a lower price. But, if you fix the problem beforehand, you can add it to the house’s selling price. 

Your pre-listing inspection can be used for marketing

If you get the pre-listing of the house and the report shows A+, then it will show that the house is in good condition, that there is no problem with the house. It can be used to market the house, attracting more people. Thus, by using pre-listing inspection as a marketing prospect of the house, you will be able to get comparatively more offers from the buyer with high prices.

Help speed the selling process

Closing a real estate deal takes a lot of time; sometimes, some houses are not sold for a year. In such a case getting a pre-listing inspection of the house can be beneficial as it speeds up the process of selling the house. It allows the owner to fix any problem, thereby eliminating any potential at the end of the deal and preventing it from falling apart. It attracts more buyers, which results in higher offers on the one hand.

It makes the agent’s job easier

Selling a home is a lot of work for a realtor, and a good realtor doesn’t have to sell a home, but a preliminary survey can make their job much more manageable. This is because they need to evaluate the home properly, find the perfect buyer, and make sure you sell your home at a commensurate price. Viewing the pre-list helps agents ensure that their homes are priced correctly and take advantage of the fact that the house has significant selling points.

If you want to make sure you’ve done everything with your power to sell your home quickly and efficiently and at maximum price, pre-inspection is just a great way to do that. It assures you and allows you to build relationships with buyers that can give you an edge over other sellers before your home is on the market. Potential buyers will still choose to undergo their inspection, but the cost of pre-inspection is worth the results.

Also See: Do’s and Dont’s of Hiring a Realtor

Cons of a pre-listing inspection

Law of disclosure requires you to disclose any issue

Depending on the disclosure law of your state, it may be required by law to disclose to the purchaser any problems found during the inspection. Whether disclosure puts you at a disadvantage depends heavily on your finances.

Disclosure is not a big issue if you have the money to repair it. However, if the necessary repairs cannot be completed, the shortcomings found in the pre-listing inspection can make it challenging to sell the home. If you do a home inspection before putting it up for sale, you will learn about a significant percentage of the problem. However, it needs to be made clear that the level of realtors is much higher. The realtor should notify the buyer of all known issues with the home. 

If you live in a state that requires disclosure, now is the time to start buying on these issues. Some might argue that it isn’t that important as the buyers will do the test themselves anyway. But how would you feel like a house buyer if someone was hiding a major problem from you, whether or not it is required by law? So do the right thing and discover the problem you know.

Pre-listing adds up to the cost

Selling a house is not cheap; it costs quite a lot of money even before you receive the money from selling the house. Then it only adds up to the other costs you will have to pay for. And if pre-listing doesn’t discover any problem with the house at all, then the money paid for inspection is just another financial burden.

Read Also: Selling House in Summer

The dispute in the inspection result

Buyers may still hire an inspector to perform regular home inspections. Their inspectors may have a contradictory view of your home that is different from what the previous inspections on your list revealed. It will cause a dispute between the seller and the buyer.

Paying for unnecessary repairs

When buyers decide to buy a house, they can also get the inspection done, but what if their inspection result is not as thorough as yours? If your pre-listing covered more damage than the buyer, then you ended up paying for the repair of unnecessary things that must have gone unnoticed, and you could have prevented the trouble.


Ultimately, the decision of a pre-listing home is between you and your realtor. There are certainly many reasons for a professional pre-check in your home. However, if you are concerned about costs and do not have the funds, you may not be able to pay. Talk to your broker about the pros and cons of pre-sales reviews. They know the expectations of buyers in your market and can provide guidance.


What does pre-listing home inspection cover?

Just like home inspection, pre-listing home inspection covers the structure of the house, the drainage, electric panel, doors, windows, molds, and cracks. 

See Also: Get Rid of Molds in Bathroom

 What is the cost of a pre-listing home inspection?

The cost of pre-listing a home inspection is between $250 and $700, depending on the location and the size of the house.

How to prepare for the pre-listing home inspection?

To make sure that the inspection goes swiftly, you can do a few things like – clean the clutter of the inspection points, test the items that the inspector will check, whether they are working or not, do the necessary and visible repairs, and try to improve the exterior of the house.

What are the mandatory fixes after the inspection?

It would be best if you did some necessary fixes before showing your house to the buyer; they are water and drainage problems, pest infections, electric damage, and structural hazard.

Do home inspectors also check the doors and windows?

Yes, the home’s inspector checks windows and doors to make sure that they are working correctly in each room, and there is at least one window that can be used as an emergency exit.

Also See: The Red Flags when Buying a Home |Should Seller pay for Pre-Listing Home Inspection | Why is Home Inspection Important

Written by

Rostislav Shetman is the founder of 9Kilo Moving. He has been in the moving and relocation industry for more than 25 years, making him an expert in his field. Rostislav started as a helper, dispatcher and driver and has worked his way up to owning his own company. He takes great pride in his work and enjoys helping people relocate across the United States of America. When he's not working, Rostislav enjoys spending time with his family and friends. They are the light of his life and bring him happiness every day.