What’s a Pre-Inspection and How Does It Matter?

Posted On: April 26, 2017
Staging a Home for Less

You’ve probably heard of a home inspection, but what is a “pre-inspection”? A review before the examination? Not quite. The “pre” part usually means before there’s an offer or contract on the house. A seller may consider hiring a home inspector before putting a place on the market, and buyers might get a pre-inspection before they make an offer.

What Does a Home Inspection Cover?

This detailed, itemized report determines the condition of home systems, identifies deterioration, and provides recommendations. The home inspection is part of a buyer’s due diligence to ensure the effective methods are in good condition and that there are no severe, expensive defects unknown to the seller.

Many real estate sales contracts contain a home inspection contingency, which makes the contract conditional upon the outcome of the home inspection report. Also, the buyer’s agent might negotiate a provision requiring the seller to complete repairs identified by the inspector before closing.

The inspector examines key elements, ensuring proper operation, observing the condition, and noting damage, including the following:

  • Exterior
  • Structure: Foundation and framing
  • Interior: Windows, doors, ceilings, walls, floors, attic, and basement
  • Plumbing and electrical systems

Some agents recommend pest and roof inspections.

Advantages of a Pre-Inspection

The worst time to discover something significant, like a foundation problem, is after you’ve got a contract and are almost ready to close. There could be invisible problems lurking in the house. A home seller might get a pre-inspection to avoid surprises that can derail a sales transaction. This can be a good idea when selling an older house you’ve lived in for several years.

A pre-offer inspection can identify problems and give you time to repair them. Also, sellers can boast a “clean bill of health” and be upfront about the condition. A pre-inspection can also help when pricing the house. While many states require sellers to provide buyers with property condition disclosures, agents advise buyers to hire an independent home inspector to examine the property. The buyer’s lender often mandates home inspections.

Disadvantages of a Pre-Inspection

Different inspectors can produce additional inspection reports. A seller could fix defects identified in the pre-inspection, but later the buyer’s inspector identifies various problems. So, some agents think it’s a waste of money. Inspections can cost $500. Also, you’ll likely have to report any defects your inspector finds.

Should You Get a Pre-Inspection?

The quick answer is: Ask your real estate agent. He or she will be knowledgeable about the local market, the economic climate, and appropriate negotiating strategies. The answer may also be determined by the age and condition of the house and whether you’re in a buyer’s or seller’s market.

A pre-inspection can give the seller the upper hand regarding property condition. It’s better to know beforehand what repairs may be necessary and which appliances and systems might turn off prospective buyers. The fewer condition problems or red flags, the higher the offers and the faster the house can sell.

The real estate industry involves lots of exciting topics and factors. If you want to learn more or train to get your license, 360training.com is the best bet for easy-to-use, online real estate courses you can take anytime, anywhere.

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