Should I Get a Pre-List Home Inspection?
I cut my teeth in real estate in a time where we told Sellers it was always a good idea to get a pre-list home inspection. It would show what was wrong with the house so they could fix those items and even be able to provide a copy to prospective buyers. But what about today? What about in a society that loves to sue and take others to court?
The pre-list inspection, in theory, is still great. Sellers just need to understand the challenges this may cause. If you get the pre-list home inspection, you will have to repair everything on that list or disclose to a Buyer anything that was found that was not fixed. “Why,” you ask? You think that since the Buyer is having their own home inspection, it will be found anyway and you can negotiate then. Well, first of all, it’s unethical not to disclose what you are aware of. Secondly, if their inspector doesn’t find it, and it is found after the close, you may find yourself in a lawsuit because you knew about it and didn’t disclose the issue.
Another take on this, is, that not all inspectors are created equal. I have had clients that have had inspectors say that the roof is really bad and needs to be replaced because of hail damage. We had a licensed roofer inspect it and the roof was actually perfectly fine. What the inspector saw on some shingles was a discoloration due to a manufacturers defect. Now, a buyer may not like that it is discolored but a Seller is not going to want to spend thousands of dollars to replace a roof that is functioning properly. So, if you get a pre-list inspection and either fix or disclose everything that is on the report and a buyer uses that in negotiations, you may be spending more than necessary if you don’t do your homework.
In my opinion, if something just hasn’t been working properly or it’s been years since your HVAC was serviced, those are items that you should go ahead and get done. Most of my clients decide not to get a pre-list home inspection because of the list of variables, loop holes, and pitfalls that could come into play. If you decide to get a pre-list home inspection, use a reputable one (try this site) and, remember, DISCLOSE, DISCLOSE, DISCLOSE – and keep yourself out of a lawsuit!
Michelle Froedge is a residential Realtor and Principal Broker in the Greater Nashville and Williamson County areas of Tennessee. Wife to Robert, “Mom” to Tyler and Livvie, Auntie to Zelamie, she is a vegetarian and sings in her spare time. Michelle has lived in Nashville and Franklin since 1997 and has been selling homes since 2004.