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Most of the nation is experiencing a fast-paced, strong seller’s market. Homes are selling extremely quickly and often above the asking price.  

Smart agents advise their sellers to do a pre-listing home inspection to prevent surprises and complications during the sale.

No one likes unpleasant surprises. The last thing you need when selling a property is to have an unexpected home inspection item slowing down the closing and potentially costing your sellers more money.

In this post, you’ll learn about the value of a pre-listing home inspection and how to conduct one.

What Is a Pre-Listing Home Inspection and Why Get One?

What is a pre listing home inspection and why get one?

A pre-listing home inspection is when the seller has the home inspected, either professionally or on their own, before placing the property on the market for sale. 

Getting a pre-listing home inspection helps avoid potential problems or delays in the sale of your home.

Your seller and the buyer have agreed to a price and terms and no one wants to haggle over last-minute repairs that get discovered during the usual inspection period.

For example, a pre-listing home inspection will help you:

  • Uncover any issues you’ll likely encounter later in the sales process
  • When these concerns are discovered and fixed it will ease the selling process and make your negotiations simple

Therefore, a pre-listing home inspection is your best bet for addressing as many concerns as possible with your home before you list it, and will be a definite advantage for the sale process.

Have the pre-listing home inspection report available for potential buyers to read. This will put minds at ease and can positively influence buyers to make an offer.

So, now you understand the value of a pre-listing home inspection to solidify your contract negotiations and convince the buyers that they are buying a good, sound home.

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The Pre-Listing Home Inspection Checklist (5 Easy-To-Follow Steps)

This 5 step thorough pre-listing home inspection checklist can help you focus your efforts.

1. Start by Inspecting the Major Systems

The Ultimate Pre-Listing Home Inspection Checklist (in 2022)

Performing a thorough examination of the major mechanical systems during your pre-listing home inspection can help you detect any significant problems that may exist.

Make sure that the following home systems are in optimal condition:

  • Start with the heating and air conditioning systems
  • Then, check out the electrical system — do all outlets work? Is the main box up to code?
  • Finally, go over the plumbing system — any leaks or rusting pipes?

Any trouble with these systems could affect a possible sale, so it is crucial to check and fix any issues with these before listing your home.

2. Take a Close Look at Structural Issues

The structure of a home is like its bones — they hold the home together.

In your pre-listing home inspection, spend time looking over the general structure of the house:

  • The roof — is there missing shingles or flashing?
  • Next, the foundation, basement, and/or crawl space — any cracks or leaks?
  • Are the sidewalks even? Is the driveway in good condition?

3. The Little Details Matter!

Check for leaky faucets when doing a pre listing home inspection

Buyers will notice even the smallest flaws in your home, leading to a negative impression.

Therefore, when it comes to your pre-listing home inspection focus on even the small details and take care of the imperfections beforehand.

A few things that you need to address include:

  • Fix leaky faucets
  • Tighten doorknobs and cabinet hardware
  • Replace damaged screens and windowpanes
  • Also, replace any broken fixtures, handles, switches, and so on
  • Fill in small holes in the walls and do touch-up painting as needed
  • And, secure any loose hand railings

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An additional benefit of these efforts, all these measures will significantly improve the appearance and quality-feel of your home.

4. Follow Up on Maintenance Improvements

Keep up on standard maintenance of your home to ensure that your home looks its best.

Some of the basic maintenance tasks to work on include:

  • Trimming shrubs and trees and edging the lawn
  • Replacing bathroom caulking, and cleaning grout and tiles
  • And, clean out the gutters
  • Also, wash windows and don’t forget the sills

These tasks are not only cost-effective and easy to do, but they also add to your home’s appearance and value.

5. Finally, Don’t Forget a Safety Check

Check for smoke detectors when doing a pre listing home inspection

In your pre-listing home inspection, you’ll also need to review the safety items in your home and add safety features to boost the security of the house for the occupants and the objects inside it.

Be sure to install or maintain these items in your home:

  • Are there smoke detectors on every floor of the home?
  • Is there a working carbon monoxide detector?
  • Does the home have adequate outdoor lighting?
  • Are the circuit breakers functional and are there GFCI outlets near water?

Buyers will certainly appreciate these safety measures when they see the home inspection report.

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As you can see, there’s tremendous value in conducting a pre-listing home inspection. Here at PhotoUp, we’re committed to helping real estate professionals grow their businesses and sell more homes.

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We hope this post helped you understand the value of a pre-listing home inspection and that our checklist will help you do your own. Also, if you enjoyed this article, you may want to explore the following resources:

Gregory Gronbacher

Real Estate Sales Agent / Professional Blogger

Gregory is a real estate sales agent and a state-certified instructor of real estate licensing and law. Originally from New York City, he's called Grand Rapids, Michigan home since 1995.

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