I recently was skimming the LA times web site and found an interesting headline: A New Selling Tactic: The Pre-listing Inspection. My head did the old spin-a-roo. A new selling tactic? Maybe for Los Angeles, but definitely not around here. If my memory serves me right, I recall several Realtors (including myself) using seller’s inspections dating back to the late 1990’s and it becoming common place since 2003. The two major benefits to the seller are:
Repairs done prior to putting the home on the market enable the home to show at its best resulting in a quicker sale at a higher price. In addition, cost effective materials can be used when doing the repairs. For example, a client of mine recently replaced a crack marble tile floor with a lovely porcelain tile floor. The bathroom floor looked great yet cost about a 1/3 the price it would have been had they used real marble.
Professional inspections aid in providing more disclosure about the home and its systems to the buyer. Note: pre-listing inspections do not relieve the seller from his/her obligation of full disclosure. They merely provide more information to the buyer.
Lastly, because the seller has provided a professional 3rd party inspection of the property, the negotiated terms of the contract are likely to be pleasing to both sides. There is a higher probability that the buyer will take the property in its “as-is” condition which relieves the seller of his/her repair obligation. This also allows the buyer to do the repairs they want using the materials they want. There is a higher probability that the contract will close because there should not be any “property condition” surprises. There is a higher probability that the escrow period will be shorter. The buyer may be comfortable with the property’s condition and not elect to have any further inspections. Statistically, shorter escrows close with a higher probability than longer ones.