Home inspections have traditionally been for the benefit of homebuyers. Pre-inspected listings benefit all parties – buyers, sellers and Realtors.
Deals Won't Fall Apart
Home inspections performed as a condition of the offer, can kill deals. Sometimes the buyers get cold feet and sometimes there’s a big problem no one knew about. Sometimes the house has been misrepresented - and sometimes the home inspector scares the buyers, by not explaining that minor and typical things are just that - minor and typical.
If a home inspection is completed prior to the house being listed, all parties will understand the physical condition of the house before an offer is presented. There should be no big surprises after the fact, even if the buyer gets their own home inspection.
All too often, houses have to be sold twice. It takes a lot of work to get a signed Agreement of Purchase and Sale. Then the home inspection is done and the buyer wants to renegotiate.
If all parties know the condition of the house prior to the offer, there should be no need for renegotiation. As most Realtors know, renegotiation is very difficult. Sellers have already mentally sold the house, and buyers are suffering buyer's remorse. Egos, pride and frustration can muddy the already emotional waters.
A seller who pays for a home inspection will be further ahead than one who has to renegotiate. They might even sell the house faster!
An inspection prior to listing can also help a Realtor deal with a seller who has unrealistic expectations. The inspection report is good ammunition for explaining why you can’t ask top bucks for a house which is not in top condition.
Repairs Prior To Sale
A home inspection will reveal items which should be repaired immediately, and which ones can be repaired later. A pre-listing inspection allows the seller and their Realtor an opportunity to discuss which repairs might be better performed prior to putting the house on the market.
If the inspection occurs after the agreement is signed back the buyer could walk, renegotiate or depending on the inspection clause, the seller might have the option to make a repair. A repair done by an unmotivated seller may not be the best repair and may not meet the buyer's expectations. This has caused more than one deal not to close.
The Bottom Line
I believe the future of home inspection lies in pre-inspected listings. Offers are cleaner and deals are less likely to be renegotiated or fall through. Pre-inspected listings provide buyers, sellers and Realtors the information and protection they all deserve.
Edited with permission from Carson Dunlop and Associates
Gil Strachan is a professional home inspector, representing Electrospec Home Inspection Services in east-central Ontario since 1994.