Seller inspections (sometimes referred to as pre-listing
inspections) are becoming more popular because they
virtually eliminate all the pitfalls and hassles associated
with waiting to do the inspections until a buyer is found.
In many ways, waiting to schedule inspection until after a
home goes under agreement, is too late. Seller inspections
are arranged and paid for by the seller, usually just before
the home goes on the market. The seller is the inspector's
client. The inspector works for the seller and generates a
report for the seller. The seller then typically makes
multiple copies of the report and shares them with potential
buyers that tour the home for sale. Seller inspections are
a benefit to all parties in a real estate transaction. They
are a win-win-win-win. Home inspectors should consider
offering seller inspections and marketing this service to
local listing agents.
Advantages to the home inspector:
Seller inspections allow the inspector to catch
inspection jobs upstream, ahead of real estate
transactions and the competition.
Seller inspections are easier to schedule and are not
under the time constraints of sales agreement's
Working for sellers is typically less stressful than
working for buyers about to make the purchase of their
Sellers can alert the inspector to problems that should
be included in the report, answer questions about their
homes, and provide seller's disclosure statements
Repairs of problems found during seller inspections
often necessitate the need for re-inspections by the
Seller inspections put a sample copy of
the inspector's product, the report, in the hands of
many potential buyers who will need a local inspector
Seller inspections puts a sample copy of the inspector's
product, the report, in the hands of many local buyer's
agents that tour the home.
The inspector is credited, in part, with the smoothness
of the real estate transaction by buyer, seller and
agents on both sides.
The liability of the inspector is reduced by putting
more time between the date of the inspection and the
move-in date of the buyers.
The liability of the inspector is reduced because the
inspector's clients are not buying the properties
inspected, but rather moving out of them.
The buyer might insist on hiring the seller's inspector
to produce a fresh report since the seller's inspector
is already familiar with the home.
Seller inspections provide inspectors opportunities to
showoff their services to listing agents.
Seller inspections provide examples to the listing agent
of each home, which might encourage those agents to have
other listings pre-inspected by the inspector.
Most sellers are local buyers and so many sellers hire
the inspector again to inspect the homes they are moving
Advantages to the seller:
The seller can choose a certified NACHI and ASHI
inspector rather than be at the mercy of the buyer's
choice of inspector
The seller can schedule the inspections at the seller's
It might alert the seller of any items of immediate
personal concern, such as radon gas or active termite
The seller can assist the inspector during the
inspection, something normally not done during a buyer's
The seller can have inspector correct any misstatements
in the inspection report before it is generated.
The report can help the seller realistically price the
home if problems exist.
The report can help the seller substantiate a higher
asking price if problems don't exist or have been
A seller inspection reveals problems ahead of time which:
Might make the home show better.
Gives the seller time to make repairs and shop for
Permits the seller to attach repair estimates or paid
invoices to the inspection report.
Removes over-inflated buyer procured estimates from the
The report might alert the seller to any immediate
safety issues found, before agents and visitors tour the
The report provides a third-party, unbiased opinion to
offer to potential buyers.
A seller inspection permits a clean home inspection
report to be used as a marketing tool.
A seller inspection is the ultimate
gesture in forthrightness on the part of the seller.
The report might relieve a prospective buyer's unfounded
suspicions, before they walk away.
A seller inspection lightens negotiations and 11th -
The report might encourage the buyer to waive the
The deal is less likely to fall apart the way they often
do when a buyer's inspection unexpectedly reveals a
problem, last minute.
The report provides full-disclosure protection from
future legal claims.
Advantages to the real estate agent:
Agents can recommend certified NACHI and
ASHI inspectors as opposed to being at the mercy of
buyer's choices in inspectors.
Sellers can schedule the inspections at seller's
convenience with little effort on the part of agents.
Sellers can assist inspectors during the inspections,
something normally not done during buyer's inspections.
Sellers can have inspectors correct any misstatements in
the reports before they are generated.
Reports help sellers see their homes through the eyes of
a critical, third-party, thus making sellers more
realistic about asking price.
Agents are alerted to any immediate safety issues found,
before other agents and potential buyers tour the home.
Repairs made ahead of time might make homes show better.
The reports provide third-party, unbiased opinions to
offer to potential buyers.
Clean reports can be used as marketing tools to help
sell the homes.
Reports might relieve prospective buyer's unfounded
suspicions, before they walk away.
Seller inspections eliminate buyer's remorse that
sometimes occurs just after an inspection.
Seller inspections reduce the need for negotiations and
11th - hour renegotiations.
Seller inspections relieve the agent of having to
hurriedly procure repair estimates or schedule repairs.
The reports might encourage buyers to waive their
Deals are less likely to fall apart the
way they often do when buyer's inspections unexpectedly
reveal problems, last minute.
Reports provide full-disclosure
protection from future legal claims.
Advantages to the home buyer:
The inspection is done already.
The inspection is paid for by the seller.
The report provides a more accurate, third-party view of
the condition of the home prior to making an offer.
A seller inspection eliminates surprise defects.
Problems are corrected or at least acknowledged prior to
making an offer on the home.
A seller inspection reduces the need for negotiations
and 11th - hour renegotiations.
The report might assist in acquiring financing.
A seller inspection allows the buyer to sweeten the
offer without increasing the offering price by waiving
Common myths about seller inspections:
Q. Don't seller inspections kill deals by forcing
sellers to disclose defects they otherwise wouldn't have
A. Any defect that is material enough to kill a real
estate transaction is likely going to be uncovered
eventually anyway. It is best to discover the problem ahead
of time, before it can kill the deal.
Q. Isn't a home inspector's liability increased by
having his/her reports be seen by potential buyers?
A. No. There is no liability in having your seller
permit someone who doesn't buy the property see your
report. And there is less liability in having a buyer rely
on your old report when the buyer is not your client and has
been warned not to rely on your report, than it is to work
directly for the buyer and have him be entitled to rely on
Q. Don't seller inspections take too much energy to
sell to make them profitable for the inspector?
But not when the inspector takes into account the marketing
benefit of having a samples of his/her product (the report)
being passed out to agents and potential buyers who are
looking to buy now in the inspector's own local market, not
to mention the seller who is likely moving locally and in
need of an inspector, plus the additional chance of
re-inspection work being generated for the inspector.
Q. A newer home in good condition doesn't need an
inspection anyway. Why should the seller have one done?
A. Unlike real estate agents whose job it is to
market properties for their sellers, inspectors produce
objective reports. If the property is truly in great shape
the inspection report becomes a pseudo marketing piece with
the added benefit of having been generated by an impartial
In summary, seller inspections streamline the
real estate sales process for all parties involved. We
recommend that every home be inspected before being put on
the market (listed) and recommends annual inspections for
homes that aren't for sale.