Prelisting Home Inspections in San Francisco

The Value of Obtaining a Home Inspection Before the Seller Puts Their Home on the Market

By Steve Rush

As long as home inspections have been performed, it has been a common practice for the buyer to obtain a home inspection after they have entered into contract. This article is intended to provide a different perspective on why it is not always advantageous to wait until there is a buyer to have inspections performed. More and more real estate professionals are advising their clients on having inspections performed as an important part of the process of getting their home ready for sell.

By having a property inspection performed up front, the numbers of surprises are reduced, both for the buyer and the seller. Fewer surprises mean less opportunity for disagreement and the less likelihood that the transaction will fall apart. By having appropriate repairs or replacements performed up front, the home will show better and may draw a better price.
A listing inspection tends to avoid the situation of the seller having to negotiate repairs into the escrow period (when the seller may have purchased another property) and is in the weakest negotiating position. This has become less of a problem with the market turnaround giving increase to multiple offers. Before accepting an offer, the seller is in a stronger negotiating position. Before a contract is entered into is the time for the seller to let the buyer know what the seller will fix and will not fix. Once the seller accepts an offer and is then subsequently presented with the buyer's "wish list" of repairs or replacements, the seller is then in a weaker position to negotiate.

By getting the inspection up front, the seller may choose with whom to have the repairs done. Sometimes a handyman can be used for some of the corrective work. Once the parties enter into contract, contractors will typically be required and may cost more. Often, the real estate contract calls for "like material" to be used when replacing damaged materials. If the seller has to replace any materials after the purchase offer, he will have to replace with the same type and quality of materials. Before the contract is entered into, the seller can choose less expensive materials.

By the seller obtaining an inspection up front, it shows good faith in carrying out the seller's disclosure requirements. The seller's effort communicates to the buyer that the seller is willing to disclose something rather than hiding information, thereby paving the way for smoother and more agreeable negotiations.
With the current strong seller's market, many of the homes sold "As Is", proper disclosure with inspections provided up front as a supplement to the seller's disclosure means a smoother transaction, hopefully with less headaches for all parties involved in the transaction.

Steve Rush is President of On-Site Inspections, Inc. A San Francisco Bay Area Home Inspection Firm He has been performing inspections for up to 17 years with over 10, 000 inspections performed.

Steve can be reached on-line at

(Please be aware that this article has been used by others in the promotion of pre-listing inspections, however Steve is the author published in an article for Broker/ Agent Magazine Jan. 2005).Copyright 2004