If you’re readying your home for sale in Florida, you might wonder, should I get a home inspection before listing my home? Getting a home inspection when selling your home is uncommon, but there are some instances where it might make sense.
Can I Get a Home Inspection Before Listing?
Sellers can hire a home inspection company to conduct a pre-listing home inspection.
That’s your right as the seller of the home. However, just because you can get a pre-listing home inspection doesn’t mean that you should or that it’s normal.
In fact, it’s pretty uncommon for a seller to get a pre-listing inspection.
As a seller, the main reason you’d want a pre-listing home inspection would be to avoid surprises when the buyer returns with an inspection report.
Do Sellers Usually Get Home Inspections?
According to a 2018 Zillow Group Consumer Housing Trends Report, only one in four sellers gets a home inspection before contacting a listing agent.
That means 75 percent of home sellers don’t bother with a pre-listing home inspection.
Getting a pre-listing home inspection doesn’t make sense if:
- Your home is new
- You’ve recently completed updates or renovations
- You’re already aware of issues and don’t have the means to fix them before listing your home for sale
- It’s a sellers’ market since the seller holds all the cards
Getting a pre-listing home inspection might make sense if:
- You’re selling the home for someone else, so you don’t know much about the property and want to avoid surprises
- It’s a buyers’ market, so you want to remediate anything that the buyers could ask for a discount on
- You want to sell your home quickly; providing more information upfront will attract serious buyers
How Much Do Pre-Listing Home Inspections Cost?
Home inspections cost the same whether you’re getting one as the home seller or buyer.
In Florida, costs vary depending on the size of the home, its location, and the company performing the inspection.
In general, expect to pay between $378 to $513 for a home inspection of a 1,500-square-foot single-family home in Florida.
Expect to pay more for larger homes:
- 2000 sqft: $432 to $594
- 2500 sqft: $486 to $675
- 3000 sqft: $648 to $983
- 4000 sqft: $778 to $1193
Specialty inspections, such as radon or well water inspections, cost extra. Expect to pay anywhere from $25 to $200 more.
To lower costs, shop around and request quotes from multiple service providers. Read reviews as you compare companies and determine which to move forward with.
What Could a Pre-Listing Home Inspection Reveal?
Home inspectors certified by the NAHI look at more than 1,600 property features. The inspection can reveal problems with the following:
- Water or septic systems
- The foundation, windows, or doors
- Rot, decay, and excavation
- The roof, including shingle, flashing, and fascia problems
- Framing, insulation, electrical, plumbing, and HVAC
- Electrical code compliance in the kitchen
A pre-listing home inspection might also reveal more than what the buyer’s home inspection does. This can be risky for sellers.
For example, suppose the buyer’s home inspection isn’t as thorough as your pre-listing inspection.
Now, the buyer has more information about your home than they would have. And improvements or repairs you made—or accounted for in the listing price—based on the pre-listing inspection might have been unnecessary if the buyer’s inspector wasn’t going to notice the issues in the first place.
Do Sellers Have to Share Their Home Inspection Reports?
You do not need to share your actual inspection report, but sellers in Florida must disclose any conditions or facts about the property that impact its value or desirability that others can’t see for themselves.
This includes property condition issues that you’re aware of just from living in your house as well as issues you’re made aware of because of a pre-listing inspection.
If you fail to disclose, you’re opening yourself up to liability.
While the state doesn’t require sellers to provide a written seller’s property disclosure form, it’s best practice. It puts all known issues in writing for the buyer to examine.
The form not only protects the buyer (by ensuring they know what they’re buying), but it also protects the seller from future liability.
What’s the Difference Between a Home Inspection & Pre-Listing Inspection?
A traditional home inspection and a pre-listing inspection are essentially the same.
The only difference is that the buyer pays for a home inspection and receives the report, while the seller pays for the pre-listing inspection and receives the report.
The inspector conducting the inspection will look for the same things. However, the buyer and seller will likely hire different home inspectors.
Perspectives and experience differ between inspectors, so the actual results of a home inspection report and a pre-listing inspection report can vary.
Speak to Your Realtor Before Setting Up an Inspection
A good realtor understands the local real estate market, including how to market and price your home for sale. If you’re considering a pre-listing home inspection, consult your realtor first. Talk through your concerns and listen to what they have to say. Buying and selling a home is expensive enough as is. Odds are that you can get away with forgoing a seller’s inspection and save $350+ in the process.