Achieving success as a real estate agent requires a competitive advantage. If you’re looking for a differentiator that sets you apart from other agents, consider pre-listing home inspections, also known as seller’s inspections. Pre-listing inspections help you win the listing by bringing something unique to the listing presentation. These inspections help you and your client sell the home more quickly, more efficiently, and for more money.
Sellers’ inspections put you in control of the process while bringing more qualified buyers to the table. Here are some tips on how to include a home inspection in your marketing plan.
With a pre-listing inspection report, you and the seller will know the condition of the home before it goes on the market. You select the home inspector and work with them to ensure the inspection report represents the home accurately. You and the seller may choose to make improvements to the home based on the report, or you may simply set the listing price to reflect current conditions. You control the process. A pre-listing inspection is also a great way to help sellers set realistic expectations.
When the home is listed, prospective buyers will be able to review the inspection report, make informed decisions, and save on their own home inspection fees. Providing the home inspection report upfront eliminates the delays caused by conditional offers for a buyers’ home inspection. It also reduces the risk of buyers getting cold feet as they wait for the inspection and the report to be completed.
Best of all, you eliminate the 11th-hour renegotiations that happen when the buyer realizes the home is not perfect and wants to adjust the price or have the seller fix the home. You should not have to sell the home twice (once before and then again after the home inspection)!
By taking control, you create an efficient process and move the transaction along quickly with fewer hurdles.
A home with a pre-listing inspection report has enhanced credibility over other homes on the market. Buyers are more confident in making their offer and more comfortable with their commitment. They appreciate getting critical information about the home before they jump in. Some home inspection forms also provide a one-page summary that can be included in listing information or picked up at open houses – a great marketing tool!
The seller’s inspection report creates a win-win scenario, eliminating surprises, disappointment and second-guessing.
Some buyers may want to get their own home inspection, which is fine. The reinforcement that comes from a second report helps the buyer build trust. Since a home inspection is a sampling exercise, there will always be some minor differences between the two reports. That is to be expected and not an issue since they will align on the major points.
Pre-listing inspections help build your reputation as a professional, allowing you to win more listings and sell homes faster and for more money. Adding this valuable tool to your arsenal can make a real difference.
Alan Carson is the founder and CEO of Carson Dunlop Home Inspection. Since 1978, Carson Dunlop has pioneered the profession and remain leaders today, as the oldest and largest home inspection company in Canada.
Does the seller pay for it or the agent?
Thanks for your question. Either the seller or agent can pay for it; it’s up to you. In our market, many agents pay for it on all their listings as part of their package.
I do this all the time. The seller pays for it and then I provide a one year warranty for the benefit of the buyer.
Another approach is to have the seller pay up front and the agent reimburse them on closing through a commission deduction. That helps maintain the relationship with the seller.