Q. What is prelisting inspection? And should I have one?

A. A house inspection is a house inspection, whether it is called a prelisting inspection or a seller’s inspection. House inspectors poke around looking for things that are broken, out-of-date, or not in compliance with local housing codes.

Buyers and sellers hire professional house inspectors or structural engineers for slightly different reasons. Buyers want a professional house inspection before or just after the contract has been signed so they know what potential problems they’ve signed on for. Sellers hire inspectors to tell them about the condition of their property so they can either fix the problems before listing or rethink the list price of the home.

Prelisting or seller inspections are becoming more popular as more states require sellers to disclose problems their homes’ condition to the buyer before closing. Many states require that sellers disclose specific information about the condition of the roof, mechanicals, plumbing, electrical service, and even the neighborhood and school districts in writing to buyers.

While this kind of detailed information might make you nervous as a seller, buyers are aware that they can ask for this information (if it isn’t already require din your state) and get it. A prelisting inspection helps take some of the “should have known but didn’t” worry out of selling your home.

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