If you want to gain an advantage when you’re selling your house, consider a pre-listing home inspection. Hiring a professional home inspector to walk through your house before you list it could speed up the sale. A pre-listing home inspection is paid for by the seller and points out any problems with your home.

During a pre-listing inspection, your home inspector will look for flaws the same way prospective homebuyer would. This includes, cracks in the walls and floors, water damage, problems with the mechanical systems and damaged roof shingles. The inspector should also zero in on items that need to be fixed, replaced or removed. This gives you the advantage to correct any problems with your home before a buyer walks through the door. By eliminating those issues in advance, potentials buyers will see that your home is in excellent condition.

If there are problems you are unable or unwilling to fix in advance, getting a pre-listing home inspection will give you the information you need to be honest with buyers. Maintaining a good reputation in your local real estate brokerage community is key to selling your home now and in the future.

What you do with the inspector’s report is obviously up to you, but most agents advise you to fix most of the items that are flagged, especially the major ones. If you don’t, you’ll likely see them on the buyer’s home inspection report. The buyer can then use his or her list to renegotiate the price of the property. A pre-listing home inspection can help ensure you get the right price for your home.

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