Presale inspections for smoother sales

Provide transparency, comfort for prospective buyers

Homes are selling for less. Everyone’s trying to cut back. Yet, many real estate agents think it’s wise for sellers to provide presale inspections for buyers to review before they write offers. Is the cost, which could run from a few hundred to $1,000 or more, worth the expense?

Last year, a home seller in the hills above Oakland, Calif., did a lot of work renovating a home before putting it on the market. Her agent recommended a home inspection, which involves a more comprehensive investigation of the property. A wood pest or termite report covers damage caused by wood-destroying organisms, and conditions that would be likely to lead to future infestation.

A complete home inspection usually covers the roof to the foundation and everything in between, although this differs from one inspector to another. The seller in the above example was financially exhausted after taking care of the fix-up work and decided against providing a presale home inspection.