How to Avoid Deal-Killing Surprises

Ask any listing agent and they’ll tell you just how much effort goes into a listing:

  • Pricing
  • Staging
  • Multimedia
  • Advertising
  • Showings
  • Open Houses
  • Negotiations

(And let’s not forget the seller, who needs to keep their home in showroom condition 24/7!).

It’s a lot of work, but necessary to ensure a successful home sale.

And Yet…

Despite all the time, money, and energy they invest, many listing agents and their sellers continue to leave the door open to surprises.


They allow the buyer to be the first to do a home inspection – at a point where the transaction is most vulnerable: due diligence.

Death, Taxes, and Home Inspections

Home inspections are virtually guaranteed to happen in a balanced market. Everyone knows it’s coming, and everyone fears it.

While nobody wants to find defects (a healthy home is the ideal outcome), that’s why inspections exist.

Pre-Existing Conditions

Any defect that could be discovered during due diligence likely existed prior to the home being listed.

So here’s the question: why are listing agents and their sellers not interested in finding and fixing these defects before they list?

Are they afraid of what they may discover? Perhaps – but when is the better time to uncover issues:

  1. Before listing, when they have full control over repairs, costs, and timelines? Or…
  2. When they can derail a deal?

Keeping Control

A pre-listing inspection allows sellers and their agents to keep control of the sale by finding and removing deal-breakers from the equation right from the start.

“Deal-breakers” is emphasized because it’s not crucial to fix everything – only the items that could 1) give the buyer cold feet, or 2) be serious enough to warrant reopening negotiations.

A pre-listing inspection also gives you control over repairs, costs, and timelines – free of the stress that typically accompanies due diligence.

Other Benefits

In addition to the agent and seller keeping better control of their destiny, a “clean” home may lead to a faster and potentially more lucrative sale.

And then there’s the possibility that NOTHING needs to be fixed.

Any way you look at it, both agent and seller can list with confidence without fears of late-game surprises.

Why Invite Surprises?

A home inspection is going to happen, and any material defects that exist will eventually be found.

A pre-listing inspection gives agents and sellers control over potential repairs, extra confidence entering the home sale, and better odds of capitalizing on all the time, money and energy put into securing the perfect deal.