Home Inspection BEFORE an Offer

Home Inspection BEFORE an Offer


Consider Suggesting a Home Inspection BEFORE Your Client Makes an Offer

Traditionally, Home Inspections don’t happen until after the buyer has made an offer. But having a home inspected before submitting an offer is a relatively frequent practice in places such as San Francisco and Seattle. Many real-estate agents think it’s a practice worth adopting more widely.


Researchers at the real estate group Redfin in San Francisco say that offers paired with pre-inspections were successful 21 % more often than other offers, and that home buyers whose offers included a pre-inspection were more than twice as likely to win a bidding war as those without one.


“It tells the seller that you already know what’s wrong with the home, you still want to buy it, and you’re not going to ask them to pay for repairs later,” says Colwell, the Redfin agent.


In a competitive bid situation “an offer for $880,000 with no inspection contingency will likely win over a $900,000 offer with an inspection contingency,” says Mark Colwell, a real-estate agent with Redfin in San Francisco.


SOURCE: Goldstein, Daniel. “10 Things Home Inspectors Won’t Tell You.” MarketWatch. N.p., 23 Feb. 2016. Web. 22 Mar. 2017.


Todd Riley at Sherlock Home Inspections says, “We’ve conducted several Home Inspections throughout Florida before our clients have made offers, mainly in For Sale by Owner (FSBO) cases where Realtors weren’t involved. But we have had a few Realtors recommending an inspection before an offer in hot markets, highly desirable communities, & competitive bid situations


Here’s how the seller may interpret an offer:

Offer “contingent upon a home inspection” = I need to essentially take my house off the market for 7-10 days while they nit-pick the house so that they can find a reason to back-out or request repairs &/or a reduction in the price.

Offer with a home inspection already completed = This offer is solid and I am not going to be hit with any surprises. Plus, I don’t have to wait through a 7-10 day inspection period which means we can close faster.


Obviously, the Buyer’s Agent needs permission from the seller to schedule a Home Inspection, and that request may be confusing to the Listing Agent in areas where this practice is not commonplace. Just explain that the buyer doesn’t want to waste everyone’s time if the house has any major issues, but would rather make a solid offer without a Home Inspection Contingency. Consider sending the Listing Agent this article. While there’s no guarantee that the seller won’t accept another offer before your client has had a chance to submit one, it’s unlikely since they know that a solid offer is forthcoming.  

59 thoughts on “Home Inspection BEFORE an Offer”

  1. That’s a fascinating idea to have the home inspection done before the offer. My wife and I are buying a home in a seller’s market and this might give us a competitive advantage. Thanks for the information.

  2. I am a Realtor from San Fran Cisco. We did this all the time there. Since I’ve re-located to FL it seems weird making an offer before an inspection. I wish FLORIDA would catch on.

  3. … I actually read this article & it’s a good one. What a phenomenal concept.

    I must admit. I only found your website because I was looking for a place to post comments just so I could paste links to a MP3 download site, but …

  4. This makes more sense than making a pie-in-the-sky offer before you even know all the details of what you’re buying.

  5. YEP – I can see how this can be a great way to get my offer accepted vs. someone else trying to buy the same property.

    Good stuff … Thanks

  6. This is a great way to sell.
    Buyers may be leary … just need to get assurance from seller that they won’t accept an offer while you’re waiting on inspection report.

  7. If you follow this advice you will stand out from the crowd.
    It may require educating your Realtor & the buyer, but it is worth it.

  8. OMG, this is such a great concept.
    I am so going to try this when i am ready to buy — not too much longer now.

  9. You make some great points here. It makes sense & should be done, but could be weird for sellers & realtors who aren’t used to doing things this way

  10. We weren’t afraid of a little work, so my wife & I were looking at older homes that needed some TLC.
    The first seller didn’t allow us to inspect without an accepted offer, because his realtor thought it was fishy.
    However, when that deal fell through, the seller of the next house was up for it.
    We were able to offer a LOT less because we were able to point out all the issues.
    Got the place for a steal!
    After repairs & upgrades, it appraised for $30,000 more than we spent.

  11. I’ve bought 8 homes in FL throughout my adult life.
    The 1st 7 were as usual.
    The last one was like this (Home inspection, then Offer).
    I will do it this way from now on & recommend the same to everyone I know.

  12. I’m here because Todd’s Tips have helped me in the past.
    I noticed this post & just HAD TO comment…
    The last house i sold received multiple offers after an Open House.
    We went back to each of them, told them to do Home Inspections first, then submit a more SOLID offer.
    It was absolutely the way to go.
    No surprises or lowering offer because the Home Inspector found something stupid.

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