Pat Starnes Snippets: FAQ ~ Do I Need a Home Inspection BEFORE I List My Home For Sale?

FAQ ~ Do I Need a Home Inspection BEFORE I List My Home For Sale?

A home seller asked this question ~ "Should I get a home inspection before I place my house on the market?"

Family members shared with this client a horror story where someone they knew put a home up for sale. Once a contract was on the table, the inspector found major issues. The repairs were several thousand dollars, and the sale fell through.

Naturally this story frightened my soon-to-be client, and she wondered if she should have the home inspection pre-listing, or wait until she has a buyer. She was concerned the inspector would find "surprises" that might kill her salMagnifying glass on housee. What was she to do?

First, I assured her that we would address her concern. I explained the kind of issues the inspector would look for. I mentally ran down the list with the seller, top to bottom, from the roof, attic, air conditioning system, water heater, etc., and asked the age of each system, and had there been any problems.

Although the seller has lived in the house for 20 years, the roof was replaced several years ago. The a/c system is less than four years old. Had there been recent roof leaks? Are there leaky faucets, drain issues, etc?


In Mississippi, a detailed Property Condition Disclosure Statement is required by law to be completed by the seller of real estate when they are assisted by a duly licensed real estate agent. The seller must truthfully and accurately disclose any known defect in the property in writing, and a copy is to be provided to the prospective purchaser BEFORE the offer is submitted. 

If the purchaser does not receive the prepared Property Condition Disclosure Statement (PCDS) in writing before making their offer, they can rescind the offer within three days of receipt of the PCDS.

If the seller has any home inspection reports, they must be delivered to the purchaser. 

Obviously, if a seller obtains a written report prior to the sale, he/she should make all necessary repairs prior to placing the home on the market. Why find out what needs to be done if you aren't willing to make the repairs?

My advice to the seller? If you are concerned the inspector will find a problem, say a leaky roof, a broken window, or rotten wood that you KNOW about, fix it now. Do it before the house hits the market. If you cannot afford repairs before the sale, note the item in your PCDS and offer to repair prior to closing, or give an allowance so the buyer can make repairs after closing.

While I am not a home inspector, I've been advising clients for YEARS how to prepare their home for the market. I'll be glad to walk through your property and share my expertise as an added value to my services.

If it puts you at ease, by all means have the house inspected prior to listing. But my philosophy is put the house in tip-top shape, find your buyer, and let the buyer call the qualified, licensed home inspector of their choice.

For more information, I can be reached at 601-278-4513.


Image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti at

Written and Published by Pat Starnes REALTOR

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Pat specializes in Residential and New Home Sales 

Primary Service Area:

Brandon, Pearl, Ridgeland, Flowood, Madison and the Ross Barnett Reservoir area

 Pat Starnes, Broker Associate

Front Gate Real Estate, 6700 Old Canton Rd., Suite C

Ridgeland, MS 39157

601-991-2900 - Office

601-278-4513 - Cell


Recent Blog Posts by Pat Starnes:


Greenfield Station in Brandon MS Continues to Grow

Six Easy Tips to Save Money on Your Home Inspection

Should You Consult a Realtor When Buying New Construction?

Homes for Sale in Scottish Hills ~ Brandon MS 39047

Homes for Sale in Hidden Hills Subdivision, Brandon, MS 39047

Homes for Sale in Castlewoods Subdivision, Brandon, MS 39047

Gardens of Manship Neighborhood Information - Brandon, MS 39047


Are you looking to buy or sell a home in the Brandon MS market? Call me!

Comment balloon 7 commentsPat Starnes-Front Gate Realty • June 26 2017 08:52PM


If you feel. There may be a need then yes do one

Posted by William Feela, Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No. (WHISPERING PINES REALTY) about 2 years ago

That is the best strategy so we there is a smooth closing

Posted by Harry F. D'Elia, Investor , Mentor, GRI, Radio, CIPS, REOs, ABR (RentVest) about 2 years ago

We are seeing more and more people having pre-listing inspections, it helps in a hot market and shows a willingness to be transparent to the buyers that the seller has done their best to disclose as much as possible.

Posted by Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543, Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line (Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400) about 2 years ago

Pat lenders do not require a home inspection to approve a loan, BUT I always highly suggest my Borrowers do one.  A home inspection is one of the best expenditures a homebuyer will spend.

Posted by George Souto, Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert (George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages) about 2 years ago

While my state of Virginia doesn't have much in the way of required discloses from sellers to buyers, my advice is the same.  Even sellers that are tempted to have the inspection done prior to list can get aggravated that the buyer's inspection finds totally different items...even though they may be minor.  They are paid to find things.  

Posted by Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker, Bristow, VA (Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA) about 2 years ago

Nick & Trudy Vandekar, 610-203-4543 ~ There are two sides to the coin. My thought is that a buyer will want his own inspector, so I have my sellers put their money toward known issues, and let the buyer pay for the inspector, if they want one. If I'm representing the buyer, I always recommend a home inspection, George Souto . Thank you both for your comments.

Posted by Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty, 601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell (Front Gate Real Estate) about 2 years ago

Chris Ann Cleland ~ Exactly! And what home inspector doesn't find something?

Posted by Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty, 601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell (Front Gate Real Estate) about 2 years ago

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