Pre Inspection vs. Full Inspection: What's The Difference?

A home inspection is an integral part of purchasing a house. It is a process that some skip but that is not recommended. It is performed by a qualified inspector and usually takes a few hours to complete. At the end of the inspection, the potential buyer/or buyer alone receives a report that indicates repairs, damage and things that need to be addressed along with the severity. 

The difference between pre-inspection and a full inspection is that the pre-inspection indicates before the offer is submitted. In other words, the potential buyer has a home inspector come to do the inspection before putting in an offer. 

Benefits of a pre-inspection

While not every buyer or seller has a pre-inspection done, it does offer several benefits. 

  • It gives the buyer knowledge of the home's condition before making an offer. If something comes back on the detailed inspection report, the buyer can then decide whether to back out, proceed, or negotiate. 
  • When a buyer submits an offer after a pre-inspection, then the seller receives the offer without a home inspection contingency. 
  • Often a seller orders a pre-inspection of their property before putting it on the market. This helps set an appropriate price and answer questions from potential buyers.
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Difference between pre-inspection and full-inspection

The difference between a pre-inspection and a full inspection is very minimal. A pre-inspection takes place before the offer is submitted. A full inspection happens after the offer is submitted. 

Benefits of a home inspection

There are several important benefits to having a home inspection completed. Some lenders require it for the finalization of the funds. A home inspection allows buyers to make an informed decision about the property they are purchasing. The home inspector analyzes the home in detail and reports to the buyer, indicating repairs and damage that need to be taken care of and the severity.

What a home inspector looks for

A home inspector looks at the home from the bottom to the roof. 

What a home inspector looks for:

  • Examine the heat and air conditioning system
  • Interior plumbing
  • Electrical system
  • Structure and foundation
  • The condition of the roof
  • HVAC system

Checking HVAC During Home Inspection

What to expect from a home inspector?

A home inspector can be brought to the showing for a pre-inspection or hired once an offer is reviewed. A home inspection usually takes approximately two to four hours. After the inspector is finished, they will provide a written report with notes and a severity rating. The difference between a pre-inspection and a full inspection is just a matter of timing. The ore inspection takes place before an offer is submitted.

Real estate photo

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The final word on pre-inspection vs. a full inspection

A home inspection is something that protects the buyer and is one of the most beneficial purchases a potential home buyer can make. Both are impactful and important whether you opt for a pre-inspection or a full inspection. Once again, a pre-inspection is a home inspection that takes place before an offer is submitted, whereas a full inspection happens after. 


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