Deciding To Sell
Do I Need an Agent?
Cost of Selling
When is the best time to Sell
What do I need to disclose
Buy First or Sell First
There are two types of inspections that can happen before you put your home on the market. One is required by some cities, the second is optional but could help sell your home.
There are about a dozen cities in the Twin Cities Metro Area that require an inspection either before listing your house for sale, or before closing. These inspections are usually called "Time of Sale in Housing" or "Truth in Sale of Housing" or TISH inspections or TISH reports. Each city has their current list of items they want to have addressed, and these inspections generally end up being a cursory glance at these items, usually health and safety related. They usually note things that are below code or comment on various items. The ones marked Hazardous or Repair Required usually have to be done before closing. They may require an inspector to revisit the home to ensure the items were done.
Some cities may allow you to pass on the responsibility to the buyer to have the required repairs done. Minneapolis allows this, while St. Paul requires just one item to be completed before closing.
A pre-inspection is a totally different inspection than the TISH inspection. The pre-inspection is a thorough inspection, just like the one the buyers would do, except it is done by the seller in advance of a purchase agreement. This can be given to the buyer so that they don't need to perform their own inspection, but I suspect that most buyers would want their own inspection anyway.
If that is the case, the only time this would really be beneficial is if the inspector you choose is a very well respected inspector (or company), and if the buyers would have chosen that same inspector (or company). Or if the market is a strong buyers market and you want to show that your house is ready to go and you have confidence in your home. It shows a position of strength.