A home inspection is part of the process of selling any type of residential property: a house, condominium, apartment, or even an RV. Most buyers typically come with an inspector to personally see the house they plan to buy. Inspection visits are important, as the results can determine what the buyer will do next. The buyer may use the results to negotiate a lower price or better terms.
It is common for sellers to feel nervous about inspections. As a seller, you want the inspection process to go smoothly and for the buyer to sign the contract with minimal expectations from your end. If you are planning for a home inspection, here is a guide to help you prepare for it:
1. Inspect before you sell
Buyers typically conduct inspections before purchasing a property. As a seller, it is also worth conducting a pre-listing inspection. A pre-listing inspection allows you to discover and handle any potential problems in your property before the buyer’s inspector does.
Conducting one is important as there may be minor issues that can turn out to be signs of a bigger problem. You can use the inspection report later on as a basis on what needs to be fixed. Plus, it gives you an idea of what issues might be brought up during the negotiation process.
During the buyer’s inspection, you can present the report and let prospective buyers know which issues you have already fixed. Not only will making repairs enhance the value of your home, but they can also help put your property in the best light before the sale.
2. Gather the paperwork
Look for all the necessary documents at least a month before the first inspector comes to your home. Files concerning inspections and repairs are especially important as they show what work you’ve done to your property. For instance, if you already had the roof fixed a few months ago, you’ll need to find the papers that prove that you did.
3. Create a map of your property
Make it easier for inspectors and interested buyers to locate your home and critical components by drawing a map of your property. Other than indicating where your house is, the map should show parts that would be of interest to the inspector. A few examples of this include your home’s septic tank, fuse box, or a well if have one.
Creating a map provides two advantages. For one, it makes the inspection process quicker and smoother. Drawing a map and providing easy access also gives the impression that you have nothing to hide.
4. Take care of pests
Most homes will have a few bugs here and there, like a spider or two in certain areas. However, some types of pests, their numbers, and where they are may be seen as a problem. For instance, seeing several cockroaches running around or a wasp nest right outside a window is a bad sign. The pest issue could turn into a potential dealbreaker as it may be an indication of the poor condition of the property. If you do have a pest issue, call an exterminator to handle it before inspection day comes.
5. Provide clear access to important areas
Inspectors have a checklist of areas in and around the home that they need to examine. If you are still using the home, you may still have items inside the house or be in the process of packing up your stuff. In such situations, remember to place your belongings in areas that won’t impede the inspection. Remove any boxes, appliances, or items that may be in front of the closets, furnace, fuse box, water heater, or entry point to the attic.
The same goes for outside the home. If you have a shed or gates, remember to remove the locks during inspection day. Remove trash bins or items blocking electrical outlets, faucets, as well as doors, and windows.
You may also need to mow the lawn, remove branches, and weeds that could be covering the roof and siding. Not only will this make the inspector’s job easier, but cleaning up can make your home more presentable for the buyer.
6. Test components in your home
When you live in the same home for years, you may have gotten used to certain situations. For instance, it may take a while for the toilet tank to fill up after flushing. This may seem minor for you, but it could be an indication of bigger issues. Check how long it takes for the water to fill up the tank and consult a plumber to know your options.
Make sure the utilities are in working order before you have your home inspected. Run the dishwasher, test the switches and faucets to see if they work. The same goes for appliances with pilot lights such as the stove, water heater, and furnace. Many inspectors may not want to turn on the lights themselves as it puts them at risk. You may need to turn these on yourself before or during inspection day so it makes the inspection process faster.
7. Prepare your kids and pets
Comprehensive home inspections typically last three hours. Some buyers may feel uncomfortable inspecting the home while the owner is around. In such cases, you may need to leave the property for a few hours while they conduct the inspection.
Bring your kids with you when they do the inspection. The same can be said of pets. However, if you cannot do so, crate your pets or put them in a cage at least an hour before the buyer and inspector are expected to arrive. This way, they have full access to your home during the inspection.
Preparing your home requires some effort and resources from your end. Contact us today if you have any questions about the inspection process, or would like to hire a home inspector. Our representatives will get in touch with you shortly to answer your queries.