How to prepare your home for inspection
Could trouble be lurking within your home’s four walls? When looking to sell your home quickly and make good money, there are a few things that could really throw a wrench in the works.
Hidden flaws in a home could be potential dealbreakers, which is why most homebuyers choose to include a home inspection contingency before closing on a property.
With the contingency, buyers can walk away from the deal penalty-free pending the discovery of any major flaws during the inspection. (Yes, that would be a real bummer!)
Being prepared for a home inspection will, undoubtedly, save you from the fallout of a future deal. As a seller, feeling nervous about ahome inspection is natural. You don’t want to be dealing with costly repairs when you’re focused on selling your property. But you can streamline the process overall with an early home inspection.
Fortunately, there are certain things you can do to prepare your home for an upcoming inspection. Here’s our can’t-miss checklist:
1. Make all areas of your home accessible
Your prospective buyer will likely hire a qualified home inspector, and your job is to allow access to all areas of your home for a thorough inspection. Remove clutter and make it easy for the inspector to assess your basement, attic, electrical boxes, furnace rooms, water heater, and more.
Any area that isn’t accessible by the inspector could be red-flagged by them—to the buyer’s disappointment and your own. Make sure all areas are inspected, and that this is reflected in the inspection report.
2. Clear the debris on your property premises
Piles of logs or a rusting old car might not be on the top of your to-do list ot remove, but they won’t serve you well. If you have any debris lying around on the premises, clear it immediately before the inspector arrives. Trim branches, remove weed growth, keep the trashcans in order, and store away anything that may impede proper inspection.
The inspector also looks into exterior faucets and electrical outlets for possible blockage, so you’ll want to check these to be sure they’re functioning properly.
3. Keep the house clean
This might go without being said, but we’ll say it anyhow: Tidy up your place before ahome inspection! Move those boxes that have been lying around for six months. Dust the surfaces and toss any trash. Keep things organized and remove stains wherever possible.
A clean house doesn’t make much of a difference if you have a faulty electrical panel or leaky plumbing. But it will give a powerful first impression to the inspector that your house has been well maintained.
4. Check all the major systems
While caught up in your busy schedule (aren’t we all?), you may have ignored some lingering issues with your property. Now’s the time for you to check all the major systems of the house.
Check the functioning of your HVAC systems as well as toilet and kitchen plumbing. Make sure that the roof of the house doesn’t have any damage. Remove mold or moss buildup on any exterior walls as well, and eyeball them for any cracks or structural problems.
5. Inspect lights and appliances
Before the inspectors catch the issue, inspect the lights and appliances. Replace blown-out bulbs with new ones. Turn on all the pilot lights of your appliances to make sure that they’re properly working.
This seemingly minor detail really counts. Faulty light fixtures and appliances that don’t work cause delays in the inspection—and ultimately, the closing date.
6. Provide previous repair documents
If you’ve carried out repairs earlier, provide related invoices and other documents to the inspector. By obtaining the proof of repair in the report, the buyer will have greater peace of mind about what they’re getting themselves into with your property.
After reading all of that, you might feel more worried than when you started this article. But don’t panic! Most buyers don’t expect perfection. So, a few minor issues wouldn’t bother them, if they love your place; only the ones that put a heavy burden on their expenses are likely to catch their attention. And, citing those issues, they may bargain with you on the sales price. Want the upper hand in a negotiation? Conduct a home inspection before listing your property, and you’ll detect (and can then address) any serious issues in advance.