Great that you have got an offer on your home! Well, you have agreed upon sale price and the papers were signed. Now, what? The next process will be your home inspection. This could be considered as the last hurdle that you will face in a home selling process. The architects and engineers who signed up with topremodelers.com often say that the home sellers would have an easy time by preparing their homes for inspection. This would avoid any last minute surprises. Now, let’s see how a seller can prepare his/her home for an inspection here…
Why do you need to prepare your home?
Remember, some of the local governments in our country are requiring that the seller provides the buyer with a comprehensive home inspection while providing them the option to get their own inspection. On the other hand, in other parts of the country, the home seller would provide only the disclosures thereby, making the buyer pay for their home inspection. In either case, we would advise you to prepare your home for inspection. This is because it is a crucial part of any real estate transaction for several reasons. The major reason is that it would improve the peace of mind of your buyer. Also, this is found to be the cheapest way to forecast the future costs. This is why the home inspection is taken very seriously by the home sellers and so do the home preparation for inspection.
A Guide to Prepare your Home for Inspection:
Here is the step by step guide to help you prepare your home for inspection:
Clean your house:
This sounds simple, isn’t it? But, it’s actually not! Most often, the homeowners will tend to miss the tactic. Remember, the home inspectors are humans too! They will be carried away by the ideas of how well the home has been maintained so far. If your home is clean, then it would mean you have taken a good care of your home. This is the first best way to make an impression.
Check your house – List of Things to be checked:
- Check the lighting:
While you prepare your home for inspection, the one area you must check is the lighting. Remember, the home inspectors will check all the light fixtures. Therefore, just have a walk around your home and test your fixtures. This shouldn’t be hard for you! If your light fixtures aren’t working, perform a simple fix like replacing a bulb, and so on…
- Check your home mechanics:
An important aspect of the home you must be looking while preparing your home is the mechanics. In this, the main mechanics like the following should be checked thoroughly:
- Water heater
- Air conditioning
- Electrical panel
As we are in this field for long years now, one thing we advise is to have your HVAC system cleaned and inspected by the licensed contractors before you list your home sale. You can move one more step ahead and provide your home buyer with a receipt indicating that you have checked your HVAC and cleaned it to eliminate the potential problem after your home inspection. You are also advised to install a new furnace filter while you are preparing your home.
You should have noted that we have listed the roof as the first element in home mechanics here. This is because the replacement cost of a roof alone will scare away any potential buyer. Therefore, it’s important that you hire professional roof contractors and have your roof inspected.
- Check the exterior:
Checking the exterior of your home is equally important as that of the interior. There will be a couple of tasks you should be doing before inspection. And, the important of all is the cleaning of home gutters. The gutters that are clogged would create a major problem with the water channeling. When you are cleaning the gutters, you must check the downspouts. Other parts to be checked are the grading around the base of your home, siding, exterior paint condition, fascia, soffits, driveway, doorbell, garage door, and so on. In addition, you may have to trim down the trees, bushes, and shrubs in order to make sure that they are not touching the home or its roof.
- Check the windows:
Remember, the status of the windows will be important to several buyers. Therefore, it’s important that you check the windows while you are preparing for the home inspection. While doing so, check both outside and inside and make sure they are functioning properly. We would advise you to make sure there are no ripped screens or broken windows. Also, remember that based on the type of mortgage buyer is going to get, the broken windows will create an issue with bank appraisal.
- Check the plumbing:
Water leaks will create a big problem in home selling. Therefore, it’s important that you check the plumbing when you are trying to prepare the home for inspection. The checking process will be simple. Just run the home faucets, flush the toilets, and run the showers or bathtubs. Then, go ahead and check the plumbing lines under the sink and make sure that there is no leaking. Also, it’s important that you watch out the water pressure while testing. If the water pressure is low, then there could be clogging, damages, or old galvanized water lines. If this is the case, you must hire the licensed plumbing contractors to evaluate further.
- Check the detectors:
The list of things to be checked continues to the home detectors. The detectors may include your smoke or carbon monoxide detectors. Depending on the location of your home you are planning to sell, your house must have a certain number of detectors. In general, every home should have at least one smoke detector and one carbon monoxide detector. There can also be other detectors in your home. If you have them, then you must make sure they are working properly.
- Check the utilities:
If you are selling a home that is vacant, then you might have had your utilities turned off. You need to check them as well while preparing your home for inspection. This is because your home inspector is going to test all your home’s utilities including the ones that are associated with the following areas:
Therefore, it’s critical to make sure they are functioning properly.
- Check the appliances:
If you are including the appliances in the sales, then you need to check them before your home inspection. A qualified home inspector will check your appliances including your oven, washers, dryer, and others. One of the most common issues that are spotted during the home inspections is the type of venting that the dryer has. Several homes are still using plastic vents. But, the new code is metal! This will be quoted as a potential fire hazard. If you have a plastic vent, then make sure you fix it. A good thing is that it is not going to cost you so much. Also, you must make sure that all the appliances are cleaned, as well as emptied. Your washers and dryers will be checked. So, make sure that there is nothing inside them. This is the same case with your ovens and dishwashers too.
- Check for molds:
You might be of thought there is no chance of having molds in your home. But, you are advised to double sure about that. The presence of molds in the attic where the moisture gets trapped is the most common thing discovered during the home inspection. And surprisingly, most of the homeowners are unaware of this. To make sure that there is no mold buildup in your home, have a professional tested for molds all through your home. If you can find cloudy black patches on some areas of your house, then it may be a sign for the molds buildup. However, you would need a professional to determine the extent of the issue.
- Check the basement and crawl spaces:
This is one area that will be missed by the homeowners. You must make sure that basement walls don’t contain any cracks. If present, make sure that they are sealed. Also, check the below-ground crawl spaces. They should have vapor barriers installed. Although these are the easy-to-overlook areas, make sure you don’t keep any paints, solvents, or other flammable liquids during the inspection process.
On the Inspection Day:
Finally, the day has arrived. It’s your inspection. What are the things you need to do on the inspection day? Find out here:
Make everything ready well before:
As a home seller, you should be aware of the fact that the inspectors will be present at your home in advance of the appointment time that is scheduled. Most typically, they would be present at least 30 to 45 minutes before the schedule. They do this because they will have enough time walk around your home making some observations about your property in advance of the buyer. Therefore, prepare your home for presentation well before the scheduled time in order to avoid any last-minute rush.
Also, it’s a common practice in real estate for the home seller to not present in the venue during the inspection process. Therefore, you need to make few arrangements to make the inspector’s job easier. Let’s see them here:
Leave your utilities connected:
As mentioned earlier, the home inspector will have to check your utilities. They will turn on your stove, run your dishwasher, test your furnace, and run your air conditioner. Therefore, it’s important that you leave them on. Also, make sure that you have your pilot lights on. If they are not lit, then the items like your water heater, gas stove, and furnace will not be inspected and your inspector will reschedule the inspection, which will subsequently lead to the delay in the transaction process.
Provide access to the inspectors:
You must make sure that you are providing access to the critical areas of your house. The locked spaces may include:
- Electrical box
- Hot water heater
- Air conditioning units
- Attic door
- Under sink plumbing
Make sure you keep the path cleared. If the inspector is not able to access to any place, they will not include them in the report thereby giving rise to questions among your buyer.
Leave your keys and be away:
Lastly, make sure that you leave your keys for outbuildings and electric boxes and prepare to be away for a minimum of three hours. This is because often the buyer will feel uncomfortable to ask questions if you are present in the venue. While leaving your house, make sure you take your children with you and crate your pets if you can’t remove them from there.