Do’s and Don’ts: Preparing Your Home for Inspection
Selling a house is no easy task. There are lots of things that needs to be done to prepare your home for selling. From cleaning and decluttering to staging to advertising and showing, the entire process can be exhausting and stress-inducing.
Just because you have received an offer on your house, it’s not a guarantee that the sale will push through. You still need to pass the home inspection. A home inspection gives buyers a clear picture about the current condition of the property. Depending on what comes up on the inspection report, the buyer can negotiate a lower price, ask you to do some repairs or just walk out of the transaction.
If you want to sell your home fast and for top dollar, make sure that you prepare for the home inspection. Listed below are some dos and don’ts you should consider before the home inspector arrives. With these tips, you are sure to convince homebuyers to scurry for their checkbooks.
Get a pre-listing inspection
Selling the house quickly and for top dollar is a dream most sellers share. To do that, you want to make sure that you house is in tiptop shape before putting it on the market. One of the best ways to prepare your home for selling is by getting a pre-listing inspection.
A pre-listing inspection gives you a clear picture about the current condition of your home. It can help you avoid any surprises along the way and can streamline the process. Most importantly, it gives you the opportunity to address some issues early on, so you have a better chance of having a smoother, quicker selling process.
In some states, there are no licensing requirements for home inspectors. This makes it difficult to separate the goods ones from the inexperienced ones. To ensure that you hire a qualified home inspector, ask for credentials and certifications. You may also want to review a sample home inspection report. You want to make sure that the information presented is in a clear and thorough format. It is also best to do your research. Read reviews from past clients and check the company’s references. Sometimes, you need to do a little inspecting on your own to find the best inspector.
Clean your house
Having prospective buyers and home inspectors in your house can be a daunting thought. They’ll be checking every nook and cranny and look for flaws or issues in your home. That said, you want to make sure that your house is clean, organized, and presentable.
Nothing will turn off a buyer more than a messy, cluttered house. Home inspectors and potential buyers may also assume that your house wasn’t cared for.
Clean your home like a pro and pay particular attention to the bathrooms and kitchen. Don’t forget to look inside your drawers, cupboards, and cabinets. While you’re at it, get rid of things you no longer need or use. Remember, a stylish home is one that is clean, decluttered, and easy to move around in.
Be on time
Most inspectors come early. Others arrive 15 minutes ahead of schedule. So, if the inspection is scheduled at 9:00 am, make sure that you are dressed and ready to go by 8:45 am.
Many of them would start inspecting the exterior of the house as soon as they arrive. So, make sure that you wake up and prepare early. The last thing you want is for the home inspector to be walking around the house while you’re dressing up. Be on time because the home inspector will be.
Check your home’s exterior
As mentioned above, the exterior is the first thing home inspectors will check, so you want to make sure it’s in great shape. If your home’s exterior is cluttered, now is the best time to take care of it.
Trim your bushes, mow the lawn, and clear the sidewalk. If you are selling in winter, then you need to shovel and salt the walkways. Also, consider repainting the faded window and front door to make your home more attractive.
Turn on all utilities
A home inspector will not only examine the different areas of the house, he will also check the air conditioner, furnace, dishwasher, and the water heater. Without utilities, he won’t be able to check these appliances. The inspection will need to be rescheduled and the closing will be delayed. We highly recommend that you leave the utilities connected even after you have moved out of the house.
Have paperwork ready
The inspector may want to know when you last had your HVAC system serviced or had the chimney cleaned. Gather all the necessary paper and documents of all repairs that you have done on your home. It is also a good idea to include receipts of the appliances and fixtures, so it would be easier to prove their age.
Provide easy access to different areas of your home
Make sure that you provide access to different areas of your home. Otherwise, they won’t be able to do the job thoroughly. Provide unobstructed access to the basement, crawlspace, attic, and other areas. Unlock doors and gates to the garage, shed or any other rooms in the house.
Your HVAC system and hot water tank will also be inspected. Check them before the scheduled date of inspection and make sure that they are properly functioning. A home inspector will need at least 3 to 4 feet of space in order to inspect it thoroughly. Provide workspace around hot water tank and HVAC system by removing furnitures, boxes or bookcases that may be blocking access to these areas.
More often than not, buyers tag along during the home inspection. After all, this is the perfect opportunity to learn as much as they can about the house they are interested in. They may feel uncomfortable to ask questions or point out some issues if you’re inside the house.
The average home inspection takes about 2 to 3 hours. Sometimes, it may take longer. Make sure that you have something planned for the afternoon. Don’t forget to take your pets with you. Also, make sure all pet accessories and toys are tucked away out of sight. You may be a dog person, but you should also consider that not everyone likes them. You shouldn’t take your chances by leaving your precious pets around strangers.
Leave obvious issues unfixed
A house is one of the biggest purchases one would make in this lifetime. Considering the amount of money that will be put towards the house, homebuyers want to make sure that house is in tiptop shape. The last thing you want is for them to assume that the house hasn’t been cared for or maintained. Remember that at this stage, they are deciding whether or not your house is worth investing on.
Fix obvious problems before having the house inspected. Any issue you expect to show up on the home inspection report should be dealt with by now. There is no point in masking certain issues as home inspectors will likely uncover them.
Forget about safety and security
Our home is our safe haven. It is where we relax and unwind after a long, stressful day at work. Aspiring homeowners aren’t just looking for a lovely house, they are also looking after their family’s safety and security. With that, we highly recommend that you check your fire and carbon monoxide detectors regularly. Both devices are life-saving tools, and you want to make sure that they operating properly.