There’s nothing like the joy (and relief!) of finding a buyer for your home. But before you crack open the champagne, you’ve got to endure one last step in the selling process that could seriously burst your bubble: a home inspection.
Most offers include a contingency that allows the buyers to back out of the deal or ask for a price reduction if they’re not happy with the results of the inspection. As such, it’s crucial to prepare for when the home inspector comes knocking.
But what does home inspection preparation involve? Keep reading to find out our top tips.
1. Clear and Tidy the Grounds
Before presenting to home buyers you probably tidied up your yard and made your home’s grounds look more presentable. But home inspectors will take a much closer look at your outside areas than any potential buyers did.
Some of the things they’ll be looking for are standing water, a sloping yard, sick or dying trees, and crumbling walls. Where possible, try to rectify these problems or remove anything that could appear as a red flag in the inspector’s report.
Other places to inspect are your home’s trims, siding, and the caulking around doors and windows. It’s also vital that you remove plant growth, trash cans, and any other clutter to give the home inspector a clear view of your home’s perimeter.
2. Check the Roof
It’s probably been a while since you checked your roof for signs of damage, which is why it’s one of the most important places to inspect when preparing your home.
Take a ladder and give your home’s roof and exterior a thorough check. Clean away moss and debris from the guttering and look out for any loose or hanging gutters. You’ll also want to check for damaged or missing tiles, sagging, defects in shingles, algae growth, and other potential problems.
The home inspector will also be on the lookout for defects with chimneys and skylights so make sure to check these if your home has them. And, if you do spot any roof damage that you can’t fix yourself, make sure to take care of it well before the home inspection.
3. Provide Open Access
It’s imperative that the home inspector has open access to areas that need to be checked. If you have locks on your gates, garage, or electrical box, you will either have to leave these unlocked or leave out the correct key for each lock in a clear and organized manner.
You’ll also need to provide easy access to the basement, attic, and any other storage rooms or areas. The home inspector will also want to check often-forgotten areas such as underneath the kitchen sink and near electrical panels.
If there are any boxes or clutter making access difficult, the home inspector may make a note of this in their report. This can be enough to make a buyer uneasy and may even cause them to request a second inspection, which could be at your expense.
And, before you leave your home in the hands of the home inspector, remember to switch off any security systems. An unexpected alarm sounding out is sure to put the inspector in a bad mood, which is the last thing you want!
4. Look for Leaks and Water Damage
The home inspector will definitely be on the lookout for leaks or signs of damage caused by water. And, while you might know that an old water stain on the wall is nothing to worry about, it’ll be enough to put off your buyer if they have to read about it in the home inspector’s report.
To avoid this, check for leaks and water damage well in advance of the inspection date. This way you can get any issues repaired before the home inspector has a chance to find fault.
When checking for leaks, look under sinks, showers, bathtubs, and any appliances that could leak, such as the washing machine and the dishwasher. When it comes to water damage, examine floors, ceilings, and walls for discoloration, damp patches, warping, and buckling.
5. Replace Batteries and Bulbs
If anything that pertains to your home appears not to work, the home inspector may include it in the report. And don’t think that this doesn’t include something as simple as a blown light bulb.
To the inspector, at best this is a fixture they have to check is in working order, and at worst it’s a sign of faulty wiring. Avoid the possibility of the home inspector having to consider either of these scenarios by replacing these light bulbs before the inspection. The same goes for the batteries in any device that relates to your home, such as smoke alarms and remote controls for fans, doors, and blinds.
6. Take Care of Pests
While the odd spider won’t be an issue for the home inspector, swarms of bugs or signs of a rat infestation in your basement are definite causes for concern.
While you’re checking your home for other issues, look for signs of pests and make sure to take care of these problems long before the inspection. After living there for years, you’ll also have a better idea of seasonal pest issues, such as mosquitoes in summer.
Take steps to deal with these pest problems before the inspection to avoid giving the home inspector any cause for concern.
7. Get Handy
You know those small DIY jobs you’ve been putting off? Well, now is the time to give them your full attention!
Before the home inspector has the chance to find fault with a sticky drawer or a slow-draining sink, get your tools out and deal with these issues. And, while you’re fixing the problems you know about, make sure there are no issues you weren’t aware of such as an uneven shower spray or a blind that doesn’t close.
Home Inspection Preparation Tips
There’s nothing worse than celebrating your home sale only to see the deal fall through because of a bad home inspector’s report.
But, by following these home inspection preparation tips, you and your home are sure to pass with flying colors.
That said, we can all do with some extra help from time to time. Schedule an inspection with us for invaluable home inspection insights that will ensure you’re always one step ahead!