Americans sold nearly 5.5 million existing homes in 2017.
The process of selling your home is both an exciting and stressful time. You place your house on the market. A buyer makes an offer, and you accept.
All done, right?
Not quite–the buyer wants a home inspection done to make sure there are no hidden issues.
What is a home inspection, and how can you prepare your home for one? Read on to learn how to get your home ready for an inspection and how to make sure everything goes smoothly.
Why Do You Need a Home Inspection?
A home inspection is a professional examination of the state of your home. Usually, the buyer will hire a home inspector to carry out the examination.
However, sometimes the seller may conduct a home inspection before even putting the house up on the market. This way, they can know of any needed repairs and fix them before they sell the home.
Only a certified home inspector can complete the home inspection.
What Will They Inspect?
Here are some of the parts of your home a home inspector will check:
- Kitchen: any leaks, vents, if the cabinets or drawers need repair
- Windows and doors
- Bathrooms: toilets, sinks, tubs
- Plumbing issues
- Electrical problems
- The exterior of the home such as the roof and chimney
- Foundation and structure of the home
- Water damage
How to Prepare Your Home
Now it’s time to get ready for a home inspection. Here are the steps you should take.
Clean Your Home
It may sound like it’s an obvious thing to do, but some homeowners may get caught up in preparing everything else that they forget to do this.
Although home inspectors aren’t necessarily checking for a clean house, a clean house will reflect positively for you. It shows that you care about your home and about maintaining it.
It’s also practical to keep your house clean and to remove junk out of the way to make it easier for the inspector to move around and check everything out. You want to remove dishes from the dishwasher. You should also take out any clothes from the washer and dryer.
Declutter and Remove Barriers to Access Points
In addition to cleaning, you want to declutter and remove any barriers to access points. This includes areas such as:
- Water heaters
- Electrical Box
- Sprinkler systems
Move boxes a couple of feet from the wall. Make sure no doors are blocked.
You also want to keep space around the exterior of your home for the home inspector. Remove trash cans or anything else from the exterior wall.
Check Anything That You Can Repair Yourself
There are many minor fixes that you can make yourself before the inspector arrives. First, you can check all basic functionalities such as light switches and that all the lightbulbs work. You can replace any light bulbs that are out.
Then, check the toilets and unclog any backed up drains. You can also check the windows for any cracks on the interior or exterior. Make sure the windows close and open properly and check the locks.
Check the safety features of the home such as the smoke detector and carbon monoxide alarms. Install a fire extinguisher.
Look for any bug or rodent problems and have them taken care of.
How about your HVAC systems? Turn them on and ensure they’re working properly. Replace any old filters.
Check for basic water damage that you can fix such as leaky faucets. Re-caulk around sinks and tubs.
Although these issues may be minor, they will show up on the home inspection report if you don’t get them taken care of.
Leave Utilities on
Make sure the power is on and the pilot light is on so that the inspector can conduct a thorough examination. The home inspector will be looking at all the electrical features of your home. They will also look at the water heater, furnace, and stove.
If any of these items are not accessible, this could cause a delay in the home sale since the inspector will have to come back another day.
Prepare Your Paperwork
Before the inspector arrives, prepare any important paperwork about any home repairs or remodels you made. For example, if you installed a new water heater, you can leave the invoice.
Another thing you can leave are any necessary keys. If you have a detached garage, you can leave the key. Make sure you label the keys and leave them out where the inspector can easily see them.
Another helpful tip is to leave a map of your home identifying important locations such as the septic tank, water heater, or electrical box.
Don’t Stick Around During the Inspection
A home inspection can take 2-5 hours. You may be tempted to stick around during the inspection to answer any questions. However, it’s better if you leave and give the inspector your phone number if any questions come up.
Many times, the buyer accompanies the inspector, and they may not be comfortable asking questions in front of the seller.
If you have any pets, you should also keep them out of the house during the home inspection.
Additional Tips for Your Home Inspection
You might not love the idea of someone poking and prodding at your home and pointing out everything that needs to be fixed. However, remember that this is the home inspector’s job to address any issues or safety concerns.
Also, if you’re selling your home, a home inspection can help you by showing you any repairs that need to be made. This can help you prepare accordingly and not be blindsided by any issues.
Think of a home inspection as an investment that will save you a headache down the line.
If you’re a seller that needs a home inspection, you can contact us today to schedule your home inspection.