“I can’t wait for my home inspection!” Said no seller ever.
Worrying about the outcome of a home inspection is high on the list of reasons for stress. For both sellers and buyers.
If you’re in the process of selling your home, be assured there will be a home inspection. It’s better if you’re prepared before you even have an offer on your home.
There are reasons home inspections should not take place!
If you haven’t had time for a thorough inventory of possible defects a home inspection might reveal take note of 5 things you should address before your buyers schedule a home inspection.
1. Don’t Be a Clutterbug
We can’t emphasize enough the importance of clearing out clutter before the home inspection.
You kept your home in pristine condition during showings but now you have an offer and you’re packing for the big move. That means boxes everywhere and likely a good amount of clutter.
Home inspectors look beyond dusty corners. They ignore counters with a few crumbs leftover from breakfast. A home inspector can even overlook piles of books and clothes tagged for the donation box.
What they don’t want to see is clutter blocking access points.
To you, your attic isn’t much more than a place where you store seasonal decorations and out of season clothing. To the home inspector, the attic holds clues about your home’s ventilation and climate control system.
No need to completely empty the attic but make sure the inspector has easy access. Making them climb over boxes and old dressers is unacceptable.
Move boxes and other storage items away from walls so that the inspector can see insulation, electrical wiring, and outlets, and view the attic’s structure.
If attic access is through a bedroom or hallway closet, remove clothing and boxes.
Basement or Crawl Space
Don’t block basement or crawl space access. Both are essential areas for a home inspection since they typically house some of the home’s major systems.
In the basement, clear boxes and clutter away from the furnace and hot water heater. If you use your crawl space for storage, you’ll remove everything when you move, so why not get a head start now?
Don’t make it more difficult for an inspector to work in an already cramped space. If the inspector can’t get access to areas included on an inspection report, they may reschedule and charge your buyer for an additional inspection.
2. Check Your Plumbing
Homeowners are usually aware of plumbing issues unless they have a pipe leak hiding behind a wall.
If you know you have plumbing issues, the inspector will know too. A home inspection includes a water pressure test. The water pressure test detects plumbing leaks and other potential plumbing problems.
If your remedy for a running toilet is jiggling the handle or ignoring it completely, now is the time for a repair. A running toilet usually only needs a simple adjustment.
Look under kitchen and bathroom sinks for any leaks in traps or faucets. The inspector will certainly look there and will report leaks.
Don’t wait for the buyer to request a repair. It’s better if you’re proactive and fix known plumbing issues before the inspection.
3. Inspections Should Not Take Place if You Find Mold and Mildew
Mold frightens buyers! And the smell of mold and mildew inspire home inspectors to investigate the source of the odor.
You can’t blame the buyer—no one wants a home with mold. Toxic black mold is a deal breaker and getting rid of it, costly.
Even if your mold isn’t the toxic variety, ignoring the fact that you have mildew stains and odors could cost you an offer on your home.
Taking care of mold before you list your home is the best practice. Treat the mold and deal with the source of the problem.
By the way, the words mold and mildew are often used interchangeably. While they’re both fungi, they pose different risks and respond to different treatment.
If you smell mildew, it means you have too much moisture in your basement or crawl space. Most excess moisture in these areas is usually due to poor drainage outside your home.
- Avoid excess wetness inside your home by:
- Clearing gutters of leaves and debris
- Pointing downspouts away from the foundation
- Unplugging clogs in buried drainage pipes
These are things that should be on your to-do list anyway but even more important if you smell mildewy odors.
4. Fix Electrical Issues
The electrical system is another major area on a home inspection report, which makes sense since electrical problems can result in shock, injury, and fires. The good news is you can correct most electrical issues easily and without breaking the bank.
An inspector will look at the electrical panel and make sure it’s adequate for the size and needs of the home. If you’re selling an older home and your electrical system isn’t up to code, you should consider updating.
Electrical issues pose safety hazards and buyers will expect you to fix them. If serious electrical system problems show up on the inspection it can make buyers and the inspector wonder what else you’ve been negligent about taking care of.
It’s so much better if you can make electrical repairs before your inspection.
5. Don’t Ignore Minor Repairs
Minor repairs might seem insignificant right now but inspections should not take place before you take care of as many as you can. Minor repairs include:
- Patching nail holes
- Testing light fixtures and replacing dead bulbs.
- Replacing cracked tiles
- Testing smoke detectors
- Changing the furnace filter
- Ensuring windows open and close properly
- Take care of any rodent or bug infestations
It’s tempting to just let some of these things go but would you rather address minor repairs now or when the repairs show up on the inspection report and the buyer uses them to negotiate a lower price?
Are You Inspection Ready?
Once you take care of clutter, plumbing, electrical, mold, and other minor repairs, you can feel confident in your home passing inspection. You should then have no excuses or reasons why inspections should not take place.
Consider paying for your own home inspection. This helps to ensure you don’t miss anything and give you an opportunity to fix issues before buyers begin viewing your home.
If you’d like an extra measure of peace of mind before listing your home, schedule a pre-listing inspection with us today.