In most real estate transactions, the home inspection is scheduled after the buyer has placed an offer and the seller has accepted. Many buyers choose to make the results of the home inspection one of the contingencies in the contract. That means that the buyer can walk away from the sale if the inspection reveals anything significant. The buyer can also decide to continue with the purchase and request that any needed repairs be made before closing. As the seller, you want the buyer’s home inspection to go as smooth as possible. The best way to make this process stress-free is to prepare for a home inspection.
What to Expect During a Home Inspection
During the inspection, your home will be thoroughly examined. The inspector will check the roof, foundation, walls, plumbing system, HVAC system, electrical system, and more. A report with details and photographs will be delivered to the buyer after the inspection is complete.
It is normal for sellers to have some anxiety about the home inspection process. Selling your home is a big deal and the last thing a seller wants is for a deal to fall through because of serious problems found in the home. Fortunately, you can prepare for the inspection by doing the following:
1. Make Sure All Indoor Areas Can Be Accessed
The home inspector will need access to all areas in the home. If there is limited access and they cannot get into an area, it won’t be inspected. Any area of the home that is not inspected may cause hold-ups for your transaction. Clear away any clutter that prevents access to the basement, furnace room, under the sink, and other areas. Provide the keys for locked areas or leave them open.
2. Clear the Perimeter of the Home to Prepare for a Home Inspection
In addition to checking the inside of the home, the inspector will look at the exterior. This part of the inspection will include the condition of the siding, trim, and caulking around the entryways. Clear these areas of overgrown brush, trash cans, or any other items that may prevent the inspector from getting a good look.
3. Check the Roof
The roof portion of the inspection is one of the most important. If possible, get out a ladder and remove any moss and debris from the gutters. You will also want to check for missing or damaged shingles. If you discover damage on the roof, try to have it repaired prior to the inspection.
4. Tidy Up
If you have been showing your home, it is likely that it is already clean and tidy. Don’t let the house get messy after the offer has been accepted. Do your best to maintain the same level of cleanliness for the home inspection as you would for an open house. Although the cleanliness itself may not impact the inspection, an untidy home may make the buyer wonder if other areas of the home have not been properly taken care of.
5. Replace Bulbs
A blown-out bulb may suggest to the inspector that there is faulty wiring. The inspector will spend time determining whether the fixture needs repair or if the bulb is simply out. Checking and replacing all bulbs before the inspection will show that the light fixtures are in good working order.
6. Fix Leaks and Water Damage to Prepare for a Home Inspection
The home inspector will be looking for signs of water damage, so it is best to have any water-related issues addressed and repaired before the inspection. When checking for leaks, be sure to look under the sinks, faucets, and the base of toilets, bathtubs, and showers.
7. Address Any Pest Issues
If you identify any bug or pest problems, have an exterminator come in to address the issue before the inspection.
When you follow these tips to prepare for a home inspection, it will likely go more smoothly. If you have any pets, remove them from the home during the inspection.