7 Steps to Help You Prepare for a Home Inspection
Anyone who’s ever sold a home before can attest to how stressful it can be. From constant cleaning, to multiple showings, to repairing old appliances and renovating bathrooms. Prepping a home to sell isn’t always a home run.
But alas! You have a buyer, with an agreed purchase price, and you’re ready to move on. You’re all done, right?
You see, many home buyers require a home inspection that is contingent upon the sale of the house. If the inspector finds any areas of concern, the homebuyers can back out of the sale (meaning you revert back to constant cleaning and endless showings). Basically, a home inspection is kind of a big deal.
While a home inspection can offer the buyer peace of mind, it can also give heartburn to the seller. But don’t worry, we’ve got just the prescription to help relieve that. Just follow these steps to help ensure you have a successful home inspection:
1. Conduct your own personal walk-through
Be aware of the items an inspector would be looking for. Do you hear anything that doesn’t sound right? Do you smell anything musty or foul? Those can be major signs to an inspector of a faulty appliance or mold. Make a note of it and resolve to fix it.
2. Look for do-it-yourself repairs
Why hire a repairman when you’re perfectly capable of fixing several home inspection items yourself? Here are some common and simple do-it-yourself repairs:
- Replace the batteries on the smoke/ carbon monoxide detectors
- swap out dead light bulbs with new ones
- replace air filters
- patch small holes
- re-caulk the seals around the bathtubs.
- Unclog any water drains
- Replace torn window screens or cracked windows
- Replace any missing shingles on the roof
3. Check the functionality of home-inspection items
One job of the home inspector is to make sure everything functions correctly. Ensure all major appliances are working properly. Even if you don’t use them often, it would be wise to run the dishwasher, washer, dryer, dishwasher, oven or stove to make sure it’s still in good working order. In addition to appliances, make certain that all of the following items work and are intact:
- All windows and doors (including garage doors)
- All toilets and faucets
- Light fixtures, including bathroom and ceiling fans
- Secure weather stripping
- Rain gutters and downspouts divert water appropriately
- Heating ducts are connected
- Air duct ventilation is working properly
4. Provide easy access to the whole house
Home inspectors are very meticulous and will need entry into every space in your home. This includes the attic, garage, basement, and any crawl spaces. Help them by unlocking all doors and making a clear, visual path.
In addition, clean and declutter not just the main living areas, but closets and storage spaces as well. Often, a messy environment is an easy red flag to an inspector that there may be other “messier” issues to deal with.
Don’t forget the exterior premises of the house, either. Sweep debris off the roof, clean out rain gutters, clear any waste near the A/C compressor, downspouts, or foundation vents.
5. Ensure safety measures have been taken
Homebuyers want to feel the peace of mind of knowing that their home will offer a safe place for them and their families. Provide a fire extinguisher, cap any gas lines or chimney entry points, and exterminate any pests or insects.
6. Check the plumbing system
Failure to fix plumbing issues can lead to mildew or mold, which can be a major concern for potential homebuyers. Examine your plumbing system and see if you have any toilets that keep running, any leaks under your sinks, or water damage in the basement. Some repairs can be very minor–like a new seal, or additional caulking.
7. Inspection day preparations
Home inspectors can arrive early, so plan to vacate at least an hour prior, and bring any pets with you (or have the safely secured in a cage). The inspection can last several hours, so plan to stay away for a while.
Leave any remotes (for the garage or light fixtures), keys (to gates, electrical boxes, etc), and paperwork or instructions necessary (insurance claims, maintenance repairs location of a well or septic tank, etc). Ensure the utilities are on, and the pilot light for the water heater and gas appliances is also on. Lastly, remove any clothing from the washer and dryer, or dinnerware from the sink or dishwasher.
Taking the necessary time to be thorough and prepare for a home inspection is key to ensuring a quick, and smooth-sailing closing. Let us at Northern Title help you get there! Find an office near you by clicking here.