9 Things to Fix Before the Home Inspection
The home inspection is often a lower priority during the moving process, but nothing goes forward and finalizes until the property is properly inspected.
Timeline: a home inspection typically happens after the buyer signs the purchase agreement and before the final closing date. Usually, the sale of the property hinges on the home inspection’s results. The buyer is often able to back out of a sale if the home inspection finds faults, damages or code violations. A seller will want to work hard to make sure the property is up to quality.
What gets inspected: a good home inspector will take a fine-tooth comb to the property, evaluating features of the home, including (but not limited to):
The plumbing system
The electrical system
The HVAC system (air conditioning, heating and ventilation)
Carbon monoxide detectors
Also usually included in the inspection: checks for leaks, mold, mildew and other signs of damage, water or otherwise.
With that in mind, here are five things to keep in mind when preparing for the inspection:
Make sure the home inspector can travel through your home easily, with easy access. Clear clutter and keep the pets out of the way.
Clear the roof of debris, branches and moss before the inspector climbs up. If tiles are missing or the roof needs to be replaced, go into action before the inspection, or be prepared to disclose it to the buyer.
Check your plumbing. Make sure all toilets are flushing, water faucets are running, and there are no dangerous or unsightly leaks or water damage.
Call an exterminator. Look for rodent droppings, bug or ant infestation and wasp nests.
Find out ahead of time what will be inspected. Some of the answers may surprise you. For instance, an inspector may take a close look at your kitchen cabinets to see if they are well fastened to the wall.
Doors are often overlooked before an inspection, because they are often taken for granted in day-to-day living or not used very often. For instance, be sure your doors lock properly and are not warped due to heat or water damage.
You may not give much thought or attention to your fuse box, but you may want to get a professional to give it a look. Place easy-to-read labels to each switch so the inspector can give it a thorough and accurate examination.
Clean places you wouldn’t normally (often) clean, like perhaps the furnace and the furnace area, as well as the chimney and the garage. Replace filters as needed.
On the day of the inspection, plan to stay out of the way. Make sure all doors are unlocked, and that the inspector can travel around the property without delay or trouble.
Bottom line: you may not have a perfect home inspection, but most homes aren’t perfect, and most home buyers are aware of that. Your best bet is to be aware of what will be inspected and to give attention to any issues ahead of time. For some issues, you may have to negotiate with the buyer as to who will address the trouble.