Profitable and quick home sales involve diligent preparation. Aside from ensuring your home’s aesthetic appeal to captivate potential buyers, it’s crucial to verify its overall structural integrity, ready to ace a home inspection.
After striking a deal with a prospective buyer, they’ll hire a home inspector to scrutinize your property. As the seller, there are numerous steps you can undertake to ensure a streamlined and effective home inspection. Here are our prime recommendations for preparing your home for inspection:
Consider your curb appeal. Perhaps you’ve already spruced up your curb appeal following your realtor’s or home stager’s advice before listing your property. (Our consultations cover many potential inspection issues.) Ensuring the inspector can easily access the exterior of your home not only facilitates the process but also eliminates the need for a costly, undesirable second visit. Before the inspection, ensure to:
- Trim back shrubs and tree limbs too close to the house. Maintain at least a foot of clearance.
- Keep a minimum of 4 to 6 inches of clearance between the siding and landscaping materials, such as mulch or stone.
- Thoroughly clean the gutters, ensuring downspouts and drains are unobstructed and draining correctly without pooling water near the house.
- Inspect and repair any wood rot on all the trim and siding around your home. Don’t just paint over it, probe suspicious spots with a knife or screwdriver to uncover soft, rotting wood.
- Re-caulk gaps, seams, and trim where necessary, and address any exposed nail heads.
- Ensure all exterior doors, locks, and deadbolts function correctly. Apply weatherstripping if necessary.
- Remove any stored items or lawn furniture that may block the placement of a ladder for roof access.
- Make all external buildings on the property, such as storage sheds, a detached garage, or a guest house, unlocked and accessible. Provide any necessary keys, garage door openers, or door codes.
Interior Checkpoints: Double-check common problem areas for many home inspections, including:
- Ensuring all interior doors and locks are operable.
- Checking for potential leaks under sinks. If you’ve placed a towel or mat under the sink “just in case”, remove it. It might suggest a past or current issue.
- Verifying the hot water heater is in working order.
- Cleaning dust from all air intake vents and replacing filters. Mark the current date on your air filter for the inspector to see.
- Consider having the HVAC system serviced if it hasn’t been within the past year. Leave a receipt for the inspector and buyer.
- Inspecting all caulking, trim, and seals.
- Testing all fixtures, lights, and fans. Replace any non-functioning light bulbs.
- Ensuring appliances are clean and empty so the inspector can properly test them.
- Cleaning up! A tidy home suggests responsible homeownership, while a dirty home can imply the opposite
Facilitate Inspector Access: Ensure the inspector can easily access all areas and systems, including the attic, HVAC, plumbing, and electrical panels. Keep everything unlocked and remove any furniture or boxes that might obstruct the inspector’s path.
Document and Provide Receipts: Without documentation, home inspectors tend to provide estimates to potential buyers which might not always be accurate. If you’ve recently had parts of your home replaced or serviced, leave copies of the receipts in a noticeable place.
Vacate the House During Inspection: The presence of a homeowner might hinder the inspection process. It’s usually advisable for sellers to vacate the premises during a home inspection. This allows the inspector to evaluate the property freely and without any potential confrontation or distractions from the seller. Even a quiet homeowner could slow down the process by moving from room to room.
Remember, anything that hampers the home inspection or makes it more tedious can annoy the inspector. And an annoyed inspector may potentially take a more critical view of your home and its issues. They’re human, and if they feel aggravated, the results might not be in your favor.
Achieving a successful, quick, and profitable home sale is no small feat. By following these key guidelines from Jones Hollow Realty Group, you can prepare your home to pass an inspection with flying colors, making the home selling process as smooth and efficient as possible. Good luck with your sale!