If you are a potential home buyer, chances are you are also in seller’s shoes. When you are looking at other homes and taking notes on the condition of each room, others are doing the same thing to your house. And they, like you, will want a thorough inspection of the home before entering into the sale. Inspections can be nerve-wracking, but there are things you can do to make sure everything goes smoothly. Here’s a working list:
1. Repair, repair, repair: You may not think that the filters in your vents, or the condition of your light bulbs, will make too much of an impression on an inspector or a potential buyer, but they can. Replace burnt out light bulbs, heat/air conditioner filters and even any damaged hardware on your cabinets. You will, of course, also want to repair any plumbing issues and appliances that aren’t working correctly. These things may seem small but can make or break a decision, especially if a buyer is torn between a few houses.
2. Inside and Outside Prep: If you’re like most people, your attic and/or unfinished basement is probably a cluttered mess – and that is fine – but not for a home inspection. The inspector will need to have access to everything. Clear it out if you can. If you can’t remove the items, just organize so that the area is easily accessible. Be sure that your windows and floors are cleaned and that each room is nicely organized and staged as if you were holding an open house. If you have already moved out, it’s important to make sure that all of the utilities are turned on for the inspection.
Outside, make sure your lawn and shrubs are trimmed and orderly. Leave as much open space in your garage as possible and, again, pick up anything that may be lying around. Clean out the gutters and downspouts and ensure easy access to all entry ways to the house.
3. Be transparent: Don’t try to hide any major issues that you were unable to have fixed. A good inspector will find them and it will serve as big turn off to the potential buyer if you are caught in a lie. Disclose any issues that they should know about. It’s also a good idea to keep any receipts or invoices for repairs that you have had done on hand and it is definitely important to provide documentation and permits for any special additions or renovations that have been made such as a pool or a large deck.
On inspection day, it’s ok if you want to stick around in order to answer any questions that come up, but stay out of the way until that is the case. If you are planning on leaving the property, leave your Realtor® with all of the documents that he/she will need to show the inspector. Whether you decide to stay or go, send your children and pets to a neighbor or relative’s house for the day. This will make the day run smoother for all parties involved and ensure that your home stays in prime condition for the inspection.
Remember, others will want a thorough inspection on your home just as you will want one on the home you are looking to buy. Do all that you can to promote a positive inspection with a good outcome.
Can you offer any other tips or tricks for preparing for a home inspection?