How to Get Ready for a Home Inspection
After finding the right buyer for your home, it is not yet time to celebrate. You first need to get ready for a home inspection, which could impact the price of your property.
After finding the right buyer for your home, it is not yet time to celebrate. You first need to get ready for a home inspection, which could impact the price of your property. If the inspector finds a problem that needs to be fixed or repaired, the buyer will likely ask you to solve this issue or lower your price. Therefore, if you get ready for a home inspection, you can prevent this from happening and you can make sure that the deal goes without a hitch. But, how to prepare your home so that the inspection goes smoothly? That is precisely what we will explain in this article, so keep reading if you want to learn more.
Clean the Property
Let us go over the basics first. For starters, your home should be clean and well-kept. You may be thinking that this shouldn't influence the price, as the buyer can clean the home after buying it. However, many home inspectors will not be thinking the same way, so make sure that your home is in tip-top shape.
Generally, buyers dislike seeing too many of your things lying around before making a purchase, as they have a harder time envisioning the property as their own home. If you have already packed some of your belongings, the moving boxes shouldn’t make the property appear less tidy. Organize them neatly, and use a guide for preparing fragile items for moving, so that you lower the risk of your fragile items getting damaged. Whatever you do, bear in mind that the home inspector will certainly appreciate the general tidiness of the property.
Prepare the Utilities and Pilot Lights
If you are planning on moving out of the property even before selling it, you should use a list to keep you organized on your moving day and add some important items to the list related to the home inspection process. For one, all utilities should still be connected, even if you are not living there any longer. The inspector will want to test the appliances such as the dishwasher, stove, furnace, and so on. If he or she cannot do this when they arrive, they will have to reschedule, meaning that you or the buyer will have to spend more money on the inspection process.
The pilot lights in your home should also be ignited. Most home inspectors won't light them on their own, as the potential damage is not covered by their insurance. And without ignited pilot lights, the inspector will not be able to check the gas stove, water heater, etc.
Provide Sufficient Access
In order to properly get ready for a home inspection, you will need to provide adequate space for the inspector. Sometimes, home sellers do not think about some areas that will need to be specially prepared for the inspection. We already mentioned that the water heater(s) and the furnace will need to be inspected, so make sure that the inspector has at least three feet free to work around these utilities.
The same goes for your attic, your basement, and your garage. The inspector will need to have easy access to these rooms. If you have any boxes or other items lying next to the wall, move them two feet or more away from the wall. And, keep in mind that these rooms will need to be clean and presentable as well. Get rid of any water in the basement, eliminate spider webs, clean after any rodents if they have infested your attic, etc.
Prepare the Exterior
Often, the inspector will begin with the exterior of your property. When the hour of the inspection arrives, don't be alarmed if you notice someone strolling outside your home! That is most likely just the inspector examining the exterior before ringing the bell and proceeding with the interior analysis. In order to get ready for a home inspection of your property's exterior, see that the covers for your electrical box and your sprinkler system are unlocked. Check for any common problems with roof supports. And if you have a garage, the inspector should also be provided with the means to unlock it.
If there is a lot of snow at the time of the inspection, you will need to provide a path through the snow so that the inspector can enter the home and check all the relevant inspection points in the exterior, too. Otherwise, remove brush, dead tree branches and any trash that might be sitting outside of your home.
Ease the Process for the Buyer
Finally, there are some things you can do to make the procedure easier for the buyer. If you have made any upgrades recently or some other changes to your home, you should provide the inspector with the pertaining paperwork. That way, the buyer will know that he/she will not have to worry about these items. For example, perhaps you bought a new dishwasher recently? The buyer would be happy to learn that the property will be coming with a dishwasher that they'll be able to depend on in the years to come.
Apart from that, if the buyer will be present at the inspection, it is a sign of goodwill to leave them alone and vacate the property during the inspection. That is because the buyer may be uncomfortable to ask the inspector everything they would like to ask if you are still around the house. So, take your kids with you if you have any and provide the buyer with an opportunity for a comfortable inspection. And if you have pets, it's a good idea to crate them until after the inspection. Inspections usually do not last more than three hours, so you won't have to be gone for a long time.
Final Thoughts on How to Get Ready for a Home Inspection
With these tips on how to get ready for a home inspection, you should be able to avoid any unexpected issues that could result in a lower price or even cause the deal to fall through entirely. Many sellers make the mistake of thinking of a home inspection as a routine process that they needn't worry about. Be prepared for the inspector's arrival, however, and everything should go smoothly. Good luck!
Alex Durick has been working in the real estate industry for the entirety of his professional career. He has worked in Detroit for seven years, and in New York for the past two years. He genuinely enjoys helping people find the perfect home. When he’s not working, he loves spending time with his wife and their two infant daughters.