You’ve listed your house for sale and your realtor is hard at work to attract potential buyers to come view the property. The next step in the process is a big one and can make or break the sale—the buyer makes an initial offer and schedules a home inspection. A condition of following through with their offer is the results of the home inspection (a common practice in most real estate transactions). Now, your worry is how well your home will be portrayed in the home inspection and if the buyer will continue with the purchase.
With the sale of your home resting on the home inspection, there are a few things you can do to help ready your home and ensure the inspection process goes as smoothly as possible.
Inspect Your Attic & Roof
The roof is a major part of a home that indicates the long-term health of the home and will be inspected in detail by the buyer’s home inspector. Before listing your home or while it is on the market, give the roofing structure a good once over to identify any issues that could become a problem and repair them before an inspector comes along.
Major issues, like roof damage, foundation issues, or mold that are known by the homeowner must be disclosed to potential buyers or professionally repaired before the home is listed to avoid having to disclose these issues. Your realtor will help you list your home at a price that is in accordance to its “as is” status and by openly disclosing these issues, not only are you complying with state law, but there will not be any surprises reported on the home inspection.
As for minor issues, if you haven’t already done this, perform a walk through of your home and take note of areas that could use a bit of work. Replace missing or broken light bulbs, patch holes in the wall, paint scuffed surfaces, replace missing outlet covers, repair leaky faucets, and clean air vents thoroughly. While these things are minor, they can take away from the overall picture of “wellness” of your home.
Make Your Home Inviting
We don’t mean bake cookies or leave out refreshments. Make the home inviting for the home inspector—making it as easy as possible for them to conduct their inspection. If it is difficult to access areas to be inspected, it may seem like you are trying to hide something, and the mess may be noted on the report.
- Turn on lights and open all doors inside the home.
- Clear access into the attic or crawlspace.
- Unlock the garage, shed, or other doors that are normally locked.
- Unblock access to the electric panel and main water shut off.
Turn On/Keep Utilities On
In order for a home inspector to conduct a proper inspection, they will need to test the plumbing, electric, and the heating and cooling systems. Without the utilities on, they are unable to do their job properly and will have to reschedule their inspection for a time when the utilities are back on. By keeping the utilities on, or having them temporarily turned back on, until the sale is finalized will prevent the delay of the home inspection—keeping all parties happy.
Conduct Your Own Inspection
To prevent any issues from coming up during the home inspection, make sure everything in your home is working as it should. Check all light switches and test outlets. Run water from each faucet to check water pressure and leaks. Replace batteries in smoke and carbon detectors as well as in garage door openers or door keypads. Have the home sprayed professionally for pests, especially if you have moved out as this is often when they try to move in.
You don’t have to fix every minor thing, but the more move in ready your home appears, the better the inspection will go and the more likely a potential buyer will complete the purchase.