As a home inspector, I have been through countless home inspections and have seen firsthand the challenges and stresses that come with the process, especially for homeowners who are selling their house. Home inspections are an essential part of the real estate transaction process, and while they can be nerve-wracking, they don't have to be a nightmare. With a little bit of preparation and knowledge, real estate agents can help their sellers make the inspection phase of selling their house go as smoothly as possible. Here are some tips that I would like to share with real estate agents to help their clients get through the home inspection phase of selling their house:
Get the Home Inspection Done Early
One of the most important tips that I can give is to get the home inspection done early. It is essential to have enough time to fix any issues that the inspector may find before closing the sale. As a real estate agent, make sure the buyer's agent encourages their client to schedule the inspection as soon as possible after the purchase agreement is signed. This will allow for plenty of time to make any necessary repairs or negotiate with the buyer about the issues found in the inspection report.
Clean and Declutter the House
A clean and decluttered house makes the inspection process more manageable. When a home is cluttered, it can make it difficult for the inspector to access various areas, such as the attic, basement, or crawl space. As a real estate agent, advise your clients to clear out clutter and clean the house thoroughly before the inspection. This will also help to create a good impression on the inspector and the potential buyer.
Test Smoke Detectors and Carbon Monoxide Alarms
It is important to check the smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms before the inspection. These devices are essential for the safety of the home's occupants, and the inspector will check to see if they are working correctly. As a real estate agent, remind your clients to test these devices and replace the batteries if necessary.
Make Sure All Utilities are On
The inspector will need access to all the utilities to inspect the home thoroughly. Ensure that all utilities, including water, electricity, and gas, are turned on for the inspection. If the inspector cannot access these areas, it can delay the inspection process or cause the inspector to mark it as an area of concern.
Leave Keys for Locked Areas
If there are locked areas, such as closets or sheds, leave keys for the inspector to access them. As a real estate agent, remind your clients to leave all keys needed for access to any locked areas of the home. This will prevent any delays during the inspection.
Provide Documentation of Repairs
If any repairs have been made to the home, provide documentation to the inspector. This documentation will help the inspector to understand the repair and provide assurance that it was done correctly. As a real estate agent, remind your clients to keep receipts or invoices for any repairs done and provide them to the inspector.
Take Note of Any Issues Found During the Inspection
The inspector will provide a report of any issues or concerns found during the inspection. As a real estate agent, encourage your clients to review the report carefully and take note of any issues that need to be addressed. This will help to avoid any misunderstandings between the buyer and seller during the negotiation process.
Prepare to Negotiate Repairs or Credits
If the inspection report reveals any issues that need to be addressed, you may have to negotiate with the buyer for repairs or credits. As a real estate agent, you can advise your clients on what repairs are necessary and what can be negotiated. It is essential to come to a mutual agreement with the buyer to avoid any delays or conflicts during the closing process.
Stay Calm and Trust the Process
Finally, as a real estate agent, it is crucial to remind your clients to stay calm and trust the inspection process. It is common to find issues during a home inspection, and it doesn't necessarily mean that the sale will fall through. Most issues can be resolved through negotiation or repairs, and the inspection report provides a valuable opportunity to address any concerns before the sale is final.
In conclusion, the home inspection phase of selling a house can be a stressful time for homeowners. However, with proper preparation and knowledge, it can be a manageable process. As a real estate agent, it is important to advise your clients to get the inspection done early, clean and declutter the house, test smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms, make sure all utilities are on, leave keys for locked areas, be present during the inspection, provide documentation of repairs, take note of any issues found during the inspection, negotiate repairs or credits, and stay calm and trust the process. By following these tips, homeowners can make the home inspection phase go as smoothly as possible and ensure a successful real estate transaction.