If you are trying to sell your home and have found a buyer with whom you agreed on a price, the chances are you will have a home inspection. The home inspection’s result can alter the agreement you had with the buyer and lower the property’s price. Or it can confirm the quality of your home, in which case the price would stay the same.
Which one will it be for you? Will the home inspection help you or hurt you?
A lot depends on how you prepare for it. Many homeowners think home inspections are only in the buyer’s hands, and there is nothing they can do to decide the result. As HMR Property Management points out, that is not true. While there isn’t much you can do to determine if there will be an inspection or not, there are subtle ways to influence the inspection outcome.
Sellers hate home inspections, and most will try to avoid it altogether or passively wait for it to be over and done. But what they don’t know is that their attitude sets the tone for how an inspection will go and what the possible results will be. By making the home inspection easier for the home inspector, sellers ensure that inspectors take a more positive attitude to their home.
In this article, we explain the steps to prepare for a home inspection.
Preparing for the Home Inspection
- Clean and Declutter
- A clean and tidy home will be easier for inspectors to assess since they will have unhindered access to the features of the home.
- Vacuum, dust, and mop the entire home. Wash the carpets if they are dirty.
- Clean the stove, oven, and furnace filter.
- Clean the grout on all tiled surfaces.
- Rearrange or remove items in storage areas.
- Ensure you declutter around eighteen inches of space near the walls and the home’s systems in these areas.
- If closets serve as an access point to the attic, organize them, and empty the attic.
- Remove all items that block access to the home’s HVAC and insulation.
- Clear the area beneath kitchen and bathroom sinks
- Check the Function of All Components, Systems, and Features
Doors and windows: Open and close to be sure they don’t stick or make noise; check seals, locks, and weather stripping; check cabinet doors to see that they are not unhinged and the hardware is in good order.
Plumbing: Run the water across the entire home to check the water pressure. Run each faucet to make sure it is working. Flush toilets to test their function and inspect for leaks.
Electrical: Switch each light on and off; look out for flickering lights and replace burnt-out bulbs; check that lights switches are not sticky or broken; replace broken or faulty power outlets; and run ceiling and bathroom fans.
Home’s exterior: inspect gutters and downspout – make sure they are discharging correctly. Check the functioning of garage doors by closing and opening, with the remote and manually; check the reverse safety function.
HVAC: Ensure that heating/fan ducts in the attic and crawlspace are connected, functioning, and venting as they should.
- Check for Safety
- Check if smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are working. If they have a self-test feature, use that. If they are not working and the battery is the problem, replace batteries.
- Inspect fire extinguishers. Test its function and make sure the gauge is in the proper position.
- Check the capping on gas lines and chimney entry points.
- Do careful pest extermination for the home’s interior and exterior.
- Carry out Needed Repairs
Floors and walls: Inspect walls for dents, holes, or gouges and repair them. Polish floors that need it and replace the grout on all tiled surfaces, if necessary.
Doors and windows: Replace broken or cracked glass and torn screens.
Roofing: Inspect for missing, broken, or loose shingles; replace or repair, as needed.
Plumbing: Check for water damage, especially in areas that are prone to leaks. Unclog blocked drains, and replace damaged caulking around tubs or sinks.
HVAC: Check for and repair any damage to the insulation – particularly in the attic and basement.
- Prepare the Home’s Exterior
- Remove all debris from the yard and driveway.
- Remove tree branches that are too close to the house.
- Wash the roof and clean the gutters.
- Create around two feet of free space around the home’s perimeter.
- Final Steps
- Ensure pilot lights on all gas-fired appliances are on.
- Keep the utilities on.
- Clear out the dishwasher, dryer, washer, and sink.
- Label the keys and remote to gates, doors, electrical boxes, outbuildings, and have them ready for inspection day.
- Prepare to stay away from home on inspection day, along with all members of your household and pets.
Receive the buyer and home inspector when they arrive and then leave them to do their work. Hopefully, you have done enough. Good luck!