If you are about to sell your home – whether you have found a buyer for it or not – one thing is almost certain, you will have a home inspection before the home is finally sold.
A home inspection is a thorough assessment of the structures, systems, and appliances in a home that is about to be sold. It takes place after the buyer signs a purchase agreement with the seller, but before the sale is closed.
The inspection is conducted by a professional home inspector and can take as many as three hours to complete. Buyers arrange the home inspection to make sure that there are no hidden issues in the home.
In most cases, the buyer will conclude the purchase contingent on the outcome of the home inspection.
During the home inspection phase of the sale, homeowners often feel as if they have lost the power to control the transaction.
They think the buyer has all the power since he or she can decide to go ahead with the purchase, walk away from the deal, or renegotiate the sales price. Many sellers view the home inspection as the worst part of selling their home.
But is it true that homeowners are completely powerless to influence the result of a home inspection? the answer is no, and the reason for this is simple.
As McKenna & Vane Management team says, a home inspection will only uncover problems in a home if those problems exist.
Therefore, by removing anything that will negatively impact the value of their home, sellers can somewhat determine the outcome of the home inspection.
As a homeowner, how can you do this and what areas of the home should you focus on?
There are two parts to this process.
Part one: Get a prelisting inspection
Before you list your home for sale, you should have it professionally inspected, the same way a buyer would inspect it. As a homeowner, you may think you know your home really well.
But the apprehension sellers feel when their home is about to be inspected is proof many owners don’t know their home as much as they would like to believe.
However, if you order a prelisting inspection, you get rid of that anxiety and arm yourself instead with the knowledge that gives you an edge during negotiations with buyers. A prelisting home inspection will do the following for you:
- You will gain a fuller knowledge of the physical condition of your home,
- You can focus on repairs that will have the most impact on the home’s value,
- You create trust and goodwill when you disclose the inspection report to buyers,
- You will lose your fear of the buyer’s home inspection
Part two: Prepping your home for the inspection
- Clean and declutter
- Clean the home to make a good first impression
- Clean and replace the furnace filter
- Clean the stove and oven
- Declutter storage areas
- Provide access to all areas of the home (including closets that are access points to the attic or crawl space)
- Move stored items in the attic and basement away from the walls and systems
- Make sure the spaces behind appliances are clean and accessible
- Create one foot of space around walls, piping, and other systems to prepare for the inspection
- Test various features of the home
- Check that doors, windows, and cabinets are working properly
- Inspect all hinges and check doors and windows for leaks
- Test the function of all locks, as well as, knobs, pulls, and handles
- Simultaneously run the faucets in the home to check the water pressure
- Check to see make sure that toilets flush properly
- Look for signs of clogged drains
- Test light switches and replace burnt-out bulbs
- Make sure remote-controlled equipment is working
- Check the home’s safety and security features
- Test the manual/automatic operation of garage doors, plus the reverse safety function
- Test CO2 and smoke detectors and replace batteries if needed
- Check the fire extinguisher function
- Cap gas lines and chimney entry points
- Do a thorough bug extermination of the premises
- Do necessary repairs
- Check for signs of water damage in vulnerable areas
- Replace caulking around bathtubs and sinks
- Check grout in tiled areas; re-grout where necessary
- Check for and repair damaged insulation in the attic and crawl space
- Remove drain clogs
- Repair torn door screens and broken windows
- Tidy the home’s exterior
- Rid the roof and gutter system of debris, moss, and algae
- Make sure downspouts and gutters are discharging correctly
- Check the roof for missing, broken, or curved shingles and replace them if necessary
- Remove overhanging tree branches
- Create at least one foot of space around the home’s perimeter
- Remove debris from around external AC units
- Make sure that the slope around the home is away from the house
- Last-minute preparations
- Leave all keys, remotes, and passwords to garage doors, fans, doors, outhouse, and electrical panels
- Label all keys and remotes for easy identification
- Make sure the pilot lights on gas-fired appliances are on
- Have all the home maintenance paperwork ready
- Remove dishes from sink and dishwasher
- Remove clothes from the washer and dryer
- Be ready hours before the inspector and buyer arrive
- Leave home with your family and pets, for three hours, at least
Have fun while you are away and good luck!