HOW SELLERS CAN PREPARE THEIR HOMES FOR INSPECTION DAY
Preparing your home not only ensures a smooth and efficient inspection, but it can also prevent delays in your transaction and ultimately save you money on surprises.
Whether you’ve accepted an offer on your home and are gearing up for the buyer’s inspection or you’re having a pre-listing home inspection, it’s important to prepare your home for the big day.
Take a look at our preparation tips for sellers below.
Anticipate that the home inspector will check all major appliances as well as the electrical, plumbing, and HVAC systems in your home. They will evaluate the condition these systems are in and that they are in working order. Follow the steps below to prepare the interior of your home for inspection:
1. Clean And Declutter
- Remove dishes from sink and dishwasher.
- Vacuum dust from air vents and exhaust fans.
- Empty and clean appliances so they may be turned on.
- Remove items stored in the attic that may get in the way of the inspector.
- Tidy up your home – a clean home sends a message of responsible homeownership.
2. Test Parts And Systems
- Turn on all lights, ceiling fans and bathroom fans.
- Make sure all pilot lights turn on.
- Open and close all doors and windows and test locks and seals.
- Check that the weather stripping on doors is intact.
- Flush toilets and run faucets.
- Test smoke alarms and CO detectors.
- Ensure the electrical panel is accurately labeled.
- Consider having your HVAC system serviced and leave the receipt for inspector or buyer.
3. Deferred Interior Maintenance
- Change the batteries in detectors and replace detectors that are older than 10 years.
- Replace light bulbs as needed.
- Replace your furnace filter.
In addition to the interior of your home, inspectors will look at the structural integrity of your home including the foundation and roof. They will look for rot and other indications of damage due to improper water drainage and note other general maintenance concerns.
1. Consider Curb Appeal
- Trim back shrubs and tree limbs that have grown too close to your home.
- Repair house trim and siding if needed.
- Remove stored items that are kept against the house.
- Remove pet waste.
2. Don’t Forget To Look Up
- Clean gutters and downspouts.
- Remove moss and debris from roof.
- Replace damaged or missing shingles.
- Make sure chimney caps are in good shape.
3. Deferred Exterior Maintenance
- Stain decking and replace areas with rotted wood if necessary.
- Ensure all drains are free of obstructions and properly direct water away from the foundation of the home.
The inspector will need safe and easy access to all parts of your home both inside and out. Help them to do their job efficiently with these quick steps (that don’t go unnoticed):
1. Leave all structures on the property unlocked and accessible.
2. Clear pathways and areas around the systems of your home so they are accessible.
3. Make sure the areas around the outside of the home are ladder accessible.
4. Provide keys for gates, outbuildings, electrical boxes, etc. If applicable.
Being transparent is a great way to gain the trust of buyers and tells an inspector you haven’t been voluntarily negligent. Additionally, providing documentation and disclosing information can eliminate any confusion about the condition or age of items in your home.
1. Disclose any known issues
- Provide the pre-listing inspection report if applicable.
- Disclose issues you’ve been aware of previously.
- Inform of past issues that have been fixed.
2. Provide receipts or documentation of repairs
LEAVE THE PROPERTY
With the exception of a pre-listing inspection, sellers should be prepared to make themselves scarce during the inspection. The buyer’s inspection is for the education of the buyer and respecting their time with their inspector is important. Remember these tips the day of the inspection:
1. Plan to leave 30 minutes prior to the inspection.
2. Leave remotes for the garage door, ceiling fans, and lights somewhere obvious.
3. Turn on pilot lights and make sure all utilities are on.
4. Take pets with you if possible or make sure they are safely crated/secured.
5. Give the inspector plenty of time to complete their inspection before returning.
Most of these steps you can take on your own to ensure a smooth inspection. However, if there’s anything on the list that’s beyond your comfort level, consider calling an expert.