2018 was a seller’s market with limited inventory, reduced closing times, and homes selling for 98.5% of their listing price.
If you’re selling your home, you are no doubt hoping this trend continues in the new year.
Selling your home can be a stressful experience and one of the most daunting parts of the process will be the home inspection.
An inspector, the buyer, and their realtor will go through every inch of your home looking for problems. They might find things that you didn’t even know needed attention.
Whether this is your first time selling a house or you are a real-estate guru, the inspection can be a big “unknown” and a source of anxiety.
However, it doesn’t have to be if you are prepared.
Keep reading for 7 home inspection tips for sellers.
1. Make Sure You Aren’t Home
It is best if you are not there during the home inspection. The inspector will feel more comfortable and will be more proficient without you there.
Also, the realtor and buyers will feel more comfortable asking questions and speaking candidly. It’s best to remove dogs from the home.
You will want to leave about an hour before the inspection. Inspectors sometimes arrive early to prepare, so it’s best to make sure you are out of their way.
2. Unlock All Doors and Gates
It’s best to make sure all of your doors are unlocked prior to the inspector’s arrival. The inspector will need to access and inspect every area of the property.
Similarly, unlock any gates, fences, doors to garages, sheds, crawl spaces, or out buildings. Doors such as these products are designed to deter unauthorized access. If the inspector cannot open a door, the inspection will not be completed.
It’s courteous to prepare the property for the inspector and allows them to do their job most effectively.
3. Check Your Light Bulbs
This is an easy step to prepare for your home inspection. Go through your home and make sure all light bulbs are working.
Replace any that are not working properly. The inspector will have to report any problems they see including non-working light bulbs.
While the bulb may simply need replaced, the problem could seem more sinister. The inspector may worry the wiring has a problem if a light is out and this could be avoided by making sure no light bulbs need changed.
4. Tidy Up
One of the easiest ways to be prepared for your home inspection is to tidy the place up before the inspector arrives.
Remove any clutter and do some basic cleaning. It will make the place look more presentable and put the buyers in a positive frame of mind about the property.
Remember, the inspector will need to access every area of the property so be thorough.
For example, the inspector will need access to the spaces under your sinks so remove any clutter that might block his access.
It will make the inspector’s job easier if he has easy access to everything on the property.
Some of the important and overlooked places to tidy up include areas with access to electrical panels, heating and cooling systems, and mechanical equipment.
5. Keep Maintenance Records
Records you are able to provide to the inspector about maintenance in your home will make his job easier and help you out as well.
If you have recently had the property inspected and no issues were found, show this documentation to the inspector.
If you have had repairs done, show the proof to the inspector. Insurance claims and basic maintenance records will help your inspector do his job and prove that your home is in good condition.
6. Empty Out Appliances
While this might seem like common sense, it is often overlooked by home owners.
Make sure your appliances are in good working order and free of any objects or debris prior to the inspection. Take clothing out of your washing machine and dryer.
Make sure there is nothing in the dishwasher or the oven. If the inspector tests these items, and he will, you do not want to have anything stored in your oven.
7. Make Sure the Inspector Can Get to the Attic
Many houses have attics and the inspector will surely want to look at this area. You want to make sure that he is easily able to access it.
Move all clutter blocking his access and provide him a ladder. If he has to move things himself, he is not going to be thrilled.
If he does not have access to a ladder and cannot get up there, he is not going to be able to complete his job and the process will take longer.
The Most Important of the Home Inspection Tips for Sellers – Be Honest
If your property has any flaws or issues known to you that you have been unable to fix prior to the inspection, be upfront to your buyer and their realtor.
They are going to find out eventually and you could be in hot water if you knew and didn’t say anything. You could even face legal trouble.
If an appliance works only sometimes or a pipe is known to leak, speak up. The buyer is not necessarily going to react negatively to a flaw with the property if it is brought to their attention and you present a willingness to fix it.
You can even leave a note from the inspector if there is anything for him to be aware of.
The best thing to do is to put yourself in your buyer’s shoes and be as transparent throughout the process as possible.
Prepare for Your Inspection
If you follow these home inspection tips for sellers, the inspection process will be much less stressful.
Selling a home in this market is much easier than buying, so you already have the upper hand. Be honest, be punctual, and be courteous to the buyer and the inspector and you should not have any problems. The buyer is already very interested in your property and wants the sale to work out.
For more advice for home sellers check out our blog.