Selling your home can be a rather stressful process. But with the right preparation, you can reduce the stress and worry associated with a home inspection.
Here’s a list of common things that you should do to prepare before the arrival of the buyers’ inspector:
- If the home is vacant, ensure all utilities are turned on. If the home has any gas appliances, ensure that the pilot lights are lit. Without being able to test major systems and appliances in the home, some buyers may decide to walk away from the sale and purchase your neighbors’ home instead!
- Make sure that all of the light bulbs, electrical sockets, switches, and fans in your home work. If a light or appliance doesn’t turn on when the switch is used, the home inspector will make note of this and may recommend further evaluation by an electrician.
- Confirm that all the smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors in the home work. Also, ensure that the home has a sufficient number of detectors in the right places. Every home should have a smoke detector installed in every bedroom and on every level of the home. For homes with fuel-burning appliances, a carbon monoxide detector should be installed on every level of the home and outside of bedrooms.
- Clean the stove and oven so they don’t create smoke while being tested.
- Check faucets and toilets to ensure they run properly and don’t leak. Ensure the toilets in the home are securely attached to the floor.
- Verify that all doors and windows are functioning properly and are in good repair. Home inspectors are required to test every exterior door and a “representative number” of windows. If windows do not open or have broken glass, it can have a negative effect on the home appraisal or, depending on the loan type, could even prevent loan funding. Also, ensure that every exterior door can be opened from the inside without needing a key.
- Remove obstructions around the furnace, electrical panel, crawlspace doors, and attic doors.
- If applicable, provide a sketch of the locations for wells and septic tanks.
- Trim all exterior trees and bushes so they do not touch the home’s exterior.
- Leave keys for all outbuildings so the inspector can have access to them.
- Crate or remove all pets from the home.
- Plan to be out of the home for at least three hours.
- Consider hiring your own home inspector for a Pre-Listing Inspection. This will allow you to repair or replace any major issues found, and prevent any surprises during the selling process.
Following these simple steps can help ensure you have a smooth inspection process.