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How to Prepare for a Home Inspection As a Seller
During the height of the pandemic, home inspections were sometimes waived, but that is no longer the case. With 77% of buyers only considering move-in ready homes, home inspections are becoming inevitable once more.1
If you are trying to sell your home, preparing for a home inspection is a must or else it could mean big trouble for your sale. In some cases, it may even kill the deal, and you will have to start over from square one.
Home Inspections Explained
Home inspections are typically initiated by the buyer and take place after they have already signed a purchase agreement but before the final closing date. During a home inspection, an inspector will come to your property to look over the home. They will inspect things like the plumbing, HVAC system, roof, electrical, structure of the home, and more. Some buyers will also elect to opt for add-on services like a radon test, sewer scope, pest inspection, and more. The inspector’s final report will include everything from major repairs to more minor issues.
Once the report is finalized, the negotiating process begins. The buyers will review it with their real estate agent and come back with a list of items they want fixed, items they want credit for, or concessions they want based on the results of the inspection. From here, you will go over their list with your agent and determine what you are and are not willing to do for them. Until the terms are finalized, this process may involve a bit of back and forth. If a consensus is not reached or the home inspection unveils some major issues, the deal may fall through if the buyer has a home inspection contingency.
The Best Ways to Prepare for an Inspection
The last thing you want as a seller is for an inspection to kill the deal. While every home will have some kind of issue noted on the inspection report, you aren’t just at the mercy of the inspector. If you are wondering what to do before a home inspection or do not know where to begin, we may be able to help. Follow these tips on how to prepare for a home inspection and minimize problems so your home can pass with flying colors.
Get an Inspection Beforehand
The best trick to pass a home inspection is to get a pre-listing home inspection. Instead of waiting for the buyer to initiate an inspection after the deal is already in motion, get one before you put your home on the market. This type of inspection will take away the surprise of the buyer’s inspection and reveal anything problematic.
With these issues already laid out for you, you can start getting fixes done now to avoid delays or the deal falling through. Plus, you can also share these findings with buyers for transparency as well as to highlight what steps you have already taken to address any issues.
If you already know something could be a problem in the home inspection, get it fixed sooner rather than later. This could be something as big as a broken air conditioner or as small as a loose kitchen cabinet handle. Although it may be a small issue for you, it will likely be a bigger issue for your buyers. Plus, these problems can quickly add up and may deter buyers from making an offer in the first place.
Do not wait until the home inspector points out an issue to get it fixed. Not only will preemptive home repairs help prevent delays in the inspection process but also they may help draw more buyers in or even increase the sales price of the home.
Do Regular Maintenance
Just because you are already under contract, doesn’t mean you should stop tending to the regular needs of your home. One of the best ways to prepare for a home inspection as a seller is to do a bit of regular maintenance and checks in advance.
This home inspection checklist for sellers is a good place to start.
- Check that all lightbulbs are working.
- Replace filters as needed.
- Remove leaves and debris from the gutters.
- Check that all appliances are working.
- Look for leaks or water damage.
- Make sure keys, fobs, and garage door openers work.
- Test smoke alarms.
Keep It Clean
Although home inspectors do not take the cleanliness of the home into account per se, cleanliness may still play a secondary factor in the inspection process.
A cluttered home can hinder the inspector’s ability to access or test the functionality of certain features or appliances. Similarly, a dirty home may look neglected or draw attention to other potential problems like the presence of pests. To avoid any ambiguity, do some cleaning beforehand. Clear dishes from the sink and dishwasher, remove clothes from the washer and dryer, and wipe down any dirty surfaces before the home inspector arrives.
Don’t Forget About the Outside
While you may be thinking about the inside of your home, do not forget about the outside. The inspector will be looking at your property as a whole, so if you want to prepare for a home inspection properly, you need to think about updating the exterior of your home as well. Damaged siding, loose roof shingles, and dented gutters can all be problematic and should likely be fixed beforehand. You will also want to clear away any clutter to make the inspector’s life a little easier.
Make Your Home Accessible
During an inspection, the inspector will need to get into all the nooks and crannies in your home. You want to make their job easier. Before a home inspection, you should make your home as accessible as possible. Unlock doors and leave behind keys, garage door openers, key fobs, or anything else needed. Declutter and clear out areas so they can easily find the hot water heater, furnace, or other features. If something is hard to find, leave behind paperwork describing its exact location.
While it may be tempting to stick around and see what the inspector is doing, this can sometimes be seen as annoying or intrusive. You may also get in the way and unintentionally hinder the inspector’s ability to do their job. It is usually best to leave and take your pets with you.
Talk About Dealbreakers Ahead of Time
Come negotiating time, you will want to already have an idea of what concessions you are willing to make and what you aren’t. By talking this through with your real estate agent ahead of time, you can make faster decisions that can speed up the negotiating process.
Although you may now understand how to prepare for a home inspection, execution can be a bit harder. Money may be tight and finding reliable workers can be a headache. We want to help. At Curbio, we do fast and reliable home inspection repairs with zero money due upfront. This means you can get the work done quickly without having to pay a dime until after the home sells or within 12 months of signing the contract.
To get started, talk to your real estate agent about partnering with us, or get connected with one of our partner real estate agents by contacting us.