The chore of selling your home is almost done. You’ve prepped it, listed it, and found a buyer. They managed to make an acceptable offer (congratulations!) and now it’s time for the home inspection. Hold off on filling up and taping those moving boxes shut, this step has caused many deals to fall through.
In most real estate deals, the home inspection happens once the buyer has signed the purchase agreement, but before the final closing date. Many buyers prefer to make the closing of the deal contingent on the acceptable results of a home inspection.
This lets them back out of the sale if any serious issues or defects are found by the home inspector. There is generally the opportunity for the seller to remedy the items, but if they are a major expense, like roofing or foundation issues, they may not agree to the expense.
If you’re a little nervous about the inspection, as the home seller, you are certainly not alone. Many sellers find this final hurdle nerve-wracking. On one hand, you don’t want the deal to fall through, on the other hand, you don’t want to be saddled with the cost of repair for anything that might be major. Here are some things that you can do to help prepare for the event.
1. Clear The Way
The last thing a home inspector is going to want to see is that anything they need to inspect is blocked by stuff. Storage, junk, furniture, whatever, get it out of the way. If something common cannot be inspected, the buyer will see that in the report, and it could be a red flag.
2. Walk The Perimeter
Check your siding, trim, windows, caulking and seals, doors, and weatherstripping of your home. This is all small stuff that you should have in order easily.
3. Check The Roof
You may not have ever looked up there, but you know who’s going to? You guessed it, the home inspector. So haul out the ladder and take a look at the roof. Clean the gutters, remove any moss, look for and replace missing tiles or shingles.
4. Check Your Bulbs
This is simple, but it can be your undoing. A light that doesn’t work tells an home inspector one of two things, either the bulb is out or the wiring or outlet is faulty. Since they won’t be bringing extra bulbs to test, make sure they won’t need them.
Clean and functioning properly are key. Worn parts can cause a toilet to keep running, get that stuff replaced before it’s noted on the home inspection report. The parts are only a few bucks and anyone can do it.
6. Pilot Lights
This one is important if you turn your furnace off during the warmer months. The inspector is going to test the major appliances, so make sure that they are ready.
7. Water Leaks
This is a big one. Look under cabinets and up at floor joists in the basement if you have one, and look for signs of leaks. Fix the leak, and fix any water damage before the home inspection.