Ugh…the dreaded home inspection. At this point in the process, sellers are biting their nails and buyers are ready to request the world. And what about the realtors? They are on the sidelines sending up a silent prayer for a short report. Even though this makes for a comical visual, there are steps to take as a seller that can drastically improve your chances of a clean bill of health from the inspector.
- If your home is empty, leave your utilities on and keep your pilot lights on. An inspector will test appliances and outlets but they cannot finish the inspection if the electric/water is off. So turn your a/c to a reasonable level if you are in Florida, and keep everything operating until after the inspection is complete.
- Make sure your electrical sockets, light fixtures, fans and switches are in working order. Replace any bulbs if necessary and make sure your fan cords are easily accessible.
- Confirm that your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors (if applicable) are operational. Replace any batteries that are no longer working. Keep spares on the countertop in case any replacements are needed during the inspection.
- Make sure your faucets and toilets are running properly. Repair any obvious leaks.
- Clean the stove top and oven to prevent smoking during testing.
- Test all windows and doors. Make sure they open and close completely. Make sure your locks work and that keys are available if applicable. If any of the hardware is not in working order, replace it.
- Clear any obstructions from around your furnace, water heater and electrical boxes.
- Leave keys for any locked doors and separate by interior and exterior. If keys can be labeled, you will saye the inspector some time.
- Remove brush and debris from your homes perimeter, pumps, wells and utility boxes.
- Gather and provide any documentation for any repairs or renovations.
- If possible, provide your last survey or an approximate sketch showing locations of septic tanks and well.
- Remove your pets from the property. Or, at the very least, make sure to crate all animals as inspectors will need access to every room.
- Plan to be away from your home for at lest 3 hours. You can also ask your realtor to provide an estimated completion time if they are familiar with the inspection company.
- Pre-inspect your home walking room by room to identify any issues that may come up during the actual inspection. Better yet, grab a friend and have them walk your property taking notes of anything they would address. Don’t focus on cosmetic issues, but larger issues that would require a professional to fix. If you can afford it, hire an inspector to do a professional pre-inspection.
Deciding to sell your home is usually the easiest step in the process. But making sure you can get to the closing table is key! Don’t miss out on a contract due to a bad inspection. Cover what you can on your own and rely on a professional to help you through the process.