Home inspections can be stressful when selling your house. Real estate inspections are almost always performed before a property is purchased. Sellers would, therefore, be wise to prepare for a home inspection, as it can make or break any real estate transaction. Here are five home inspection tips for sellers, covering everything from preparation, to what to do during a home inspection.
Consider Doing a Pre-Inspection
While this option is often overlooked, the property owner can gain a lot by doing a pre-inspection when selling a house. Having a home inspector come to your property and conduct an analysis of its problem areas can be highly beneficial for you. Some of the major advantages for property sellers include:
- You will have the opportunity to know about — and fix! — your property’s issues. By knowing about your property’s weaknesses, you can make a calculated decision as to whether or not it will be worth it to invest in repairs prior to selling your property. In many circumstances, the value added to your property can be substantially higher than the cost of repairs, thereby allowing you to get a potentially great return on investment. A handful of repairs which usually have a high return on investment include:
- Applying a new coat of paint to rooms where there is noticeable damage
- Making foundation repairs in addition to repairs to the property’s exterior and basic improvements to the landscaping
- Ensuring that all of your doorknobs and locks are fully functional
- Replacing defective smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors
- Adding a new finish to your hardwood floors, giving them a new and improved appearance
- Replacing broken or damaged tiles
- Replacing countertops or fixtures in the kitchen
- A pre-inspection will allow you to determine the right price for your property the first time. This will place you in a very advantageous position during real estate negotiations since your initial home appraisal will have taken into account any damages or shortcomings of your property. This also reduces the chance that you’ll be thrown a curveball by a reduced (or withdrawn) offer on your property after the home inspection. Finally, having a very clear idea of how much your property can sell for will allow you to plan financially for your next real estate investment, without any surprises down the road.
Make Things Easy for the Inspector
One of the best things sellers can do is to make sure that things are easy for the inspector, thereby making the home inspection faster and much more efficient. Here’s a general home inspection checklist for sellers to get you prepared:
- Ensure that all of the light bulbs are functional, and change the ones that aren’t. This will save a significant amount of time during the inspection since it will remove the need to check issues from electrical wiring.
- Clear out your closets. This will allow the inspector to inspect the backs of the closets, and remove clutter from their path.
- Ensure that all utilities are functional. If you don’t currently live in the real estate property being sold, you need to ensure that things like electricity, water, and heating are all currently functional. If they aren’t, the inspector may need to return a second time to guarantee that all of these utilities work properly. The extra time needed to do that isn’t ideal for the inspector, the buyer, or you.
- Ensure that the basement walls are clear and easy to inspect. Move items away from the walls, as they will be one of the main focal points of the inspection.
- Make it easy for the inspector to access the attic.
- Make sure you have the keys to outhouses and electrical boxes.
- Move items away from the bathroom walls.
Learning how to prepare for a home inspection can make the whole process a lot smoother for everyone involved.
Have Your Agent Present During the Inspection
One of the most important things during a home inspection is to ensure that your real estate agent is present at the time of the inspection. This will allow your agent to fully understand all of the issues with the house, and how to mitigate the setbacks. The more informed your agent is of these issues, the better they’ll be able to close a real estate deal for you.
As well, it can be easy for an inspector to overrepresent the severity of an issue, which could create doubt in the buyer and stress for the seller. An agent will have a better understanding of how severe or simple an issue is, and can help to reduce a lot of this stress. Negotiations between the property buyer and property seller can also be heavily set back if the agent was not there to understand the issues brought up in the inspection.
Assemble the Relevant Documentation
When preparing for the home inspection, be sure to assemble all of the relevant warranties, instruction manuals, and maintenance guides for your property’s appliances. If possible, it would also be highly beneficial if you could present the receipts of various appliances and fixtures. This will show how long the item has been in use, and factor into the report prepared by the home inspector.
Clean and Tidy Up Your Property
This may not seem like a huge issue, but trust us — it is. Home inspectors are human, and can very often make decisions based on first impressions. If a home inspector walks in and finds your home cluttered and dusty, they may get the impression that you’re not up-to-date on your property maintenance. This is often an unconscious impression, and definitely something that you can mitigate. Cleaning and tidying your house can go a long way to creating a positive first impression, and therefore, a more positive home inspection report.
Now, Put the Best Home Inspection Tips for Sellers to Use!
While many sellers tend to stress during a home inspection, you certainly don’t need to be one of them! Using these handy home inspection tips for sellers will guarantee that you’re prepared for what’s ahead, and how to deal with it.
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