You've listed your home for sale and now you have found a buyer and accepted a great purchase price. The weight begins to lift as your sale is almost complete. Your palms are getting itchier the closer you get to the closing table. But before you start packing boxes, you still have to make it through the home inspection. Here, we will walk you through the process and help you understand the inspection and how to properly prepare your home for it.
What Is A Home Inspection?
Typically, in most real estate transactions, the home inspection occurs once the buyer has completed the purchase agreement before the final closing date. Many buyers make the sale of the home contingent on the results of the inspection. This means that if the inspector finds something that was not previously disclosed and is not to the liking of the buyer, they can back out of the offer. That is why it is important that the inspection is done properly by a trained professional.
What Exactly Does The Inspector Do?
During the inspection, the inspector will thoroughly examine the home from top to bottom. Most of the emphasis will be placed on the major components of the home, such as the roof, the walls, the foundation, plumbing, and electrical systems, and the HVAC. Inspectors will also check previously installed systems, such as carbon monoxide detectors and garbage disposals, while also checking for mold or other signs of serious water damage.
It's understandable and common for sellers to get a little antsy during the inspection. You don't want to lose the sale nor be burdened with costly repairs. Fortunately, there are some simple things you can do beforehand that will put your mind at ease.
Some common ways to prepare for the inspection include:
1. Keep a Clean House. We're sure you already keep a tidy home. Just make sure to remove trash, clean countertops, clear the floors, and remove clutter.
2. Connect Utilities. The inspector cannot complete the inspection without having the utilities connected. If the home is vacant, make sure there is still electricity, running water, and gas connected if necessary.
3. Make Small Repairs. Do a thorough check of the home and list anything that needs attention. Then make the necessary repairs to avoid any unpleasant surprises.
4. New Bulbs and Batteries. Don't forget to check out all of the light fixtures. Verify that all bulbs are working and if not, change them. Also, make sure that there are fresh batteries in the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
5. Provide Easy Access. The inspector will need to access uncommon areas of the home. This includes the basement, attic, and garage. Make sure that the inspector can access these spaces easily and safely.
6. Clear The Perimeter. In addition to checking the interior, the inspector will also do a thorough inspection of the exterior of the home. This includes windows, trim, caulking, and siding. Make sure that the perimeter of your house is free of plant growth or other debris, lawn furniture, storage containers, and trash cans.
7. Check The Roof. When's the last time you got up on the roof? It's probably been a while. The roof is a vital portion of the inspection. Make sure that you clean any debris from the gutters, any missing tiles are replaced, and the downspouts are positioned properly. New roofs are expensive so you definitely don't want to fail in this department! If you see any notable damage, try getting it fixed before the inspection occurs.
8. Check The John. Yes, the inspector will be checking out the toilets. Make sure that each one is not clogged or running longer than it should. If repairs need to be done, these are usually inexpensive and quick to do. Your local hardware store should have everything you need and making this simple fix will save you big dollars in the long run, so don't overlook the loo.
9. Properly Label The Fuse Box. Nothing is as frustrating as mistaking one fuse for another and disrupting the entire home. An unorganized fuse box can be a frustration for both homeowners and inspectors. Take the time to properly label each fuse so that it can be read clearly. Also, replace any old labels that may be hard to read.
10. Take Care Of What 'Bugs' You. Yes, that means the bugs. If you are having any concerns about unwanted pests or critters, address them now. Remove any lingering wasps nests, webs, or ant hills that may cause problems for the inspector or could potentially turn off the buyer.
11. Turn On The Pilot Light. If you occupy the home, you will probably already have the pilot lights in the water heater and furnace turned on. But it's always a good idea to double check the pilots and the fireplaces, especially before an inspection.
12. Replace The Filters. Now is a great time to replace the filters in your HVAC unit and also in your furnace if necessary. Doing this promotes clean air flow through the home. If you skip this step, the inspector could be concerned about the air quality. Installing new ones shows the inspector and the buyer that you care about air quality.
13. Be Prepared The Day Of. You've made your list, you've checked everything twice, maybe even three times, and now it's time for the inspection. Be prepared about two hours prior to their scheduled arrival time and make sure you and your family are ready to vacate the home for the inspection. It's best to take pets with you, however, if you can't, make sure they are safely and securely put out of the way.
This is where you can take a deep breath and relax. Most buyers aren't expecting a perfect inspection. They just want to be assured that there aren't any major issues lingering once they've bought the home. It's common to have a few minor things come up in the inspection but usually, if there is a major malfunction, you as the current owner have already addressed it.
If you need some guidance during the inspection process, it's best to call a trusted professional to help alleviate the stress. The team at Linde Mac Real Estate is highly skilled and can answer all of your real estate questions. We offer a variety of luxury listings and are happy to add yours to the list. Contact us today to learn how we can help you sell your home in the Upper Valley.