You have the house ready to go for sale time, and your agent is ready to take the listing live. As long as everything goes according to plan, your house will sell and for an offer that pleases you. But, how much time did you put into preparing your home for the inspection? Homebuyers today are smart when it comes to making big purchases, and it’s more than likely they will hire a home inspector to check out your home before finalizing their offer.

It doesn’t matter how much you know about your house — whether you have lived there a few years or decades — there are problems that buyers may want you to address before they buy. Luckily, there are a few steps you can take to prepare for the inspection and hopefully, pass the first time around.

Download Your Free Home & Neighborhood Report

When getting ready to list your home it’s very important to understand the competition. Homeowners typically see several open houses in one day and they will be comparing and contrasting homes. Aside from the “staged” quality of the homes, homeowners will want to understand what types of maintenance and permit-related projects have been completed on the home. If your home is currently listed, download your free home report on realtor.com, or download free home reports on neighboring homes for sale. If you haven’t listed your home but want to view your report, simply go to Porch.com and click Claim My Home.

Try a Pre-Inspection Before You List Your Home

You might want to schedule a pre-inspection before you list. That means hiring your own inspector to review your home and find any problems another inspector is likely to identify. You might spend up to $400 for this inspection, but it could be beneficial. The more you have fixed and ready to go, the more power you’ll have with offers. Any problems the inspector finds you’ll need to disclose to buyers and notify them how you handled it — whether you fixed it, replaced it or plan to give the buyers a credit for it.

Preparing for Your Home Inspection

It doesn’t matter if you do a pre-inspection or not; you will need to prepare your home for the official inspection. Some things you can do to help prepare for inspection day include:

  • Get Rid of the ClutterYou might have already packed, you might not. But, removing the clutter can help the inspector do his job. Clear spaces beneath sinks, in the basement and around appliances that are being sold with the home — refrigerator, furnace, water heater, etc.
  • Have Paperwork Ready A file with all of the maintenance, repairs and replacements you have done can be given to the inspector. Include things like receipts for a new roof, new furnace, warranty information, etc. This tells the inspector that you have cared for the home, problems you have fixed in the past, and how they were fixed. Be sure to download your free home history report so you can see what prospective buyers will be seeing.
  • Don’t Limit Access If the inspector cannot view all areas of the home, they won’t pass the inspection. That means making sure garage areas, crawl spaces and attics are accessible.
  • Leave the House It’s easier for the inspector to fully view your home when you’re not there. If you want to be present, at least have the kids and pets out of the house.
  • Clean Up A messy home won’t do well in an inspection. Messy homes tell the inspector that the home isn’t well cared for and that there are problems for him to find. Be sure to do a thorough clean and consider hiring a cleaning company.

Remember that the easier you make it for the inspector, the easier the process will be. If problems are found you can discuss them with your real estate agent and the buyers. Some buyers will ask for a credit rather than forcing you to repair it, while others will require it to be repaired or replaced before finalizing their offer.

Top image credit: Brunner Architects