If you’re getting ready to sell your home, you can expect that the buyer will want to get a home inspection before closing the sale. A home inspection gives buyers peace of mind and may also give them a little negotiating power before signing an official offer contract. So, what is the best way to prepare for an inspection so that everything goes smoothly? There are several things that sellers can do to ensure that their home is ready for an inspection before the scheduled date. Read on for a helpful home inspection checklist to help you get yourself and your property ready for this important part of the transaction.
1. Provide Clear, Open Access
In order for an inspector to be able to do their job, they’ll need to have access to specific areas of your property. If the inspector cannot get access, they will leave a note and move on, which may cause frustration for both buyer and seller. Ensure that you remove all clutter and check your home’s major areas, including the attic, basement, under sinks, and other areas where significant components like the water heater and HVAC system are located. Clear the outside perimeter of your home so it’s easier for the inspector to access it. This includes removing trash cans and other stored items away from the edges of the home. The goal is to provide a safe, clear area where the home inspector can reach what they need to.
2. Replace Burned Out Lightbulbs
Go through every room of your home and replace any dead lightbulbs before the inspection date. This makes it easier for the inspector to see, but it also makes it safer as they walk through various areas of the home. Having lights that work also indicates that you are a responsible homeowner who pays attention to things like minor maintenance issues. It also speeds up the process when the inspector checks to make sure that all light fixtures are in working order.
3. Thoroughly Clean Your Home
When it comes to what to look for in a home inspection, the inspector won’t necessarily be worried about the cleanliness of your space. However, doing a deep clean will not only make your home look more presentable, but it will actually make the inspection process easier in the long run. Clear out all clutter and clean your bathroom vanities and kitchen countertops so the inspector can check the outlets along the wall. Do a quick mop or vacuum on all of your floors, and generally make sure that your entire home is clean and tidy. The home inspector won’t “ding” you for a dirty home, but it really does make the whole inspection a better experience for everyone involved.
4. Do Some Simple Maintenance
What do inspectors look for when they’re writing a report? They are making sure that the major components of your home are in good working order. That means a little bit of preventative maintenance beforehand is certainly recommended so that you can avoid problems later. Start by replacing the filters in your HVAC system, and have it inspected or serviced if you have the time and money. Flush your water heater and make sure that all drains are working and that toilets are flushing the way they should. Clean your gutters and have your roof inspected now before the official inspection. It’s a great way to pinpoint and correct problems now before dealing with a buyer and their agent. You should also clean out your dryer vent and remove lint and clogs. Turn all of your pilot lights on now to confirm they’re still working.
5. Look for Signs of Leaks
Catching leaks and other plumbing issues now is the best way to avoid major headaches later. You can hire a professional who can solve the issues and they might download the plumbing invoice template to request payment for the service provided. They will look carefully under sinks and in areas where you can see the plumbing to ensure no leaks or water damage is present. If you notice water damage, go ahead and repair these areas and ensure that the danger of further damage is corrected. Check the base of your tubs and showers, look around the bottom of the dishwasher and fridge, and do a quick once-over to confirm that everything is nice and dry. You should also check the outside of your home to look for signs of leaks near the foundation which may be a serious cause for concern to both the inspector and buyer. Doing this now is a great way to be prepared in advance of the inspection.
6. Keep Repair Records Handy
If you’ve done any repairs or renovations, make sure you have a record you can provide to the home inspector. Keeping good records not only shows that you care about your property, but it can also help the inspector address any questions they may have. Written records and receipts can also benefit you if the seller questions certain areas of the home. You can present these records to prove that you’ve had work done recently or already addressed specific issues.
7. Plan for Inspection Day
On the scheduled inspection date, make sure that you have all utilities turned on. Double-check to ensure that you’ve provided clear, easy access for the inspector. If you’re still living in the home, you will want to make sure you have plans for the day so that the buyer and inspector can go through the home unimpeded. Corral your pets in a separate room or take them with you so they’re not in the way or at risk of getting out when you’re not there. Plan to be gone for at least two to four hours so that the inspector can do their job as efficiently and as quickly as possible.
Now that you know how to prepare for a home inspection, you’ll be much more confident when the day arrives. Remember to do some simple things like clean and declutter your home, look for leaks, and change the lightbulbs. With this home inspection checklist, you’ll be ready to show off your home confidently.