Buying a home is a huge decision for most of us. A home is not just a place where we shelter; it also determines our social status. So we invest a lot of emotions and money in the place where we live. That is why buyers cannot afford to make mistakes when making this most important purchase.
Despite their dire need to make the right choice, most buyers have difficulty knowing if a particular home is a bad investment. They will typically pick a home based on its location, size, and aesthetics. However, they lack the expertise to investigate the condition of its systems and structures.
That is why buyers hire home inspectors to examine the home with expert eyes and give them an objective basis for making their buying decision. As ParadisePM.com explains, the home inspector helps to save the buyer from their error of judgment. But while this is good for buyers, it may not be a good thing for sellers.
Even when a seller has signed a purchase agreement with the buyer, they are yet to sell their home. The conclusion of the sale depends on the outcome of the home inspection. This process of waiting on the home inspection can be very hard for homeowners. As a homeowner expecting a home inspection, what can you do to make it easier?
How to prepare for a home inspection
The steps for getting your home ready for a home inspection are in two parts. For best results, we recommend that you incorporate the two aspects of this plan in your strategy.
Part one: Have a pre-listing home inspection
A pre-listing inspection is a preemptive inspection of your property before you even put it on the market. It does the same thing as a buyer’s home inspection. Instead of being ordered by the buyer, you, the seller, hire the home inspector to inspect your own home. There are at least two good reasons for having a pre-listing home inspection:
- It introduces transparency into your discussions with buyers. There is a lot of distrust between buyers and sellers during a home sale. The report from a pre-listing inspection shows buyers that you have nothing to hide, and it can help dispel their suspicions.
- It gives you an edge during negotiations. The value of your home partly depends on its physical condition. For that reason, your ability to prove that the house is in good shape gives you an edge when talking to prospective buyers.
Part two: Make the inspector’s work easier
By cooperating with the home inspector, you make their work easier and increase the probability of getting a favorable report. Here is how to do it:
1. Clean the home and declutter access points
- Give the entire house a deep clean.
- Clean or replace the furnace filter.
- Clean the stove and oven.
- Tidy up storage areas; create space around the room’s perimeter to give the inspector access to walls, pipes, appliances, and the home’s systems.
- If a closet serves as access to the attic/crawlspace, organize it.
2. Check the function of the various systems in the home
- Inspect locks, knobs, hinges, seals, and weather stripping, to make sure they work. Check for damage to door/window surfaces.
- Open all faucets inside the home to check the water pressure.
- Check for running or slow toilets and leaky faucets.
- Test all light switches; replace bulbs and switches as needed.
- Check ceiling and bathroom fans.
- Test operation of the garage door; manually and automatically, plus the reverse safety settings.
- Check that gutters and downspouts are discharging as expected.
3. Check for home safety
- Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
- Check the gas line capping and chimney entry point.
- Check fire extinguisher function.
- Do thorough bug extermination of the entire premises.
4. Carry out necessary repairs
- Look for signs of water leakage and deal with water damage in bathrooms, kitchen, basement, and areas prone to water infiltration.
- Replace caulking around the bathtub and sinks.
- Inspect the insulation and replace where necessary.
- Replace cracked or broken glass in windows or torn door screens.
- Inspect the roof for missing or damaged shingles.
- Clean and inspect gutters and downspouts; make sure there is no rust.
- Unclog any slow or blocked drains.
5. Prepare the home’s exterior
- Sweep all debris from the roof.
- Remove rubbish from the yard.
- Trim trees that are too close to the roof.
- Trim shrubs and create three feet of room around the home’s perimeter.
- Slope the ground away from the base of the building.
6. Final preparations
- Check that pilot lights on the gas-fired appliance are on.
- Make sure utilities are on.
- Provide the key, codes, and remotes to every area of the home.
- Provide the maintenance records for the home.
- Get ready to be away from your home – along with pets and family members – for at least three hours.
- Hope for the best and good luck!
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