Home Sellers, Be Prepared for a Buyer’s Home Inspection

After making a winning home offer, most buyers will want a home inspection before closing the deal. A third party examining your home for potential problems can be nerve-wracking—especially since the sale of your home depends on the outcome. If you’re anxious about the home inspection process, here are some things to know:

It Helps to Understand the Process
Home inspections can take up to three hours to complete. You have the ability to set up the appointment with the homebuyer and inspector at a time that fits your schedule. View the inspection as a presentation of your home. Take time to ensure your house is clean, decluttered, and well cared for. You don’t—and shouldn’t—need to be a part of the inspection process.

Transparency Is Key
It’s unlikely that a well-qualified inspector will miss something that’s not working or damaged. And if a seller is hiding one thing, there’s a risk that they are hiding more. The best approach is to be upfront about any concerns at the time of selling the home. Provide any insight or paperwork you have about the age of the major systems of the house (roof, HVAC, water heater, etc.).

Everything Should Work, Even the Lightbulbs
Home inspectors need to be able to tell the prospective buyer the home’s condition. If they can see that something is working properly, they don’t have to investigate it. In other words, make sure everything is in working condition. Change nonworking lightbulbs, and check that all electrical outlets are functional.

Resolve Issues Before the Home Inspection
Fixing problems will reduce the risk of a holdup with the contract and sale. If there is a missing handrail, replace it. Scrape off old, chipped paint and paint over it so there isn’t the need for a lead test. Fixing or replacing nonworking appliances helps avoid questions of why they aren’t working and whether there’s a larger underlying issue.

Make Areas Accessible
There shouldn’t be any area that’s inaccessible, such as a closet, attic door, or rooftop. You’ll also want to be sure they can access electrical panels both inside and outside the home. Make it as easy as possible for the inspector to determine the home’s condition.

The goal of a home inspection is to give buyers peace of mind about their home purchase. Being prepared will help the process go smoothly. For more information about what to expect during a home inspection, please contact me.