Selling Your Home – Preparing For a Home Inspection
I am asked many times what are the things you should do to prepare your home when putting it up for sale. Before you even begin to stage the property for potential buyers you should consider having a Pre-Listing Home Inspection.
In many cases you and the buyer will sign a sales agreement with the sale being contingent upon a home inspection. The home inspection is paid for by the buyer in this case. The home inspection is intended to find what is referred to as "major defects" with your property. A home inspection can sometimes make or break a good deal.
I believe that in most cases it is also in the best interest of you the seller, to have and pay for your own home inspection performed by a qualified inspector before you place the property on the market for sale. You are certainly not looking to completely remodel your home, but there are potential problems that you may not even be aware of that would have a direct impact on the offer your buyer would make. A few hundred dollars spent now having these minor problems repaired before you place your home on the market can give you that little edge over competing properties, and possibly get you a better selling price.
So let's go through the home inspection process so you know what to expect, and what things you can do ahead of time to make a buyers home inspection a non issue for you the seller. Having these potential problems repaired before you place your home on the market can also give your property that little edge over competing properties for sale in your price range.
A home inspector’s job is to find potential problems with your propertyt hat they would consider being issues of concerns to the buyer. They will inspect your home room by room and the exterior of your home as well. A lot of the items that a home inspector covers are items that you or your home inspector can cover and can be corrected before you sell your property.
Landscaping: Make sure that all shrubs and trees are cutback from the house, gutters and roof. Curb appeal is crucial; remember your buyer views the outside of your property before they ever enter your home. First impressions can have a huge impact on the buyer’s attitude.
Exterior: Make sure your gutters are free of debris and that all gutters and downspouts are working properly. Remove any moss or mildew that has grown on the brick or siding of your home.
Exterior Door Jambs: With a screwdriver check the bottoms of exterior door jambs for damage from water. If you find soft wood it should be replaced and painted.
Roof: The age and condition of your roof can add or deduct from the value of your property depending on its condition. If your roof has missing shingles,curled shingles or is over twenty years old you should seriously consider replacing it.
Heating and Cooling: A home inspector will check your furnace and air conditioning to make sure that it is free from defects.They will operate the systems from the normal operating controls.
Water Heater: Your water heater will be checked for proper ventilation of carbon monoxide, gas leaks if it is a gas water heater, and for water leaks or water stains.
Electrical: The inspector will check your electrical fuse box to make sure that it is the proper size and is wired according to your local code.They will also check the electrical feed to your meter on the outside of your home for signs of weathering. You should also be aware of your local building codes in regards to GFI's (Ground fault interrupters) these are special AC outlets with their own breaker. In newer homes they are required in bathrooms,kitchens, garages, or any where water is or could be present.
Interior Doors: Check that all interior doors are squeak free and that all doors close and latch properly.
Plumbing: Dripping faucets, leaking drain traps, slow drains, loose toilets, leaking toilets are all items that would be covered in a home inspection. Look for a buildup of calcium around shut off valves and drains. These types of stains indicate either an active leak or a leak that was there in the past. They should be repaired or replaced.
Basement/Garage: A home inspector will look for signs of water damage and mold in any basements or sub floors.
There is little a buyer needs to do to prepare for a home inspection, but some preparation will ensure the home inspection is as productive as possible.
Attending the inspection gives you the chance to learn about the house and get an in-depth look at the property. Buyers who attend the inspections can be assured that every detail has been inspected and a thorough job done.
Make a list of any questions you have for the inspector and any concerns you have about the property. bring your list with you and ask the inspector to address or pay special attention to these areas.
Every home inspection will cover some flaws in the property. Expect problem areas, and plan to address them with the seller. The inspection process is to find the major flaws like a foundation crack and not minor flaws like a cracked light switch cover. Consult your contract to determine whether you have an inspection contingency clause and speak to a professional if necessary.
Good preparation for the home inspection is beneficial to all parties involved. A prepared, accessible home presents fewer problems and quickly discharges associated contingency clauses. prevent your sale from floundering due to incomplete, undesirable inspection results, and move the selling process smoothly toward closing day.