August 19, 2016
Category: Home Inspection
How to prepare for the home inspection
You are selling your house and the buyers loved it. You have accepted an offer and the purchase agreement has been signed by both parties. While congratulations may be in order, the sale is not final yet. You have officially come to the last step in the process, which is a Home Inspection – a professional consulting service that will evaluate your home’s major systems, based on a visual assessment of accessible features.
A licensed home inspector (hired by the buyer) will review your house for any structural, mechanical or electrical flaws and prepare a comprehensive report that will clearly identify the components and systems of your property that may be out of order. Many home inspection reports can be up to fifty pages long and may or may not include photos taken on site. You need to get ready for this important step because an unsuccessful check-up can invalidate any signed contracts or cost you extra money to do the repairs deemed necessary before the sale of your property is complete.
We put together a few tips on how you can prepare for and “ace” your home inspection. While you may not be able to fix major issues with the foundation or the exterior of your house on a short notice, you can still take small steps that will make your inspection go a lot faster and smoother.
Make space for the Inspector
On the day of your appointment, make sure that you have ample parking space set up for your Inspector. You certainly don’t want him or her to have troubles accessing your property by having to park far away and then trying to locate it on foot. Provide easy access and your inspection will be off to a good start.
Turn off your sprinklers
It may seem silly, but do you really want the Home Inspector to get splashed by your pre-programmed sprinklers? The lush green surrounding your property should speak for itself, but you definitely do not want a wet inspector going into your house for a check-up. This step will show courtesy and preparedness.
Roof and Gutters
Make sure that your roof is in a good shape to protect your house from the elements and keep the energy in. This step is especially important if you live in the area with severe weather. Home Inspectors will immediately notice the deteriorated shingles or other roof coverings. If the materials under the shingles are rotten or moist, you are likely to get a repair request. Clean out your gutters and downspouts to make sure they are unclogged and free of debris. Also, make sure that your gutters are correctly sloped and secured for proper drainage and to prevent standing water.
Fix minor plumbing issues
Drippy faucets, leaks or clogged drains are easy to fix, but if you don’t, they may cause problems during your inspection, since minor complications may be indicative of larger issues. Tighten up your faucets and take care of minor leaks. Hire a professional, if you think you have a serious issue that you can’t tackle by yourself. Check every drain hole in the house and, if some of them appear slow, use over-the-counter drain opener to resume proper drainage. If your plumbing problems are minor, you are better off fixing them on the spot, which will help you pass your inspection.
Replace the light bulbs
Go through your house and replace any burnt-out or missing light bulbs. Some electrical problems caused by faulty bulbs may appear as bigger issues for Home Inspectors. No lights or insufficient lights can mean damaged wiring or other serious issues. If all of your bulbs are burning bright, it will show the assessor that your wiring is functional and can be checked off the list.
Double-check your smoke detectors and replace batteries
It is extremely important to have your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms in good working order, as safety is paramount to any property buyer. Replace batteries in your devices, make sure the wires are connected properly and do some tests to ensure that your house is protected in case of fire. In fact, replace batteries in all battery-operated devices, including thermostats, heating and air-conditioning units.
Clear access to hard-to-reach areas
Make sure that your Home Inspector has unobstructed access to all areas of your house, including the attic and the basement. Clutter can make your inspection take a lot longer and cause some unforeseen issues, which can be easily avoided by de-cluttering.
Make a list of recent renovations
This will help your inspector to have a better picture of your home’s condition. If certain features have been recently updated or renovated, then the inspector may not need to spend too much time on them and, instead, concentrate on other areas of the house. Include the dates of renovations and corresponding receipts and you will save yourself and the Home Inspector a lot of time and effort.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but a house that is messy inside and out will give the Inspector an impression of a property that was not taken care of and thus, might have some hidden issues. A dirty or cluttered house suggests neglectful owners, so show your home a little love and put some shine on it. You can even go as far as trimming the trees and shrubs away from the exterior of the house to create a look of a well-maintained property.
Tighten up small hardware
Before the day of your inspection, go through all the doors and cabinetry in your house and tighten up all the loose doorknobs, hinges and handles. This small step will make a huge difference in your inspection since even the most stately mansions would not appear inviting with loose hardware.
Remove all padlocks from gates, doors and equipment covers and have keys available for all the other locks. You want to provide the Inspector with the unobstructed access to every nook and cranny of your property without much trouble. You are not hiding anything, so make sure the Inspector has full access.
Secure you pets
If you can’t remove your pets from the property altogether, make sure you secure them in a safe place where they would not interfere with the inspection. No matter how cute your family dog is, you don’t want it interfering with the examination, so make sure you come up with a plan to keep it safe, secure and away from the assessing professional.
We hope these tips can help you pass your home inspection with flying colors and complete the sale transaction of your property in the shortest amount of time. Good luck!