Preparing your home for the home inspection. Increasingly, Sellers feel as though they have very little control while selling their homes. They have to be ready to show the home at a moment’s notice, they can’t control the number of homes directly competing for the qualified buyers, they can’t control the price erosion generated by the vast number of distressed sales hitting the markets. But our Beloved Sellers do control a couple of important aspects of the sales process. We talked about staging in a prior post entitled Tips on Staging Your Home to Sell and the importance creating a warm and welcoming environment that will be compared to the other homes on the market. In this post we will address one of the other important Seller controlled steps, which is preparing their home for the Home Inspection.
Most sales today include a contingency wherein the Buyer can have the home inspected for possible issues or defects. A professional home inspector will tour the home and generate a report for the Buyers on all of the homes major systems and advise them of any safety issues or deferred maintenance items that may need to be addressed prior to closing. Here is a list of 10 simple items that show up on the inspection reports that could easily be nonexistent if the Sellers took some simple steps to prepare in advance for the home inspection.
1) Replace any Burned out light bulbs. (I told you these would be simple but effective)
2) Replace the furnace filter and if you have had they system serviced within the last year leave that invoice on the counter or tape it to the unit.
3) Make sure the smoke detectors and in place and have fresh batteries.
4) Remove items under the sink and clean the area so that they can property check for leaks.
5) Make sure all of the windows are functioning and that any broken panes are repaired.
6) Make sure that the landscaping (plants, bushes) are trimmed and not touching the siding of the home.
7) Make sure any holes in the siding (where the A/C plumbing or gas line enters the home) are properly caulked.
8) Repair any sheet rock damage and touch up the paint accordingly.
9) Make sure all doors and cabinet door close properly.
10) If your home has a sprinkler system make sure it is operational and if the home inspection is taking place during the winter and the system cannot be tested, make sure the blow-out and inspection receipts are available so that they can see the system has been properly maintained.
Today Buyers are very careful to make sure they are making the right choice. If the inspection report comes back with a number of items (even if they are easily fixed as the ones listed above) the perception the Buyer may have is that the home was not very well maintained which will in turn raise doubts as to whether or not this was the right choice for them. So for all the Sellers out there – take control of what you can and the process will be that much smoother. Good Luck.