So you’ve helped your seller find a buyer for their house and you’re getting ready to close the deal, but you have one final hoop to jump through: the home inspection. Some sellers get panicky about the home inspection, worrying that things will fall through at the last minute. If you walk your client through these simple steps to prepare for the home inspection, the process should go without a hitch.
5 Tips to Prepare for Home Inspection:
- Don’t try to conceal defects – If something isn’t working, don’t try to disguise it. Attempting to hide things that aren’t working will make your client appear dishonest and cause the inspector to question what else you may be hiding. Instead, leave notes that indicate you’re aware of what’s not working and have a plan for getting it fixed.
- Make things easily accessible – Identify the location of any attics or crawlspaces and make them easy to access. Provide a stepping stool or anything necessary to access hard-to-reach spaces; don’t force the inspector to hunt through the home for these access points. Likewise, if there’s a septic system in the yard, be sure to leave a note describing or illustrating its location so that it is easy to find and doesn’t send the inspector on a blind search.
- Keep appliances clear – You want the inspection to proceed as smoothly as possible. Remove any potential obstacles, such as dirty laundry in the dryer or used pans sitting on the stove. The inspector will be testing these appliances, and you don’t want them to have to clear away your client’s personal items in order to do so.
- Replace all light bulbs – If any light bulb doesn’t turn on, the inspector will have to test the fixture itself to determine whether it’s in operating condition. Taking the time to ensure there are no burned out bulbs in your home will allow the inspection to proceed more efficiently. Don’t forget to test light bulbs in low-traffic areas such as basements and crawlspaces.
- Perform all regular HVAC maintenance tasks – Change air conditioner and furnace filters, clear gutters of all debris, refresh caulking around widows and fixtures, test smoke detectors, and verify that all utilities are turned on if the house is vacant. You want to give the inspector the impression that the home has been well taken care of and is in optimal operating condition.
Overall, the easier you make the process for the inspector, the more favorably they will feel toward the home and the less they will be on the lookout for potential problems.
In addition to these DIY preparation tasks, some sellers choose to hire a professional to perform a pre-inspection. A pre-inspection will identify any problems so that the seller has an opportunity to address them before the official inspection. Recommending a pre-inspection can give your client peace of mind, especially if they have expressed special concern about the home inspection process. If you’re interested in a professional pre-inspection, contact Bonfe to speak to one of our HVAC specialists.