When you decide to sell your house, finding a buyer and getting a price that suits your interests would definitely take some effort. And even after you complete these tasks and are on the verge of cracking a deal, there’s one crucial task remaining that could very well change the direction of your deal. Yes, it’s the home inspection that we are talking about.
Most buyers will choose to finalize the deal based on the results of the home inspection. So as a seller it becomes even more important for you to make sure that no stones are left unturned during your home inspection. If you’re running short on time and are wondering how to prepare for a home inspection, you’ve hit the right spot. Keep reading further for a step-by-step guide to ace your home inspection.
What Things Do Home Inspectors Look For
You will only be able to prepare well for the inspection when you know exactly what the home inspectors are looking for. Firstly, they will be looking at all the structural features like the roof, attic, garage, windows, doors, etc., and check for any issues that might be clearly visible.
In addition to that, you can expect the home inspector to also check your home’s important systems like heating, cooling, gas, and electrical. For the same purpose, they will also be inspecting your home appliances to make sure they are all in good working conditions. These appliances could include everything from the garage door, water heater, washer and dryer, to dishwasher, stove, oven, as well as your refrigerator.
All in all, a home inspector will have a thorough look at both the interior as well as the exterior of the house. So let us look further into the necessary arrangements that you should be paying attention to for your home inspection.
How To Prepare For A Home Inspection
Here are a few steps that you could follow for easily preparing your house for a home inspection:
Provide Open Access And Clean All Points Of Inspection
The first and foremost step for you to do will be the cleaning up of your house. A clean and organized house will set the right tone for the home inspection and will send across a message that the house is always being taken care of. We are affirmative that you would have already kept your house well-maintained when you put it up for listing. But it is equally important for you to maintain the same level of tidiness for the home inspection as well, simply because you don’t want the deal to fall flat in the end.
A few areas that you can pay attention to are cleaning the furnace filter as well as the stove and oven, organizing closets and emptying storage from the attic. Make sure that all areas in and around the house are easily accessible to the home inspector to inspect. If they aren’t able to access the attic, the crawl spaces, or the furnace room, chances are that they might review it negatively for the buyer. Ensure that your house is clutter-free and kept neat and tidy for a smooth home inspection.
Check Functionality Of Items
Like we mentioned before, the home inspector is likely to check all the systems and appliances that are being sold with the house. So you have to make sure that all the items listed in the contract are in proper working condition. Here’s a quick checklist of the things that you should check while preparing for the house inspection:
- Try all light switches and ensure that all ceiling and bathroom fans are in running condition.
- Turn on all the pilot lights including those in your water heater and your gas fireplace.
- Open and close all your doors and windows along with testing the locks and seals.
- Check your garage doors both manually as well as with the remote and ensure that the reverse safety setting is working properly.
- Make sure that your toilets are functioning properly, including the flush as well as the faucets.
- Check the heating ducts, fan ducts, and downspouts are all functioning well.
Arrange For All Necessary Repairs
Once you’ve cleaned up your house and checked the functionality of all items, you might come across a few repairs that you could tend to. Now, you might choose to let go of the repairs but then you might also have to go easy on the final price, especially if the home inspector makes a note of all these things in their inspection report for the buyer.
A few aspects that you should definitely look into and consider making the necessary changes as well include replacing any damaged or missing roofing as well as torn screens and cracked windows. You can consider reading our article on Reasons To Consider Metal Roofing For Your Home to get idea on roofing for your house. Try and repair any faulty cabinets as well. You can also replace all the light bulbs if you haven’t done so recently. Make sure to repair any water damage in the bathrooms, re-caulk around bathtubs and sinks, and remove any drain clogs. You can use a plastic sheet to cover the crawl spaces and replace any damaged insulation in the attic as well.
Arranging for all these as well as any other necessary repairs will ensure that you fare well on the home inspection report.
Focus On Exterior Home Improvements As Well
The exteriors of your house are going to be the first point of contact for the home inspector. Naturally, your home inspection report can very well start from there itself. Along with making arrangements for all the necessary repairs in the interiors of your house, it is also important for you to focus on external home improvements. The first thing for you to do here is to clear the perimeter in and around your house.
Make sure to check and clean your gutter systems as well as clear the debris on the roof, around the A/C compressor, foundation vents, and downspout drainage. Clear brush and wood from exterior inspection sites and trim all trees that are hanging over the roof line. In addition to this, make sure that the areas around your house are clear of trash cans, stored items, and any other debris that could hamper the look and appeal of your house.
Ensure Safety And Security Precautions Are In Place
Completing this task will not only give you the peace of mind you need but can also earn you a few brownie points on your home inspection report. All you need to do is ensure that a few basic safety measures are in place, like a fire extinguisher is handy and the carbon monoxide detector is functioning properly. You can replace batteries in smoke detectors and cap gas lines as well as chimney entry points.
In addition to this, one other important step you should pay attention to is that your house is free from any bugs or rodents. While most bug problems aren’t really a huge deal, it can still put the buyer off especially if they’re extremely particular about cleanliness. If you have a pet at home, make sure that their area is also kept clean and tidy to not dampen your home inspection.
Keep All Necessary Documents Handy
Along with all the necessary papers associated with your house, you should also create a file with the required documentation of the maintenance and repairs that you might have undertaken for your home or even for any major equipment inside your home. You can also keep the information on the insurance claims handy as all these documents will help clarify any questions raised in the home inspection report.
Prepare For The Day Of The Inspection
After following all these steps, you’ll be well prepared for the day of your home inspection. On the day of your inspection, just make sure that all your utilities are turned on, the required keys for gates and electrical boxes as well as the remotes for all lights, fans, and garage doors are kept accessible for the home inspector. Make sure to take the laundry out of your washer and dryer and remove dishes from your sink or dishwasher.
After making all these necessary arrangements, just prepare to vacate the house at least an hour before the home inspector is set to arrive. Take your pets along as well if possible, or keep them secured in a way that the home inspection isn’t disturbed. You’ve done all you can to keep your house prepared for the inspection and now you can go visit a friend or go roaming in a park till the home inspector is done with their job.
What Things Fail A Home Inspection?
Minor issues like a broken window pane or a few cosmetic flaws here and there aren’t such big issues that could fail a home inspection. But there are a few major red flags which, if not addressed on time, can lead to a failed home inspection. Some of these include rundown roofing with any loose flashing or leaky spots, serious drainage and plumbing issues, faulty foundations or structural damage, pest infections and hidden mold, failing heating systems, and messed up electrical wiring in the house.
How Long Does It Take For A Home Inspection?
On average, it takes between two to four hours to complete a home inspection. However, this time frame could also vary based on a few factors like the size and composition of the property as well as the amenities present. For instance, the larger the home, the longer the inspection will take.
Similarly, if your home has undergone several renovations, or has additional structures like a pool or a spa, and has hybrid electrical and plumbing systems that might take longer to inspect and evaluate, then the time period for a complete home inspection might go beyond three to five hours. Generally, it takes around an hour per 1,000 square feet to conduct a thorough inspection of the house.
Should You Always Get A Home Inspection?
Though not mandatory, getting a home inspection will surely prove beneficial in the long run. It could be a little expensive on your pockets, but forgoing it can end up being a huge gamble. From a buyer’s point of view, if you don’t get a home inspection done because you’re getting a great deal on the house, you will end up buying not only the house but also a host of unexpected and expensive problems attached to it.
Because sellers might not always disclose all the issues with the house as openly as they should, getting a home inspection done ensures that you’re not left in the dark when finalizing your deal for the house. In addition to that, most money lenders might not offer financing on a home without a proper home inspection. So, getting a home inspection done will definitely be helpful for the buyer in all cases.
Home inspections could either make or break a deal and a majority of the buyers will insist on getting a home inspection done. By following the few simple steps mentioned above and completing all the tasks beforehand, you can ensure that your home inspection is smooth sailing. And after you’ve finalized your deal for the house and want to figure out the aspects of the move, you can make use of our Moving Calculator Tool to get all the help that you need!
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