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How Sellers can prepare for a Buyer's home inspection
Today's post is a guest post by Russel Ray, a home inspector in San Diego, California.
The perfect home simply doesn't exist.
In a brand new home, the contractor often is not aware of everything his subcontractors do, and government building and code inspectors do not have the time or the budget to inspect everything in every home, so they usually just do a spot-check of newly constructed homes.
An existing home that has been lived in usually has damage that occurred from simply living in it, or additions or remodeling that weren't permitted.
If Sellers know what to look for, they can resolve many minor items before the Buyer's home inspector ever arrives, minor items that, collectively, could add up to major headaches involving both time and money. Doing as much as possible before the Buyer's home inspection helps ensure that escrow goes more smoothly.
Following is my "checklist" of items often found during the course of a home inspection that a Seller could do or could easily hire a general handyperson to do before the buyer's home inspector ever shows up.
Check that doorbells work.
Check for missing roof shingles.
Check for loose, damaged, or clogged gutters and downspouts.
Check attic ventilation and condition of vent screens.
Check to see if there is standing water, especially near the foundation, after irrigation or rainfall.
Check for cracks in foundation walls.
Check structure (including attic and foundation crawl space) for pests (termites, wasps, spiders, nests, etc.).
Check for damage to walls and ceilings that need to be patched and painted.
Check for moisture stains on ceilings and walls; around doors and windows; near sinks, toilets, bathtubs, and showers; and near the dishwasher.
Check for loose, missing, or damaged guardrails and handrails in stairways.
Check for loose, broken or missing baseboards and door and window moldings.
Check for cracked tiles or deteriorated grouting in kitchen and bathrooms.
Check that kitchen appliances work.
Check that an anti-tip device is installed on the stove.
Let dogs and cats vacation for a few hours with a family member, friend, or at a pet spa.
Check that other pets (birds, snakes, rodents, etc.) are caged.
Certain items should be inspected annually due to their inherently dangerous nature. These include gas-using appliances, pool/spa equipment, roof, and the fireplace and chimney. If they have not been inspected within the last 12 months, having it done now can make escrow go more smoothly.
Check that filters are in place and clean (kitchen range hood, heating/cooling, bathroom fans, etc.).
Check for soot, cobwebs, and wildlife in the fireplace and lower areas of the chimney. The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) recommends that the fireplace and chimney undergo a Level II inspection any time real estate ownership is transferred, and I recommend having that done prior to the Buyer's inspection.
Check that the fireplace damper opens/closes easily.
Check for manufacturer installation guides, operating instructions, or user guides that you can provide to the buyer, especially for kitchen appliances; heating and cooling system; water heater; security, irrigation, fire suppression, central cleaning, and water modification systems; water well; and septic system. Many home inspectors exclude inspection and testing of some specialized systems, such as security and irrigation systems. Once you get the Buyer's inspection report, note what the Inspector did and did not do or could and could not do. Offer to meet with the Buyer to demonstrate how those systems are operated and maintained, and provide the contact information for any companies that regularly service the systems.
Check for receipts and warranty papers for any work done on the property, particularly for inspections and work done to prepare the property for sale.
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.