Once your home have found a buyer, a majority of the buyers will want a home inspection. A home inspection helps the would-be buyer to determine if your home will be a good investment. The role of the inspector is to check nearly every inch of your home.
The buyer’s home inspector will contact the listing agent or office to schedule a day and time to inspect your home. When scheduling the inspection, the inspector’s credentials are verified. No one should be allowed to be alone in your home without being licensed, insured and registered with the local Realtor’s association.
The lead time for the inspection will vary, depending on the terms and conditions of your purchase agreement with the buyer. Usually, most buyers request 10-14 calendar days to schedule and complete the inspection – especially during a peak season of real estate, inspectors may have a longer wait-list.
Jerry Endres, with WIN Home Inspections in Traverse City, MI, recommends removing all obstacles in the following areas to help you prepare for a buyer’s home inspection of your home:
- Electrical panels (please remove padlocks)
- Heating and cooling equipment
- Water heaters
- Under-building crawl space access
- Sumps and sump pumps
- Attic space access (this includes removing clothing and other personal property which may impede access through a closet or garage)
- Under-sink areas
- Ground fault interrupter type electrical receptacle outlets
- Kitchen sinks
- Ranges and ovens
- Interior areas including garages and basements
- Any locked item or area (remove locks, unlock doors and gates, or provide keys or other means of access so that the inspector can have access to yards and can open electrical panels, storage rooms, etc.)
- Fireplaces (Please have pilot lights lit prior to the inspection)
Also, power and water must be available to your home prior to inspection. Although this may seem like a “common sense” suggestions, second homes, investment properties, or vacation homes may have power and water turned off during winterization periods. It would be advisable to inspect all light fixtures throughout your home.
If a light fixture does not work, an inspector will note the inoperable light fixture and recommend to the buyers to contact a licensed and insure electrical contractor to inspect the light fixture for any defects. Burned out light bulbs are a notorious factor for inoperable lights. By mitigating the issue prior to inspection, possible delays with follow-up inspections by contractors would be eliminated and the faster you will receive your money at closing.
Jerry Endres also recommends, leaving receipts and repair invoices for anything you have had fixed in the home. This shows proof of upkeep and answers to many questions the inspector may have about your home during inspections. An environment that is neat and easy to move about in will best present your home to the buyer and will make the entire inspection process more enjoyable for everyone.
Many home inspectors do not mind the common household pet. But if your pet cannot be allowed outside the home or would be a danger to the home inspector, please ensure your pet is secure or enjoys a little quality time with you away from home.
After the inspection is complete, a report will be generated by the inspector and given to the buyers. It is commonly misunderstood; the home inspection report should also go to the home owner. However, the buyers purchased the services of the Home Inspector and the report would be given to the purchaser of the service.
The buyer will consult with their agent and determine which items, if any, would need to be addressed prior to closing. If there are items requiring resolution, buyers may want to conduct a final walk-thru prior to occupancy to verify items have been resolved. Buyers may not have any issues with your home; in those situations, advise your Realtor to request a Release of Contingency from the buyers and/or the agent. This will protect you from any misunderstandings prior to and after closing.