Tips for First Time Sellers: The Home Inspection
If you’ve never sold a home before, you’ll likely have many questions regarding the process. After you have an accepted offer in hand, the next step is to have the potential buyers select a home inspector and complete a 2-4 hour inspection of the entire home. We naturally recommend enlisting a professional Realtor© to walk with you through the sale start to finish to maximize your total profit and keep you fully informed. We do, however, consistently hear the same queries regarding the home inspection from our first time sellers. We offer our experience and advice regarding the following frequently raised topics:
Obviously, anything that you are already aware is not functioning properly or needs to be repaired or replaced should be noted in your seller’s disclosure statement. Don’t try to cover these issues up for the inspection! Also- don’t try to make things better with a cheap, temporary repair. If you are willing to have the issue fixed properly before the inspection, then by all means do so. But don’t waste your time trying to deceive here- any inspector worth their fee will sniff out a bad fix fairly easily in most cases. Better to leave the issue as-is, as transparency here will save you needless headaches and potential legal issues down the road.
Make things easy on the inspector and buyer by tidying up and making sure they have access to all essential areas of your home. This includes things like: ensuring attic spaces are accessible by working ladders or stairs; utilities are not blocked by personal property in the basement; and that all bathrooms and kitchens are clean enough to allow access to faucets, sinks, and tubs. This will prevent costly second visits by the inspector; which can result in inconvenience for both buyer and seller.
The Golden Rule
Buying a home is more than likely the largest purchase any of us will make in our entire lives. Keeping this is mind is essential when in the seller role. Consider you and your family in the role of the buyer. Be sure that you are honest and up-front with known issues on the seller’s disclosure. If you choose to make any repairs before or after the inspections are done, make sure that they are done to the standards you’d desire for your own family. Never allow eagerness to get the sale closed cloud your ability to see the transaction from the buyer’s point of view.
Make Yourself Scarce
If you read our blog with any regularity, you have heard this before! The theme that begins with Open Houses and private showings continues here- your presence is NOT a present! The buyer(s) and the home inspector need time and space to thoroughly examine the home’s systems, utilities, foundation, and condition. They need to be able to freely discuss every aspect of the home, which can be impossible to do with an eager seller hanging around!
Ask your Agent
Inquire as to whether there is anything they would like you to provide for the inspection. Often these may be things like recent surveys or dimensional sketches of homes. It is your agent’s responsibility to follow up with you as soon as possible following the buyer’s inspection of your home, to make you aware of any issues found, and to guide you through any further negotiations that may result from the inspection. Ask friends, neighbors and relatives for recommendations of a trusted Realtor© in your area if you’re still at the beginning of the process. In the West Michigan area, we at the NexT LeveL Realty Team at Bellabay realty would appreciate the opportunity to earn your business as well. Please contact us:
Robert Brown- Associate Broker & Listing Agent
Jeff Haarman- Buyer’s Agent