How to Prepare for a Home Inspection

By
Real Estate Agent with DEAN Knows & Infinity Real Esate

You have now listed your house, found a buyer, and agreed to a price. Although your house sale is nearly complete, it's still not quite time to pack your moving boxes. You still need to go through the home inspection.

 

The home inspection is usually performed after the buyer signs a purchase agreement. Many home buyers make closing contingent upon the results of the inspection. This allows them to cancel the sale if they find something, not to their liking or if the seller is unwilling to repair it.

 

The home inspection report is one of the most vital documents that you should look at before considering buying or selling a home. The report will give you all the facts about the property. Some lenders may ask for a copy.

Before a Home Inspection

It's normal for sellers to feel anxious during the home inspection process. The deal mustn't fall through. You also don't want to have to pay for repairs if the buyer asks. There are some things that you can do to prepare yourself for inspection:

1. Open access to areas that require attention

The home inspector must have easy accessibility to all areas of the property. Buyers will notice if they are unable to access an area. Clear out any clutter that may be preventing inspectors from inspecting areas or systems, such as basements, attics, and furnace rooms.

2. Clear the perimeter

The inspector will inspect your home's interior and exterior. This includes trims and caulking around doors and windows. To ensure that the inspector can see your home clearly, you will need to clear out any areas where there is plant growth, trash cans, or stored items.

 

3. Take a look at the roof

Have you ever taken a look at your roof? Most sellers haven't seen their roof in a while. It is an important part of the home inspection so don't neglect it. Grab a ladder to clean the gutters of moss and debris. Also, check for missing or damaged tiles and ensure that downspouts are in the correct position. You should inspect the roof for damage before you perform the home inspection.

4. Replace all out-of-date bulbs

A blown bulb can indicate two things to a home inspector. Either the bulb is damaged or the wiring is defective. Either the inspector will have to spend time trying to determine if a fixture is not working or they'll just note that it may be a defect and not look further. You can avoid both these situations by making sure all your bulbs are working.

5. Check that your toilets work properly

Is your toilet running for an extended period after you flush it? This is a common problem that can be easy to overlook if you live with it every day. But it is something you don't want your home inspector looking into. A running toilet can be fixed easily and cheaply by you, so make sure to address the issue before your inspector arrives.

6. Install a new furnace filter

It is essential to replace the furnace filter at your home regularly to maintain good air quality and your heating system's overall performance. Instead of worrying about the inspector finding fault with your heating system, replace it and show them that you are paying attention.

7. All pilot lights must be turned on

Your water heater's pilot light is likely always on, and you would have known it was if it wasn’t. But what about your gas fireplace's pilot light? In warmer months, many homeowners turn off their fireplaces. Before inspecting your fireplace, make sure that you double-check that both the pilot light and the fireplace are working. Now is the right time to turn on your fireplace's pilot lights.

8. Water damage and leaks should be looked out for

You can be sure that the home inspector will look for water damage or signs of leakage. It's best to get your water problems fixed before they arrive. Check under sinks, faucets, bathtub bases, toilets, and shower heads for leaks. Also, check appliances such as refrigerators and dishwashers that could leak.

 

Check for water damage in walls, ceilings, and floors. Look out for signs such as warping, sagging, or buckling. You should also inspect the exterior of your home for any signs of water damage or leaks. You should be concerned if water pools near your house's base.

9. Get rid of all bugs

Termites and other pests can be costly to treat. Termites can quickly infest homes and cause havoc. It is up to the homeowner to ensure that problems are addressed before signing the final contract.

 

In warmer climates, most people have to deal with ants and spiders from time to time. If you have a wasp nest or see ants in your home, it is important to address these issues before the inspector arrives. Although most bugs are not a major problem, they can be a concern for buyers.

10. Fix faulty cabinets

Cabinet hinges can become loose and cause doors to not close properly or be flush with the frame. A cabinet that is looking out of place can be fixed with a screwdriver.

 

11. Check your doors

Do a walkthrough of your home and inspect each door for any problems. Both exterior and interior doors should latch into the frame easily. Doorknobs and locks should also be in place.

 

Sometimes heat or cold can cause doors to become unusable and cause problems.

How to choose the right home inspector

Although it can seem daunting to choose an inspector, most real estate agents have connections with certified home inspectors and can recommend them. It is important to make sure that the inspector is licensed, insured, and only performs inspections, not repairs or renovations. This will ensure they don't try to force you to make costly repairs in their favor.

 

You should always ask the inspector what the inspection entails and how long it takes. Also, be sure to fully understand all that they will inspect. You can also discuss any additional inspections that you might need and ask them if they can do them all. A price should be agreed upon.

Prepare for the inspection

You should have prepared everything for the day of your home inspection. It's now about making it go as smoothly as possible. Keep all utilities on and make sure you have clear access to all areas and systems. Also, lock any gates or electrical boxes that you don't normally keep safe.

 

Be ready at least 2 hours before the inspector arrives (they are notorious for arriving early). Also, prepare your family and yourself to leave the house during the inspection. If you are unable to bring your pets, you should make arrangements for them to be created or secured.

 

Take a deep breath at this point. Buyers don't expect perfection, they just want to know there are no heavy burdens. While it is common for a home inspector to find minor problems, most buyers will know what the serious issues are and can resolve them on their own.

Last Thoughts

It is worth the effort to prepare your house for inspection. It will make the inspection process easier for everyone if you take the time to prepare your home and ensure that everyone has full access.

 

Although no one can predict the outcome of a home inspection, it is less likely that you will be surprised if you take the initiative and prepare.

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