What is a home inspection, and why do you need one before you buy a home in Stanly County? Once you have an offer on your house, the buyer will arrange a home inspection on your property by a home inspector.
I prepared this home inspection preparation guide for you. I want you to remember that there is no such thing as a “perfect” home.
The St. Germain Group believes that knowledge is power, and so is preparation.
1. Keep in Mind that the Home Inspection Process is Not Personal
Home inspection gets a bad reputation from most sellers.
The idea that a stranger is inspecting every nook and cranny is uncomfortable. Remember that it is not a personal attack, even if it feels like one.
Flaws may arise during the inspection. Most of these flaws may even be unknown to you before the inspection. A home inspection protects you as the home seller. This alleviates a lot of non-disclosures that you may not even know about.
2. Clean Your Home
Be consistent in taking care of your home. While many people want to buy homes in North Carolina, most of the time, they attend the home inspection. Don’t leave the impression that you are neglecting your home.
Make sure you also don’t leave out the dirt you usually ignore that can accumulate in time, which can turn off your buyers like:
- Clumps of pet fur
- Hard water stains from shower tiles and faucets
- Grease that collects in your range burners
- Greasy splashbacks that have visible stains
- Spills on your carpet
Cleaning your home may sound counterintuitive during the home inspection stage. Think of this stage as not only selling your home to the buyer but also to the inspector.
3. The Home Inspection is Not About Your Home’s Aesthetics
Home inspectors are looking at the structure and condition of your home. They are not looking at your furniture, pets, etc.
They don’t look at the decorations on your walls. What they look for is the condition of the paint on the wall.
They don’t bother with the plants by the window. They check if they can open and close your windows well.
These objects only block inspection points. Decorations will have no bearing on your home inspection report.
Allowing access to your Stanly County home:
- Before you leave, show up on time to assist the home inspector at your home.
- Don’t forget that your goal is to sell your home in the shortest time possible.
- Keep in mind that delays with the home inspection will also slow you down from getting to the closing table.
4. Make Your Stanly County Home Accessible
Ensure you have unlocked any garages, workshops, guest houses, etc., as those will all be inspected.
Make it easy for the home inspector to gain access to your attic.
5. Prep Your Stanly County Home for the Home Inspection
Prep your house. Go through it with a fine tooth comb. Look at anything that may signal a defect to the home inspector.
The buyer pays the home inspector to look for imperfections and defects. 98% of the time, the home inspector will find things wrong with your house, so he feels like he earned his fee. It makes them look valuable to their customer, who is the home buyer.
6. Give the Home Inspector and Buyer Space
A typical home inspector in Stanly County will take about 2 to 3 hours to complete a home inspection, sometimes longer. We highly recommend you leave your house once the home inspector arrives.
We don't want you to mistakenly say something that can result in a legal issue after closing.
7. Keep Your Utilities On for Your Home Inspection
The Stanly county home inspector is going to have to check to make sure all of your:
- lights turn on
- all the appliances are in working order
- water is running
- there are no leaking pipes or plumbing
- all your outlets work
- garage door opener works
- smoke alarms and Carbon Monoxide alarms are working
He can't do this if your electricity, gas, and water are turned off.
8. What To Do With Your Pets
Taking care of your pets is not the home inspector’s job.
Be professional, and don’t burden the home inspector with watching out for your pets.
Don't be one of those homeowners who have pets who bite the home inspector. Not cool.
Do better research on what you can do with your pets.
If the owner is leaving, as we suggest, shouldn't they take their pets with them? If they are working, shouldn't they cage their pets? Or maybe take them to a pet sitter?
9. Make Sure All Light Bulbs are Working
I can’t stress enough how many people forget about light bulbs.
When I go into a room, I turn on the light switch.
If a lightbulb isn’t working, I get the impression that something must be wrong with the house.
10. Replace Any Light Bulbs that Are No Longer Working
Simple things like replacing a light bulb are cheap and easy to do yourself.
However, if you don't do it, the home inspector may write in his report that you may have electrical problems.
Now, that will really turn off your buyer!
11. Remove Everything from Under Your Sink
We tend to stick a bunch of junk under our sinks.
This stuff gets in the home inspector's way.
Then he has to move all the stuff to check for leaks and water damage.
Clear out all the junk under your sinks, so the home inspector doesn't get frustrated.
12. Give the Home Inspector Any Important Information
You may have specific information about new items in your house, like smart devices and Bluetooth-enabled appliances, doorbells, smoke alarms, security cameras, etc.
Make sure you give us those pamphlets, instructions, remotes, wifi logins, etc. As your real estate agents, we will pass that information along to the home inspector and the buyers' agent.
13. Take Care of Anything that Can Signal Red Flags to the Home Inspector
Check your bathtubs, tile, sinks, and countertops.
Make sure there is no mold or cracks in the caulking.
If there is, make sure you clean it up and then recaulk.
You can do this straightforward task yourself, saving time and headaches later.
14. Get Rid of Your Personal Items
Less is more when it comes to selling your house and home inspections.
Make it easy on your buyer and home inspector.
The buyer(s) will most likely be there with their home inspector.
15. Get Rid of Any Distractions
We have already gone through the list of things for you to move to storage when we put your property on the market.
Now, let's declutter some more.
16. Pest Control - Get It Done!
Get control of any bugs you see in your house or outside of your house before the home inspector gets there.
The home inspector may be required by law to do a termite inspection.
Termites do infest homes in Stanly County.
You can't always see a termite infestation.
Termites do a lot of damage to houses, and it can be costly to exterminate and repair the damage they cause.
I highly recommend hiring a pest control company to do a termite, and pest inspection BEFORE the home inspector comes out to your Stanly County house.
The pest control company will also check for carpenter ants, another insect that will damage the structure of your house.
17. Keep All Stanly County Home Repair Receipts
Keep your receipts! This can not be stressed enough.
Make a copy of each of your receipts because receipts fade over time. If they fade, the IRS will not accept them, and the home buyer won't be able to read them.
Make a folder of all of your receipts.
Give this folder to us. We will, in turn, hand it over to the home inspector if any issues need verification.
We can also pass your folder to the buyer at closing, so they have a record of all the repairs and upgrades.
18. Stanly County Home Inspectors Need Access to Your House Exterior
The Stanly County Home Inspector will need to be able to access the outside of your house.
He will be inspecting your home's exterior.
This includes checking for:
- dry rot
- broken pipes
- well systems if you have one
- septic system if you have one
- broken windows
- hurricane damage
- windstorm damage
- roof condition and any damage
- visible termite damage
- gutter condition and damage
- siding damage
- fence damage
- other items
This list is a partial list of what the home inspector will be checking on the exterior of your house.
19. Make Sure Safety Equipment is Working
The home inspector is going to check your smoke alarm and your carbon monoxide alarm.
Make sure you replace the batteries if they ever fail before the home inspector does his inspection.
In most neighborhoods and cities in Stanly County, NC, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are required by code to be in working order in residential properties.
20. Do a HVAC System Check-Up
Stanly County home inspectors will check the condition of your air conditioning unit and heating system.
Because of our heat here in North Carolina, HVAC units take a real beating.
Typically in the hotter states in the South, an HVAC unit can last up to 15 years before it needs to be replaced.
The home inspector is going to note on his home inspection report how old the unit is and how many useful years it has left.
This does not mean it will fail after that amount of years but this can really scare your buyers.
Consider buying your buyers a home warranty policy before the home inspection.
A home warranty company will replace a broken HVAC unit with a small deductible saving you or the buyer thousands of dollars.
When I put my house up for sale, I bought a home warranty that covered my house while it was listed and still owned by me, and it also gave my buyers a year of full coverage.
Within 30 days of having my home warranty, my HVAC unit failed. It just stopped working. I paid a deductible of $125, and the warranty company paid the HVAC company $7,000 for my new HVAC system.
The buyer inherited a brand-new HVAC!
21. Make Your Attic Easy to Reach and Access
Home inspectors are supposed to go into each home's attic.
Once in the attic, they will check for the following:
- exhaust fans
- water damage
- active leaks
- exposed electrical wiring
- damaged HVAC vents
- dryer vents
- clogged vents
- fire hazards
- fire damage
22. Check Your Garage for Warning Signs
A Stanly County home inspector is going to look in your garage.
They will look for foundation cracks. Many normal settling cracks are of no concern.
But if they discover foundation cracks, they will be listed on the home inspection report.
This can freak out buyers. So you want to try to find out what cracks you have before the inspection.
23. Check Your Stanly County GFI Outlets
Contact a local Stanly County electrician to check your GFIs before the home inspector does.
GFIs are one of the most listed items of repair that home inspectors add to their reports.
GFIs fail all the time.
If your house was built before GFIs were the norm, check with your Stanly County code enforcement department to see if you are grandfathered in or not.
If you are grandfathered in, I would still recommend replacing any regular outlets with GFI reciprocals in any wet and exterior areas.
This includes bathrooms, kitchens, pool areas, and areas near your garden hoses.
It is worth not contending with this 'defect’ with the buyers.
Learn More About What To Expect During Your Stanly County NC Home Inspection
The Home Inspection Standards of Practice manual is available on the Internet.
Meanwhile, you can also check out our blog post here for more selling tips.
Now that you are under contract with a buyer, our work does not stop. We are here for you every step of the way up to the day of signing your closing documents and handing the keys to your new buyer.
Ready to sell your home? Contact us today at 704-247-4076. All of us at www.thestgermaingroup.net are happy to help you get top dollar for your house!
**In case you can not view this video here, please click the link below to view 23 Seller Tips Before A Home Inspection In Stanly County, NC on my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fWPWv1EQv4g**
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