If you’re selling your home, a buyer’s inspection is unavoidable.
Here are 5 home inspection tips for sellers that will make the process easier.
Inspections can sometimes have a bad reputation among sellers. Even if you’ve kept up with routine maintenance, the buyer’s inspection can still turn up unexpected issues—issues that could cause the sale to fall through.
But there’s no need to fear.
There are ways that you can cooperate with the buyer’s home inspection without hurting your odds of a successful closing. These 5 home inspection tips for sellers should help.
1. Put Your Best Foot Forward
There are few things that are “too small” to include on an inspection report.
Non-working appliances, outlets that don’t trip, broken doorbells…if it’s not in perfect working order, expect that the buyer’s going to find out about it. Even if all of the issues are easily repaired, a long list of problems can give buyers a reason to walk away. If you refuse to make repairs, you may have trouble finding anyone willing to buy.
To prevent this, get your home in the best possible condition before the inspector even arrives. (This will also make his/her job much easier.) Make any small repairs that you’ve been putting off and do your best to get the home in excellent condition.
2. Roll Out the Welcome Mat
Your realtor probably gave you tips on staging your home to make the best impression on potential buyers, but this is a little bit different. Instead, you need to prepare your home for the inspector.
Being open and transparent about the house sends the message that you are willing to be reasonable, so make sure the inspector has access to all areas of the home.
- Make sure utilities are turned on and appliances are operating properly.
- Remove pets and small children from the home so they don’t get underfoot.
- Clean and declutter the rooms.
- Move furniture away from access areas such as closets, crawl spaces, etc.
- Make sure all doors/gates are unlocked.
3. Don’t Rush the Inspection
On average, it will take a good home inspector between 3-4 hours to inspect an average home. This isn’t something that can be completed in 20 minutes!
If you look like you’re trying to rush the inspector through his work, it will look as though you are trying to hide something. In fact, it’s best to leave the house entirely for the duration of the inspection just to be safe.
4. Disclose Any Known Issues
Your mom, kindergarten teacher, and Sunday school teacher were right: Honesty is the best policy.
If you are aware of any issues with the home (like an older roof, for example), let the inspector know. S/he’ll find out eventually, so it’s best to be upfront.
5. Don’t Expect Perfection
No home inspection has ever come back free of flaws, even newly constructed homes. Your home will be no different.
Rather than dread the inspection report, mentally prepare yourself to do some negotiating. If the report shows a list of issues, expect the buyers to lower their offer or ask you to have certain things fixed before closing.
This is all part of the homebuying (and selling) process and does not need to be feared.
Pro Tip: Get a Pre-Listing Inspection
Of course, if you’re nervous about what the buyer’s inspection is going to uncover, you can always take a page from their book and get an inspection of your own. You can also ask any questions of your home inspector before, during, or after the process.
Pre-listing inspections are a way for sellers to know the exact condition of their home (before buyers do!) so they can make any needed upgrades and repairs.
Rather than biting your fingernails and worrying about what the inspection is going to uncover, you can find out ahead of time and fix it before the buyer has any cause for concern. Pre-listing inspections also act as an extra assurance that high-ticket items (such as the HVAC system or the roof) are in good condition.
If you’re hoping to sell your home quickly (or you’ve been waiting for a while), you probably see home inspections as just another obstacle to overcome. But inspections really can be your friend!
By following these home inspection tips for sellers (and getting a pre-listing inspection), you can feel at ease with the entire experience.
If you’d like to schedule a buyer’s or seller’s inspection, contact us today at 407-417-2999.