A home inspection is what can make or break a real estate transaction. If a potential home buyer finds out that there are too many issues with the house, they can choose to back out of the transaction with no penalty, leaving home sellers back at square one. To avoid the heartbreak of having a home buyer back out of a deal, there are a few things you as a home seller can do to prepare for a home inspection.
What to Expect at a Home Inspection
A home inspection occurs while the house is under contract. It usually happens after the earnest money deposit is made and before settlement. A licensed home inspector will come to the house and take a look at everything and anything. This means light switches, walls, windows, electrical, plumbing, and even the roof. Depending on the size of the house, it can take a few hours. Sometimes the buyer will be at the home inspection so they can ask questions. It’s a good idea to give them space and leave the house for a few hours while they examine the property.
Have a Pre-Inspection
Before putting the house up on the market, there are a few things you should do to prepare it to sell. One of those preparations is to have your home inspected. The home inspector can let you know the issues that need attention and what a home buyer will find out during their home inspection that can lead them to drop out of the transaction.
Having a pre-inspection also allows home sellers to fix up any major issues that may deter home buyers. This offers sellers the peace of mind that once a buyer puts the house under contract, there is a likely chance the transaction is go through.
Clean the House
The house is probably already as clean as it has ever been since it’s been on the market for a little while. Before the home inspection, it’s important to clean up any clutter on the floor or blocking areas where the home inspector may have to look. So, remove those boxes near the furnace and water heater in the basement to the home inspector can have a clear path and room to move around while inspecting them.
Allow Access to the House
If the home inspection is scheduled during a day where you have important meetings at work all day, make sure you allow some type of access into the house for the home inspector. You can leave a lockbox with a key to the front door or ask someone to let the inspector in when they arrive.
Replace Light Bulbs
It’s easy to let a burnt light bulb sit for a little while. To prepare for a home inspection, it’s a good idea to replace those light bulbs. This allows the home inspector to see that the electrical is working and doesn’t have to waste time trying to figure out if the light bulb is burnt out or if something is wrong with the wiring.
Turn All Pilot Lights On
If you have a gas fireplace, chances are that you turn it off in the summer because you don’t use it. Before a home inspection, make sure to turn all of your pilot lights on so the home inspector can see that the appliances are working. This can include your stove, oven, and water heater.
What to Expect After a Home Inspection
Once the home inspection is complete, the inspector will write up a report and send it to the buyers. This report will list all of the issues or damages around the house. The buyer has a couple of options at this point. If there are repairs that need to be made, they can ask the seller to make the repair or they can ask for a seller credit.
A seller credit means the buyer will come to settlement with less money than originally planned with the understanding that the difference will go towards making the necessary repairs. In other words, the home sellers are giving a discount to the buyers on the house itself.
Prepare for a Home Inspection
When preparing for a home inspection, it’s always a good idea to clean the house, replace burnt out light bulbs, allow the inspector to access the house, and turn on all pilot lights. To avoid surprises during a transaction, have a pre-inspection done before listing the house so you are aware of any and all issues and repairs that need to be made. This will give you the peace of mind you need when selling a home.