Selling your home may mean that you will need a home inspector to take a look at your home as part of the selling process, or the buyer may request a home inspection for their own peace of mind. Buying a home is a large investment after all.
By having a home inspector come around to see your property will help you prepare to move without any surprises after the fact. Rather spend a little extra money fixing something before selling than have the buyer pull out of the sale or issue a summons for you to pay for repairs after the sale of the property.
Be prepared for the home inspectors visit in order for the inspection to go smoothly, with a favourable outcome.
Preparing for a Home Inspection: 10 Tips to Help You Get Ready
1. Clean up
Cleaning your home before an inspection is pretty obvious. It is such a simple step, yet some people tend to overlook it. Remember that home inspectors are people too, with preconceived ideas. If a home is dirty or messy, their preconceived ideas may suggest that the home is not well looked after.
Ensure your home is clean and it will show the inspector that you care about your property and take care of it. The first impression should be a good impression.
2. Be sure to be on time
Make sure you are ready for the inspector at least an hour before your appointment. Home inspectors are notorious for being on time or even early.
Most inspectors start on the exterior of the home, so do not be surprised by the inspector wandering around your backyard before they ring the doorbell.
3. Leave the power on
It goes without saying that the home inspector will need to check your home’s utilities, like the stove, dishwasher, furnace and air conditioning. If you have already moved out and have turned the power off, be sure to turn it back on in time for all appliances to work correctly by the time the inspector arrives.
The inspection cannot be completed without checking these, and may require another home inspection or could even cause the buyer to withdraw their offer. Thus, be sure to leave the power on for the inspector to check for grounding and reverse the polarity of your utilities.
4. Make room for the inspector to work
Ensure that access to your furnace, water heater or air conditioner is clear for the home inspector to inspect these items. Remove any boxes or any other stored items from around these utilities to ensure a decent workspace for the inspector.
Inspectors will not move anything that is blocking their path which means your goods could get damaged or they will not be able to perform a full inspection and may require a second visit- both of which will cost you money.
5. Ignite your pilot light
Without the pilot light ignited, the inspector will be unable to check items such as the water heater, furnace or gas stove. Additionally, the inspector will not ignite the pilot light themselves for safety and liability purposes.
If the pilot light is out, they will not check the relevant utilities and delay the selling process until such time as they can inspect them adequately.
6. Ensure easy access to the attic, basement and garage
Be sure to check for easy access to your attic, basement and garage as the inspector will need to check all of these too. As mentioned before, clean up before the inspection.
Vacuum up any spider webs or rodent droppings and make sure there is no water present in your basement. If you keep any valuables in the areas, be sure to lock them away too.
7. Provide keys for exterior access
Do not forget to leave keys or remotes for the inspector to access your garage and any exterior utilities, such as electrical boxes and sprinkler systems.
If there are any outbuildings on your property, be sure to leave a set of keys for these too. Remember that the inspector will need to check all corners of your property before leaving.
8. Clean up the garden
Just as you should clean up inside, a good appearance on the outside of your home will also influence the inspector’s impression of your home. Additionally, the inspector will need to check the house’s foundation, so clear away any garden debris for easy inspection.
Move away any trash cans or storage boxes from next to the house too to make the inspector’s job a little easier. This will also help your inspection to run smoothly.
9. Get your documents in order
If you have completed any renovations or remodelling projects on the house, or added some new features, ensure that you provide the inspector with the relevant paperwork pertaining to the work done.
Providing such documentation will prove to the buyer that any repairs and additions to the home have been re-inspected, and give them peace of mind.
10. Expect to be out of the house for 3 hours
Some inspectors may request that you and your family leave the property for the inspection, especially if the buyer is present. Buyers often do not feel comfortable to ask the inspector certain questions with the owner present.
Organise with the inspector and buyer to schedule a time that is convenient for you and your family to leave the house for a minimum of three hours for the inspection to be completed. If you have pets, take them with you or confine them to ensure they do not disturb the inspector while working through your home.
Preparing for home inspection is important
Selling your home is a big step, and often times means having a home inspector around to check various structures and utilities. Start off on the right foot by cleaning your property from top to bottom, inside and out to give the inspector a great first impression.
Ensure all your utilities are in working order and the inspector will be able to check the adequately on the day of inspection. Ensure everything is in order for the inspector to complete a full inspection first time around and to avoid additional inspection days.