Once you have your home under contract with a buyer, the next step is the buyer to order the home inspection. They are hired by the buyer and their goal is to make sure they are buying a property that is free from safety, health and mechanical issues. As a seller there are things you can do to make sure the inspection goes smoothly, and the buyer is happy to proceed. Let me give you some tricks to pass home inspection from our local professionals.
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There are several tricks you can do as a seller to pass home inspection. If you chose to get a pre-listing inspection, hopefully you've been able to get the problems identified fixed. Either way, here are some ideas to make the process go off without a hitch!
What Can I do to be Prepared?
1) Keep it clean!
You will be making an impression upon the inspector as to what to expect when they arrive and enter the home. Try to keep it show ready throughout the sale process even after an offer is accepted.
Make sure the outside is cleaned up to so they inspector can view the siding, foundation and crawl space.
Check roof for debris, missing shingles, loose nails, as well as the down spouts are in proper position.
2) Empty the dishwasher [and stove] or add soap because they will run a cycle! I sometimes store my pans in the oven, so this is why I mention oven!
3) Replace the smoke alarm batteries and make sure the batteries work by testing it yourself.
4) Change any/all filters; Make sure the thermostat is not too high or low. This can make it hard to test both sides of the system. They will test both heat and air no matter the time of the year. The exterior temperature may make it impossible to do so, but they will attempt to.
5) Remove obstructions to access any areas. You should be working on decluttering before listing and during the sale process. For the inspection, its especially important for them to access the heating and air system, breaker box, attic, basement and ALL closets.
6) Label the electric box and make sure there are no empty breaker spots-safety hazard. Check all light bulbs and they are in working order.
7) Have remotes be easily recognized or leave special instructions as to what they work. Consider leaving a list of updates/repairs made or warranty books/invoices. Some inspectors will list the installation date on large items like HVAC, water heater, etc on the report for the buyers reference.
8) Remove all locks from boxes, gates, sheds, crawl space, doors. The inspector (and appraiser) will want access to all areas for thorough inspection. Check to ensure doors latch/lock and windows/cabinets close properly.
9) Consider completing your honey-do list! What have you been meaning to get done but haven't got around to? Anything needing attending to, for example:
mow lawn/trim bushes
toilets functioning/not running
no leaks: under sink/toilet, fridge, faucet, tub/shower
10) Plan for pets for inspection day. Some inspectors take a couple hours, others take ALL DAY. Ideally, you would take your pet with you for less stress on them and the inspector. If not possible, consider doggy day care, a neighbor or your kennel. Please do not just leave them in the back yard or the inspector will not be able to do a full inspection.
11) Make sure ALL utilities are on: electric, water, gas-especially if this is not something you use regularly (gas fireplace). Don't forget the pilot lights on some gas appliances like fireplace, water heater, range, heater, and more.
What will the inspector be looking for that requires all this work?!?!
5) Electrical: Exposed wires? Knob & tube wiring? Spliced/taped wires? No GFCI-this will almost always show up on the inspection report as this is grandfathered in, in our area. Sometimes the breakers have GFCI and the inspector may not catch this.
It is important for sellers to keep in mind the inspector works for the buyer. It is the inspector's job to find things wrong. It would probably look bad on the inspector if they didn't find anything--what did the buyer pay them for? The buyer also needs to keep in mind they are not (likely) buying a new home and to expect normal wear and tear. Some things are grandfathered in like GFCI. It's important to focus on health and safety issues, or what buyers are not capable of fixing on their own. Buyers should try to be reasonable, or a seller may choose not to fix anything, but a buyer also has the option of walking away if an agreement can't be negotiated for repairs.