When a property is under contract, the buyer often orders a home inspection prior to closing. A professional home inspector conducts a complete assessment of the structure and systems, noting any defects in the building or maintenance of the property. The results of the inspection may affect the sale of the home. Based on the inspection report, a buyer can ask for repairs, negotiate a lower price on the home, or even walk away from the sale. Because the inspection report findings are so important, it’s a good idea for homeowners to prepare for a home inspection before the appointment.
Test Functionality and Make Repairs to Prepare for a Home Inspection
When preparing for a home inspection, check the functionality of items around the home. Flush all toilets, run faucets, try all light switches, check fan ducts, and inspect window seals and locks. Test the batteries in smoke detectors and fix any broken items like outlet covers.
If your house has a deck, replace missing or damaged pieces of lumber. Testing components and making simple repairs such as clearing drain clogs, re-caulking around tubs, and repairing water-damaged items will help with a more favorable inspection report.
Make Space for the Home Inspection
To prepare for a home inspection, remove boxes, crates, and furniture that may be blocking access to systems like furnaces, electrical panels, and water heaters. Give the inspector at least 3 to 4 feet of space to properly inspect these areas. When preparing the attic or basements, make sure lights are functional and allow space for an inspector to assess the true condition of the property.
Provide Repair Documents
If you have completed repairs to the home within the past year, give the inspector a copy of all invoices, reports, and receipts of the work. This will show the inspector what work was completed so that he or she can inspect the quality and condition of the components. Proof of repairs and improvements also gives the buyer peace of mind that the home has been regularly maintained.
Leave Keys for Outbuildings and Electrical Boxes
When preparing for a home inspection, leave the remote control for the garage door or a key to the garage for the inspector. These can be left in a lockbox if the seller is not present when the inspection takes place. If the home has an electrical box that is locked, unlock the box prior to the inspection. Label the keys to make the inspection process a little easier.
When you are selling a home, budgeting for repairs is part of the process. Tackle basic maintenance and repair work in preparation for the home inspection. A checklist of items to review prior to the inspection is a helpful tool and will help you get your home ready for the sale.