For sellers, the home inspection process can be nerve-wracking. You know someone is interested in buying, but the outcomes can make or break the deal. You also want it to go smoothly. It shows your support for the buyer and desire for negotiating a fair contract. That’s why it’s important to be prepared for the inspection and understand what may happen after you learn the results. Here are our top five home inspection tips for sellers like you.
1. Know what home inspectors look for.
The home inspector is hired by and represents the buyer, not the seller, during the home inspection. You won’t even be present when the inspection takes place! But you can learn a lot about what inspectors look for during the process, which will help you prepare your home to put its best face forward.
We’ve written a lot for buyers about what is included in a typical home inspection. These blog posts can also be helpful for you to better understand what details you may want to update or fix before-hand to get the best outcomes. Here are a couple of helpful links:
- What is Included in a Typical Home Inspection? Here’s What Buyers Should Know.
- For Homebuyers: What Happens Before, During, and After a Home Inspection.
2. Prepare your home.
As early as possible — ideally before you even put the house on the market — use the information you learned from your research into the home inspection process to get your house and outdoor spaces inspection-ready. Look at the property through the eyes of someone new to it. Are there places to make cosmetic updates that may make the home more appealing? Are there dirty windows, dusty shelves and baseboards, or cobwebs in the attic that can be cleaned? Will a little yardwork make a big difference in the home’s appearance?
Then, do your own pre-inspection. Use this seller’s checklist to make sure your home is accessible to the home inspector, clear and clean important areas in and outside the home, and test components like plumbing, light switches and outlets, smoke detectors, and garage door openers. If possible, fix the issues you find to make the inspection go more smoothly, or be prepared to acknowledge them on the inspection report.
3. Be inspection-day-ready.
On inspection day, you want to make sure the home inspector is able to do his job as easily as possible. Gather paperwork representing any major repairs you’ve had done during your stay in the home as well as instruction manuals for its appliances. Make sure all components are accessible, including water heater closets, electrical boxes, attics, and crawl spaces. Make sure all utilities are turned on as well as pilot lights for gas-fired appliances.
If the washer and dryer are part of the sale, remove laundry from them, take dishes out of the sink and dishwasher, and remove anything that may be in the ovens, other than the racks. Leave remotes for garage door, ceiling fans, lights, etc., as well as keys for gates, outbuildings, and electrical boxes, making them easy for the inspector to find. And leave a sketch identifying the location of any wells or septic tanks.
On the day of the inspection, plan for the family (including pets!) to leave an hour early and stay away until the process is complete. Then wait for the good news that you can move ahead with the sale!
4. Dissect the inspection report.
When the inspection report is shared with you, go over it in detail. There will always be defects, and you’ll need to wait for the seller to let you know how they feel and what they want to do about them.
They often choose not to worry about those that are minor or inexpensive to fix. They may request repairs or financial concessions for larger, more costly defects, for example, roofing repairs, broken appliances, foundation issues, or extensive water damage. They may also request a home warranty as part of the deal. Reading the inspection report thoroughly will help you understand the problems and potential solutions, and you will be prepared to respond to the buyer quickly.
5. Negotiate thoughtfully.
Negotiations for an investment as significant as a house can be stressful! When you do hear from the potential buyer after they have had a chance to understand the inspection results, keep a positive attitude. If the deal is meant to be, you and the buyer will come to a fair agreement that you both feel comfortable with. The smoother the negotiations go, the faster you will likely be moving on to the next stage of the process — repairing (or not), packing, and moving to your own new home! Congratulations!
About Our Licensed Dallas Home Inspections
At Stonebriar Property Inspections, Dallas home inspector Keith Boggs proudly provides quality home inspections throughout North Texas seven days a week, including evenings and weekends. Contact him at (214) 923-7304 or [email protected].
- Licensed and insured – Texas Real Estate Commission license #9867; TDA licensed termite technician # 0572333, Certified Termite & Pest Control – TPCL# 3825A
- Rated an A+ with the Dallas Better Business Bureau
- 5 out of 5 stars on 99% of customer reviews
- The most comprehensive home inspections available
- Friendly, down-to-earth service from someone you can trust
In the end, you will feel prepared and not scared.