One of the final steps in the process of selling your home involves a home inspection.
Typically, if you have reached this stage you have already received an offer from a buyer and there are just a few details to iron out. Pay attention to the details, and the sale of the home will be closed without unnecessary delays.
- Make sure the utilities are on. A home inspection cannot be completed if the water, gas, and/or power are not turned on. The home inspector will be testing appliances, lighting, outlets, plumbing, etc.; so, if the utilities are not working the necessary inspections will not be completed. Also, be sure that all pilot lights are lit; home inspectors will not light them due to liability reasons.
- Keep your pets out of it. Pets running around during an inspection can hinder progress or even lead to an incomplete inspection. It is best to remove pets completely for the duration of the inspection; but if that is not possible, they should be crated. The home inspector will be accessing every room and the perimeter of the home, so simply locking the animals up somewhere in the home is rarely an option.
- How many home inspectors does it take to screw in a light bulb? The answer is none. It is up to the seller to replace all burned out light bulbs. If lighting is not working, it might simply be chalked up as an electrical issue.
- Batteries not included. Test and make sure there are fresh batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. The home inspector does not bring spare batteries to an inspection!
- Replace the filters. Clean or replace H/VAC air filters. This is a quick, easy, and cheap fix that will help ensure that the system is functioning properly and also shows that the seller has paid attention to the upkeep of the home.
- Clear away the crap. Clear away debris, such as wood, garbage, and stored items from the perimeter and foundation of the home. These things are known to harbor wood destroying insects and pests, and will be reported by the inspector.
- Allow for easy access. Again, a thorough home inspection will require access to the entire house. Any items blocking the entry to the H/VAC system, electrical service panels, water heaters, attics, gates, closets and/or crawl spaces should be cleared away. If there are any locks, be sure to unlock them prior to the inspection or leaves the keys for the home inspector.
- Trim the bushes. Bushes and other vegetation should be trimmed away from the home; 10 to 12 inches should suffice. This will allow the home inspector visual access to the immediate perimeter of the home and also helps eliminate access to pests and insects. Tree branches should also be cut at least 5 feet away from roofing and gutters.
- Take care of the small things. Repair or replace any doorknobs, locks, latches, and weather stripping. Windowpanes, screens, and locks will also be checked; as will gutters, downspouts, and chimney caps. These are cheap fixes that if not addressed, give the impression of a poorly maintained home.
- Keep it clean. It seems simple and petty, but cleaning the home before inspection is important. Not only will the home inspector be there, most likely so will the buyer and their agent. A clean home says that the home has been taken care of. Also, clear out appliances; the inspector will be testing them and does not want to have to empty your washing machine. Plus, do you really want them handling your family’s unmentionables?!
This is “approaching the last turn”, so to speak, in the home buying/selling process; so, by preparing for the home inspection, the seller can do their part to help ensure that the closing process goes quickly and smoothly. This will also further guarantee that the seller gets the price that was originally agreed upon without further negotiations with the buyer.
Since 2007, Keith Boggs of Stonebriar Property Inspections has been helping his loyal clients buy and sell homes with confidence. With more than 25 years working in the construction industry, Keith offers thorough, accurate, home inspection services of the highest quality in the greater DFW area, with both a Dallas Home Inspection office and a Frisco Home Inspection office.