It’s every seller’s worst nightmare. You find a buyer, accept an offer, and wham! Everything falls apart with the home inspection. You’re not alone. Unfortunately, home inspections are one of the toughest parts of a sale, and many deals die here. However, most of the pitfalls are preventable if you know what to look for.
In this article, we will share some powerful tips that will take the bite out of your home inspection.
#1: Start with a Pre-Inspection
You’ve probably purchased a home yourself, and this is the time to think back to all that you learned from that. Pretend you’re the buyer and walk the house. Stay as objective as possible, and look out for things that look potentially bad, even if you know they’re not. You have years of experience with this house, but the buyer or inspector has none. If you fixed that plumbing leak but didn’t do a great patch, you might know it’s okay but that is a big red flag in an inspection!
#2: Make Sure the Power Is On!
Such an easy tip, but it has caused unending grief to those who didn’t think of it. If all utilities are not on, the inspection will be marked as incomplete and that is a pain – and an expensive delay! This means all utilities, including electricity, gas and water.
#3: Prepare Your Documentation
Have all your paperwork ready. This means warranties, maintenance records, remodeling projects, major repairs, upgrades to HVAC, roof, appliances, foundation, etc. Oh, and that plumbing leak with the bad patch? Maybe you decide to leave the bad patch, and that can be just fine. But have the paperwork ready to show the leak was fixed.
#4: First Impressions Matter!
You can never make another first impression! Home inspectors are people too, and they will be forming opinions the moment they pull up to your house. Sure, you can turn it around once they get inside, but that first impression will have to be undone. For this reason and more, curb appeal is extremely important. Look out for things like a messy yard, a cluttered garage, broken gutters, siding or stucco issues.
#5: Clean and Declutter
This is so easy but so important! Like curb appeal, a dirty, cluttered home just makes inspectors or buyers feel like the house is not in good shape, no matter how well you’ve maintained it. Also, some messes or clutter can get in the way of the inspector. Make sure the inspector has access to all areas of the home, including the furnace closet, electrical boxes, etc.
#6: Prepare for Inspection Day
Make sure there are no kids or pets around. Check to ensure there are no areas that are locked (or leave a key for them). Common locked areas that get missed and can cause an incomplete inspection are electrical panels, boiler rooms, furnace closets, detached garages, sheds and gates. And if something is tricky and might confuse the inspector, leave a note! If you’re not going to be around, make sure to put your phone number on the note too.
#7: Don’t Rush the Inspector
Home inspections can take as long as 3-4 hours. Longer if there are multiple buildings or it’s a very large home. Plan for this and give the inspector the time they need to get the job done right.
#8: Be There, But Be Inconspicuous
We highly recommend you be present at the inspection – you’re a fountain of knowledge about your home! But don’t get in the way. Welcome the buyer and inspector, then let them know you’ll be outside in your car, or maybe in a corner somewhere with a book. Make sure you’re giving them plenty of space to talk comfortably without feeling spied on, while still being available if they have questions. One person to represent the seller is enough – the rest of your family should leave for at least 4 hours.
#9: It’s Not Personal
There are always going to be things on the report, no matter how much you fix beforehand. It is the inspector’s job to find things! Don’t let it get to you, just have a plan. If you’ve put off home maintenance for a while, expect to put some work and money in, or to negotiate price based on the inspection.
Simplify Your Home Sale with us!
Does this all sound like too much of a pain for you? A home inspection is NOT a contingency with our offers! We pay cash for your home, so we don’t need a third-party to do a home inspection in order to obtain financing like a normal buyer would. This means so much less stress, less preparation, less places things can go wrong, making an easier transaction for you! Skip the pain of an inspection and go straight to the offer! Learn more about our easy, as-is cash offers. Contact us today to learn more!