Home inspections are a critical part of the real estate transaction process. For this reason, the more your sellers know about the inspection process and how it affects them, the better equipped they will be to avoid problems that could get in the way of the sale.
Take care of minor fixes
Firstly, if your seller is performing routine maintenance around the home, great! Unfortunately, many don’t. Either way, it is a good idea to go through the home and check for any problem areas. Here are places they want to check:
- Repair damaged walkways or steps
- Seal any cracks in the driveway
- Re-caulk around exterior doors and windows
- If you have shingles, replace any missing or damaged ones
- Replace any window glass that is cracked or broken
- Check the siding/trim for loose boards. If replacing anything, make sure it matches the original color and texture..
- Take a look at your deck and fence and see if anything is loose and needs replacement. Also check the framing of the fence to make sure nothing is loose.
- Make sure you have positive drainage. Rainwater should not flow towards the house. It should flow in the opposite direction for the first 3 feet.
- Check your gutters and make sure they are not stuffed with debris.
- It may be a good idea to have a roofer to come out and see if you need any repairs. If they do any, ask for a “Roof Certificate”.
- The air conditioner unit outside should be easily accessible. Remove any debris if necessary. Also, debris can cause an issue with it cooling so this is something to always stay on top of.
- Test out your garage door. Make sure the infrared beam is working. Pass something in the path of it closing and make sure it reverses back to the open position. Do this again but this time stop it with your hands. There should be some push but the door should go back up. This is a test most home inspectors will perform.
- Check all faucets and fixtures to make sure there are no leaks
- Fix the grout around all tubs and sinks
- Have an electrician inspect all receptacles and switches
- Make sure your toilets are properly working
- Check the fuse box to make sure it is correctly labeled
- Change out the furnace filters and leave any service tags attached
- If you have a fireplace, be sure to have it cleaned and checked by a professional.
- Each ceiling fan will most likely be checked. If any are broken or missing a blade, replace them.
- Each and every light bulb will be checked so replace any light bulbs that don’t work.
Arrange service for large appliances
If they have central air conditioning and a furnace, set up service appointments. Also check to make sure all battery-operated smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are working. If they are missing any units, they should put them up. In addition, any units that are wired should be tested to ensure they’re functioning.
Home inspections: Prepare your for home the day of
On the day of the home inspection, your seller should follow these steps so they have a stress free walk through:
- Allow 2-3 hours for the home inspection.
- The sellers should try and be out of the home but the buyer should be there.
- Make sure all areas of the home are accessible (garage, attic, crawl space etc)
- Any locked areas provide keys for.
- The water heater, central air conditioning unit, furnace, all electrical panels, gas meter and main water shutoff should be accessible.
- If they live in a cold area and it is winter, clear the walkway of any ice.
- Any pets should be in a crate or taken out of the home.
- Always keep any valuables secured and out of sight. Better yet, take it with you.
Home inspections can be a stressful part of the selling process. It is your job as their agent to guide them through this process. The above steps will help you address with your seller the typical issues that could negatively affect the inspection. Therefore, ensuring everything is in order for home inspection day is a must. As a result, your buyer will feel confident about moving forward with purchasing the home and your chances of selling for top dollar are more likely. A happy client will lead to more business and referrals down the line too.