One tool that many home sellers use in when selling their home is providing potential buyers with a pre-sale home inspection.
By paying $300 (or more depending on the location or size of the house), the seller can help each buyer appreciate the general condition of the home and the necessary maintenance steps required to keep the integrity of the home.
For a seller, a pre-sale inspection enables you to solicit clean bids—offers from sellers that have little or no conditions, as all factors are known and presented to all interested parties. But this is not a step where you want to hide what is wrong with your house. In fact, quite the opposite. An inspector will find what is wrong anyway or simply not address the issue and then cite the reasons why. Either way, this defeats the purpose of your pre-sale inspection: which is to highlight that your home has been well-maintained and that ongoing maintenance will always be needed.
Here are 7 ways you can ace that home inspection:
1. Remove the clutter
Boxes and old collectibles stacked in front of electric panels or in front of basement foundation walls prevents inspectors from gaining access to integral areas of your home. No access, means uncertainty and this will translate in your inspection report. Another area that should be free from clutter is the heating and cooling system, as well as any mechanical equipment—such as a back-up generator—that will be included in the sale of your home.
2. Clean underneath your sinks
Many home inspectors will inspect underneath your sinks for leaks or moisture damage. If this area is dirty or cluttered it may be impossible to determine if there is an issue and this ambiguity will translate in the inspector’s report.
3. Easy attic access
Want to put your inspector in a good mood? Consider creating easy access to the attic. This could be as simple as opening up a panel, or it could mean setting up a ladder for the inspector, or it may even mean parking the car in the driveway (if access is through the garage). Either way, it’s about helping the inspector get access to the areas they need to visually assess, and your attic is a key area.
4. Unlock the doors
Once the inspector shows up, go and unlock gates and doors. Remember, to create the best pre-inspection report you want a thorough inspection and this is thwarted by lack of access.
5. Check your light bulbs
A burnt bulb could be the difference between a clean pass on your electrical inspection and question marks about your wiring. When in doubt, check your bulbs, so when your inspector goes to check he isn’t left wondering whether or not the fixture is wired properly.
6. Disclose your home’s flaws upfront
If you know you have a dripping faucet, or a broken tile, or even a light fixture that doesn’t work: Tell your inspector. By disclosing even small matters, an inspector can address these in his/her report—and this goes a long way to helping buyers see that you’ve been completely upfront and honest in presenting your home for sale. If you intend to fix something leave a note or, better yet, address the issue with a note on the inspection report. This helps would-be buyers appreciate your diligence to providing a well-maintained house for sale.
7. Provide repair and maintenance documentation
Do you regularly change the furnace filters? Have you recently repaired or replaced the roof? Keep a file or document with this information and, when it comes time, give it to your inspector (and make it accessible to would-be buyers). This helps as evidence of a well-maintained home.
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