Whether you’re selling a property you own or you’re a real estate agent selling a client’s home, the home inspection is the moment of truth. Ideally, the inspection seals the deal and convinces the prospective buyer to pull the trigger on the purchase. While the condition of the home is the key factor determining if it passes the home inspection, your preparations can make the process go more smoothly and lead to a better experience for both the inspector and your potential buyers.
Cleaning Up to Get the Home Ready
For a home inspection, cleaning up doesn’t mean you need to break out the bleach and get the place spotless. While that’s important when you’re staging real estate, cleaning for a home inspection means removing any clutter that could get in the inspector’s way.
Aim to have as much open space as possible so that the inspector and the buyers can move through the home unimpeded. Remember that inspectors check out every nook and cranny, and that’s much more difficult to do if they need to clear a path first. Some of the most common obstacles inspectors deal with are boxes stacked in front of electrical panels and cleaning products and other household supplies left underneath the sink. Since inspectors test appliances that turn on and off, such as dishwashers, ovens, and washing machines, make sure you’ve emptied those out.
When the home is clutter-free, the inspection process is faster and better for the buyers. The inspection could also be the first time the buyers get some time in the home without owners or agents present, and without the current owner’s possessions everywhere, they can envision what it’s like to live there more clearly.
Providing Full Disclosure Regarding Repairs
Most properties aren’t perfect, and that’s understandable. Buyers understand that there may be some issues. What’s important is that you’re upfront about any repairs the home needs.
If the home has any appliances that aren’t working properly, leaks, or other concerns, it’s wise to let the buyers know right away. Home inspectors are good at what they do, and the odds of them missing something are low. By disclosing everything in advance, it shows the buyers you’re trustworthy and helps you avoid any unpleasant surprises.
It also helps the inspector to know what repairs and maintenance have already been performed. The easiest way to keep track of this and to verify it to the inspector is to hang on to any documents on home repairs.
What to Do the Day of the Home Inspection
Once you’ve prepared the home, all you need to do when it’s time for the inspection is ensure that the place is free of people and pets. While homeowners don’t need to leave during the inspection, most of them do. This way the inspector and the buyers feel comfortable speaking more openly.
Regardless of how well-behaved pets are, they can get in the way during the inspection. The inspector may go in and out several times or test how well doors open and close, which could give a dog or cat time to dart outside. During an inspection, the best place for pets is with their owners.
The most important point to remember regarding home inspections is that it’s all about making the entire process as quick and easy as possible. It keeps the buyers happy and makes them more likely to finalize everything.