You and your Realtor have worked hard to find a buyer for your home and the only major obstacle left is the home inspection! This is a crucial step in the home purchase process and there are some excellent ways to prepare for it to ensure you “pass” with flying colors!
CLEANING UP THE HOUSE
This one may seem quite obvious, but no one should consider having an inspector tour their home without tidying up first. This isn’t your average clean however, nor is it a spring cleaning. Every nook and cranny of the house should be spotless – shower and sink drains unclogged, appliances spotless, and ensure the furnace filter is cleaned. Declutter the space around the outside of the house for inspectors to easily walk through, and make sure the attic and all crawl spaces are easy to access.
YOU HAVE THE POWER
Is the electricity and other utilities working correctly? It makes sense to check every light switch, outlet, and light bulb in the house so that the inspector has no trouble or questions. This is a good time to check that every in-home appliance, like your oven and refrigerator are in working order too.
KEEP IT FLOWING
While you are checking your home for electric problems, also keep in mind that one of the inspector’s main jobs is to find any problems with the plumbing system as well. Flush toilets, run faucets, check showers, and find any other water spigot that might be faulty and address the issue.
OUTSIDE THE HOME
Don’t forget the outside of your home is just as important as the inside. Are your trees and hedges pruned? Are power lines obscured by trees? Do you have any suspicious trees ready to fall on your home at a moment’s notice? Make sure the grading of the soil goes away from the house as to not let in water during a major storm. No one enjoys a flooded basement! Gutters should be cleaned and pointing away from the house with the roof spotless and every shingle in place. Air conditioning and heating compressors should be free of clutter and debris.
Another problem people tend to forget in the frenzy of selling their home is bug infestations. Ants, bees, wasps, etc. Carpenter bees and carpenter ants in particular can threaten the integrity of a house’s structure, and cause major damage if left unchecked. Better to hire a specialist to check ahead of your inspection to leave no stone left unturned.
When selling your home, you should cap your gas lines and chimney entry points for good measure. Test all your carbon monoxide detectors and fire alarms and replace batteries as needed. Every home should be equipped with at least one fire extinguisher while you’re at it.
If you are worried about any other issues, don’t be afraid to consult an expert. Have someone pre-inspect your home to check for foundation cracks, rotting wood, obvious holes or other spots that are not insulated. You can usually consult your last home inspection report if you recently purchased your house or had it inspected. This can be a road map for future repairs, or a cheat sheet for pre-existing problems you have learned to live with and forgotten about.
Aside from that, it really helps to put yourself in the inspector’s shoes. They don’t want to “fail” anyone, so making their job easier is an important and easy step you can take to have a stellar inspection. Leave keys for everything that needs to be unlocked like electrical boxes and outbuildings, and make sure all utilities are on.