The home selling process involves many steps, from finding a real estate agent to negotiating your selling price with potential buyers. When it comes to having your home inspected, you have a few options.
Pre-sale home inspections can be a great start to determine the condition and value of your home. This can be helpful for a seller and agent as the condition of the home can be put into the listing and any immediate issues can be fixed.
Once a home is listed for sale, the seller can still get an inspection done to prepare for any surprise costs or issues the house may have. Some cities and states require sellers to provide potential buyers with a detailed home inspection, but more commonly than not, buyers will opt for their own as well.
Whatever route you choose, it is important to prepare your house – and yourself – for a home inspection. And that starts with a clean house. If your house is a mess, that can be an immediate indication to the inspector that the home hasn’t been properly maintained.
As you’re cleaning, be sure to make room for workspace around the furnace, water heater, air conditioner and electrical boxes. In order to properly check these areas, about four to five feet of space is required. Remember to clear away snow, leaves and brush from exterior inspection points as well.
Provide your inspector with access to all points of the house, including the attic, basement and garage. Move any large items or boxes a few feet away from the walls and if you happen to find any rodent droppings or cobwebs, remove and clean the area.
Leave all of your utilities connected, even if the house is vacant. The inspector will have to check the lighting, turn on the stove, run the dishwasher and test out the furnace, among other tasks. If the utilities are off, the inspector will not be able to complete the inspection, reschedule and possibly delay the selling process.
Lastly, when it comes time for your inspection appointment, be on time, have all documents ready and stay out of the way. Make plans for your children and pets to be out of the house for at least two to three hours. In the case that a prospective buyer accompanies the inspector, it can get awkward to ask questions with the seller present, so it may be best to plan to be away as well. Before you leave, make sure to provide any and all repair invoices and receipts in regards to remodels or updates.