Home inspections are almost a mandatory part of selling your home. Most sellers expect potential buyers to inspect the home before finalizing the purchase of the property. But, the majority of sellers do not understand what their role is during the inspection phase of selling their home.
They know the home inspection is important enough to upset all the work they have put into marketing the home. But they are overwhelmed by the sheer size of the task of preparing the entire home for inspection. This is because most homeowners struggle to know which areas to focus on.
Following the right steps to prepare your home for inspection and doing it early is important. How well you prepare for the home inspection determines how much control you have over its eventual outcome and how smooth the experience will be for you and the buyer, explains Cory Real Estate Services.
Having a guideline to follow can make all the difference when getting your home ready for inspection. Below we offer a simple step-by-step process for getting every area of your home ready for inspection.
This checklist can help relieve some of the anxiety you feel before a buyer’s home inspection.
Practical steps to prepare for a home inspection
Step #1: Clean and declutter
Make a good first impression by cleaning your home. Also, declutter the house to give the inspector access to every area of the home. Do the following:
- Clean out your stove and oven
- Clean or change the filter in the furnace
- Empty out the attic and if you access the attic through a closet and tidy it up
- Remove/arrange storage in the basement; create room around walls, plumbing, insulation, and appliances to make them accessible.
- Make sure the inspector can reach areas beneath the sink and behind appliances.
Step #2: Test the function of devices and equipment
Go over the home methodically to do the following:
- Check and repair faucets that are slow, stiff, or broken.
- Flush all toilets to make sure they don’t run.
- Check all drains to be sure they are not slow or clogged
- Open and close the doors and windows several times. Listen for squeaking. Make sure they are not sticky. Check weather stripping on doors.
- Check that doors latch into their frame as they should.
- Inspect locks to be sure they work and check that doorknobs are firmly in place.
- Check the cabinets in the bathroom and kitchen; look for loose hinges, check the cabinet hardware, and make sure the doors are flush with the frame.
- Run all faucets in the home at once to check the water pressure.
- Try all light switches and replace stiff or broken switches, as well as, burnt bulbs
- Test the garage door both manually and by using the remote. Also, test the reverse safety mechanism.
Step #3: Check safety and security systems
Most homes have the following safety features that need to be checked. If your home has more, just add them to the list:
- Use the self-test function to check if CO2 and smoke detectors are working; replace the batteries if needed.
- Inspect the fire extinguisher and make sure all gauges are in the right position.
- Make sure the gas lines are capped, along with chimney entry points.
- Deal with all pest infestation problems, both inside and outside the home.
Step #4: Do important repairs
Knowing what repairs to do can be tricky; you may not even be aware that something is damaged. The most common repairs are:
- Re-caulking areas of the bathroom.
- Fixing leaks, as well as, signs of water damage.
- Fixing torn screens and broken windows.
- Repairing damaged insulation.
To make sure you don’t miss important repairs, it is best to have an expert look over the home and identify critical issues that you may overlook.
Step #5: Prepare the exterior
Step #6: On inspection day
- Make sure utilities are turned on.
- Ensure pilot lights on the water heater and fireplace are on.
- Label fuse boxes and similar devices for easy identification.
- Empty the washer, dryer, sink, and dishwasher.
- Label keys and remote controls to different parts of the home or devices and provide the passcodes.
- Leave detailed directions for where to locate hard-to-find areas of the home.
- Provide all maintenance records for the home.
Be early and ready on inspection day. Hand everything over to the buyer and inspector. Take your family and pets and leave the home for at least three hours.