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Preparing for a Home Inspection

July 19, 2016 - by Elizabeth Pell

Preparing for a Home Inspection

We all know the stress that goes into listing your home, negotiating the contract and packing to move. Once you're under contract, you breathe a sigh of relief only to learn, (cue the horror music), the buyers have scheduled a home inspection.

Inspections don’t have to be scary! Follow these simple tips and before you know it, you’ll be singing a happy tune:

Before Listing your House:
1. BE A GOOD HOMEOWNER by maintaining your home on a yearly basis. This handy checklist is a great resource.
2. OLDER HOMES: Consider spending the money to have a pre-listing inspection. The inspector will tell you exactly what needs to be fixed within the home. However, this also means that these identified problems will need to be disclosed to prospective buyers.
3. GO DOWN UNDER! Crawl spaces and moisture issues in crawl spaces and basements seem to be the biggest deal breakers in home inspections so if nothing else, consider having those spaces pre-checked before going on the market.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Take it from us and don’t do cheap repairs. This raises questions for not only the inspectors but for the buyers. Make sure you make copies of all receipts and cleaning records to ensure all repairs are above board. Get the repairs warrantied and see if the warranty can be transferred to the new home owner.

Before the Inspection:
1. DECLUTTER! Inspectors need access to the electrical control panel, hot water heater, and main water shutoff.
2. CLEAN! A clean home leaves the impression that you take care of your property.
3. LIGHTS ON! Check all of the light bulbs. If you find one that has blown, replace it. No one wants to spend part of their day trying to figure out if a light bulb is out or the fixture doesn’t work.

On the Day of the Inspection: 
1. LEAVE THE HOUSE: Home inspectors typically arrive 30 to 45 minutes early for appointments. With that in mind, the house should be empty and all animals should either be in their crates or out of the house at least an hour before the appointment time.
2. UNLOCK DOORS! This means all exterior doors to crawl spaces, sheds etc. Inspectors inspect everything!
3. DON’T HIDE what isn’t working. If an appliance is broken, leave note with an explanation of how it will be fixed.
4. MAP IT OUT: Leave a map for the inspector of where your septic tank or well is located.

After the inspection is complete, prepare for the inspector to identify problems within your house. All the preparation in the world won’t prevent a home inspector from finding something that needs to be fixed.

Did you know? Sellers have the option to give buyers a closing credit if they do not wish to make significant home repairs. This allows the buyer to hire their own contractor. Regardless, don’t panic! Even if negotiations get tough, remember the buyer still wants to buy your home and we will be right by your side through the entire process!

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