Selling Your Home? Here's What You Should Know About Home Inspections
A home inspection is an inexpensive way to find out the actual condition of a home. As a seller, you might have some negative reactions after hearing the words "home inspection," but this procedure benefits both parties. Once you get through it, you may be surprised by the number of people interested in your house.
How to "Pass" your Home Inspection?
Suppose you just accepted a buyer's offer, it's completely normal for them to request a home inspection, so don't panic. This isn't a pass/fail situation and there is no "perfect" home out there.
What do Home Inspectors Look for?
Here is a list of some common things that a certified home inspector will surely look at:
- Walls and Ceilings
- Windows and doors
- Attic and crawl space or basement
- The HVAC system
- All the appliances
- Electrical and Plumbing system
The inspector won't tear your home completely apart to inspect everything, but they will try to investigate all the interior and exterior parts as much as possible.
Things you may want to do before a Home Inspection
It is common for buyers to request a home inspection once an offer is accepted and the contingency period begins, but it may actually benefit you, as a seller, to get your own professional home inspection in advance of that. Why? It will give you a preview of what to expect and give you a chance to address and eliminate minor issues.
Make Some Minor Updates in all HVAC Systems
Hire a licensed and experienced technician for the service of your A/C or furnace and swap out filters. It's a common issue, and buyers often request the system be serviced anyway. Avoid this issue arising at all by servicing all your HVAC systems in advance. Make sure to have all the paperwork for the services and provide them as proof as well.
Trim the Trees and Hedges near your House
If trees and greenery surround your home, trim them before the inspection. If the trunk or branches of the trees are touching your house or roof, then trim all of them up immediately. Many people don't like the idea of tree branches too near a house due to the presence of insects and animals in it; for instance, termites or ants have a chance to crawl into your house. The buyers can request you hire a pest control company, which could get costly for you. Trim all those branches and hedges before it becomes an issue.
Check all the Ducts, Vents, and Insulation
The inspection of the HVAC system is surely a must do for buyers, but sometimes they also check for leaks in a duct and maintenance of insulation in the attic and vents. Inspection of these minor details is also very important because they can be the root cause of some major issues; for instance, insufficient cooling of A/C can be possible due to leakage in the ducts. Try to eliminate all these minor issues that can appear during a home inspection and affect the buyers' impression of your home.
Ensure all windows and doors are working properly
With a little lubricant or silicone spray, you can bring new life to old, sticking doors and windows. Remember, the inspector is there to make sure everything is in proper working order. If a window or door simply doesn't open when they check, the inspector might note that in the report without further detail. Remedying yourself — especially these relatively small and cheap fixes, before any inspections occur, will help you eliminate one more potential red flag for your future buyer.
Paint over old water stains
Water leaks are a common issue, especially as you live in your home for more years. Once you've rectified any leaks and the water damage caused by them, make sure to paint over these spots. Even if all the moisture is completely gone, the cosmetic damage leftover can turn off some buyers.
Check your home for mold
On the topic of moisture, mold is another common issue to arise. It's something many buyers are reasonably hesitant to overlook given the potential health issues that can be caused by living with exposure to some types of mold. The good news is that many types of mold can easily be killed using a store bought fungicide; however, if the mold issue is larger than you're comfortable handling as a DIY project, then it may be worth hiring a mold remediation company to fix it. Either way, this is something you would likely want to address before the home inspection is even conducted.
What is a Home Inspection Contingency?
When it comes to buyers, home inspections can be very helpful for them. They have the opportunity to discover any potential major issues before making such a big investment.
The home inspection contingency allows the buyer to have the right to back out of the purchase contract without any penalty within a specific period of time. In other words, the purchase is contingent on an inspection report that is to the buyers' satisfaction. This is why it's important, as the seller, to get your home in good shape and show it in its best light.