Preparing for a home inspection is not really all that different than prepping your home for buyers.
It’s all about making sure the property is clean, looks well-maintained and is easily accessible. If you have a cluttered attic or over-filled garage, take some time and clean them up.
Whether you donate, sell or simply put unwanted items in the trash, tidying things up can make a big difference.
A property that seems gloomy or is in disarray is not going to instill much confidence in the inspector or a potential buyer. And, even small fixes can go a long way in showing that you are a responsible homeowner with a property worth selling.
Also, don’t forget to leave the utilities on so that the inspector can check for problems with the water, sewage and electrical systems.
As a seller, you will probably have to pay for a second inspection if the utilities are off during your initial inspection.
Replace missing hardware on drawers; bleach or repair discolored grout; fix leaking faucets, replace cracked window panes and and clean out the gutters.
Be careful to avoid shoddy, cheap repairs that only mask a problem. If you can’t fix something properly, it is just better to be honest about it and not try to hide it.
If the garbage disposal doesn’t work, either tell the inspector about it or leave a note explaining that you are aware of it and planning on fixing it.
If you have foundation or roofing problems, be honest and up-front about it. Never lie to the inspector or to a buyer. You can negotiate the specifics with the buyer, but be aware that some repairs will have to be completed before a lender will sign off on a loan.
Click here for more information about lender required repairs.
Here is a checklist of things to look for:
- Clean out dirty gutters and remove debris from the roof
- Rake back mulch from siding; leave a space of least six inches
- Ensure that water is diverted away from the house and foundations. Check: drains, downspouts, sump pump and the like. Remember, the grade should slope away from the structure
- Trim back trees and bushes from the roof, foundation, windows and exterior walls
- Clean out basement entry drains
- Ensure that all plumbing fixtures (toilet, tub, shower, and sinks) are working properly
- Replace any burned out light bulbs
- If the exterior walls have paint that is chipped or weathered, repaint
- Power-wash windows, patios and and exterior walls if needed
- Caulk around the trim, chimney, windows and doors
- Complete any necessary repairs to cracked cement patios, sidewalks or asphalt driveways
- Clean or replace HVAC filters
- Make sure that that all doors and windows are in proper operating condition
- Remove rotting wood and or firewood from contact with the house
- Install proper vapor barrier in crawlspaces