Selling your home isn’t as easy as just getting an offer. You’ll need to convince your prospective buyers that it doesn’t just look good when shown, but rather that it’s actually in a state worth buying. That’s why the buyer will usually insist on an inspection, and why you need to know a few home inspection tips for sellers.
Home inspection tips sellers should assess
When most people look for home inspection tips for sellers, they’re really trying to figure out what it actually means for them. Home inspections tend to happen relatively late in the purchase process, after the buyer has made an offer but before the closing. During an inspection, the inspector will assess the quality of various parts of the home so that the buyer can determine if he or she is making a good investment. As a seller, you’ll need to be prepared by keeping in mind the tips below.
Know what they’re looking for
It’s always a good idea to stop and think about why you’re having anything done during the process of selling a home. When you’re looking at the inspection, your goal should be to figure out exactly what the inspector is looking for that you can prepare yourself for the results. The inspector isn’t coming in to tell you how much your house is worth or what they think of your house. Instead, they are coming in to determine if there are any problems that could impact the possibility of your making a sale.
Generally speaking, the inspector is working with the buyer to determine whether or not your home is in good enough shape to buy. They are going to look at everything from the structural elements of your home to the heating and cooling systems, so be prepared to have the most important bits examined thoroughly. When you know that the inspector is looking for problems, you can better prepare yourself for what they are going to tell both you and the buyer. From there, you’ll be able to make the necessary decisions to sell your home.
Provide access to all rooms
Home inspectors tend to want to be as certain about every area of the home as possible before delivering any type of information. As such, they aren’t going to give the okay to a specific part of your home just because they weren’t able to get into that area. Instead, they will rightfully tell the prospective buyer that they can’t vouch for the condition of a particular room if they can’t get inside. This, in turn, tends to put unnecessary doubts in the mind of the buyer.
If you want the inspection to go well, make sure that the inspector has access to all of the parts of your house. Remove any latches that are meant to keep children out of drawers or rooms, make sure that it’s clear how you access parts of your home like the crawlspace or attic, and make sure that all of the doors are either unlocked or that you leave a key at the house for the purpose of the inspection. The inspector will have a much easier job determining the condition of your home if you keep it open for them to inspect.
One of the most overlooked home inspection tips for sellers is to remember to clean up your home before the inspector comes by. While your home should already be in good shape because it is on the market, you want to go back through and clean up everything that you’ve missed before they show up. This isn’t done to impress the inspector, but rather to ensure that their job can be done quickly and easily.
Cleaning up can actually make an inspection go a bit more pleasantly. If an inspector can’t see through the dirt and dust in a certain area, they won’t be able to attest to the quality of a specific system. Likewise, an appliance that’s grimy or a part of the wall that has a strange stain might be areas that are marked for replacement or repair, both issues that can either cost you a sale or cause you to spend more money before closing. If you’re able to keep things clean, the inspector will only be able to comment on the actual condition of your home.
Organize and provide paperwork
You’ve probably done a fair bit of work on your home since you bought it. When a part of your home isn’t original, there’s a good chance that the inspector is going to take an even closer look at it. After all, the inspector doesn’t know who did the installation or how well it was done, and an unsure inspector is going to bring that up to a client. If you want to give everyone better peace of mind, you’ll want to provide some basic home inspection paperwork so that the inspector knows what’s happened.
The relevant home inspection paperwork can come in many forms. You can provide receipts for work done in your home, copies of permits that were taken out for construction, or even paperwork that shows where and when you bought certain appliances. This will allow the home inspector to pass on the relevant information and allow your buyers to feel safe in the knowledge that things were done correctly. It shouldn’t take you much effort to get the paperwork together, but it can make a huge difference for those buyers who need to be reassured that everything was done correctly.
Turn on all of the utilities
Finally, you’ll want to make sure that all of your utilities are turned on. If your house has been on the market for some time, you may have had the utilities turned off in order to save money. Unfortunately, doing this will actually impede the process of having your home inspected. The inspector will still be able to look at the various structural elements of your home, but they’ll be unable to tell your buyer if any of the plumbing or electrical systems actually work. If you have a skittish buyer, this can be enough to cause them to walk away.
The best move you can make is to keep your utilities on the whole time that the home is on the market. Yes, this will be a running cost but it’s one that makes showing your house easier and that will make inspections a little less problematic. If you can’t keep the utilities on the whole time, make sure that you have them turned on as soon as you have a serious offer. Once they’re on, go to the home yourself to let the water run and to make sure that all of the electrical systems are still working after lying dormant.
Home inspection tips sellers should assess
While these home inspection tips for sellers are important, the most important thing you can do is work with a great agent. Doing so will allow you to prepare for your inspections and ensure that you’ve got the best chance to find a buyer who will actually purchase your home. When you’re ready to sell, make sure to visit us and try out our New Home Affordability Calculator