Tips To Prepare For A Home Inspection In Real Estate
One of the most important steps in a real estate transaction is the inspection period. There are many real estate transactions that don’t make it past the home inspection period.
Findings from the home inspection is one of the most common reasons why home buyers get scared when buying a home. Some buyers are scared by the smallest deficiencies in a home while others are not. Also the interaction between an inspector and buyer as well as the buyer and their agent can make or break a transaction when issues are discovered during an inspection.
Many of the things that scare away a buyer are things that could be avoided if you prepare for a home inspection properly. Working as a Webster NY real estate agent, I always mention to my sellers that it’s better to be proactive when selling a home since it can eliminate issues in the future.
Below you will find out some of the best tips to help prepare for a home inspection when selling a home. By following the tips below, you greatly improve the chances that you don’t have any issues because of the home inspection period. This means that your home sale should be successful and relatively stress free.
Why The Home Inspection Is Important
There are tons of reasons why having a home inspection is suggested when buying a home. Whether your selling your home to a first time home buyer or a buyer who is purchasing their tenth home, it is a huge life event. Most home buyers are seeking peace of mind when buying a home. One of the most important reasons why home inspections are important is because it improves peace of mind for a buyer.
Home inspections are important in real estate also because they are a relatively cheap way to help forecast future costs. A home inspection is almost a blueprint to help a home buyer predict what future expenses they will have.
For example, one of the most common home inspection findings is the actual age and condition of a homes heating and cooling systems. A buyer can learn that the furnace in a home is 20 years old which can help them understand they should be budgeting for a new furnace in the near future since the typical life expectancy of a furnace is 20-25 years.
The home inspection is a critical part of a real estate transaction for a number of reasons, including the two discussed above. When selling your home, you need to take the inspection period very seriously. Now that you understand why the home inspection is important, continue reading to find out why it’s important to prepare for a home inspection and also some of the best tips for doing so.
Why It’s Important To Prepare For A Home Inspection When Selling A Home
Since the inspection period is a common culprit as to why real estate deals fall apart, you need to realize why it’s important to prepare for a home inspection when selling your home.
Some sellers will actually elect to have a pre-listing inspection when selling their home. The biggest benefit of a pre-listing home inspection is that it provides an opportunity to correct deficiencies before a buyer completes their inspection. Sellers who have a pre-listing inspection clearly understand why it’s important to prepare for a home inspection.
Another very important reason why it’s important to prepare for a home inspection when selling a home is the fact that many issues that are discovered during a buyers inspection can be avoided. Many issues that are discovered during a home inspection are quick and inexpensive fixes.
Guide To Help You Prepare For A Home Inspection When Selling A Home
As you can see, home inspections are an important step in a real estate transaction. When selling your home you need to realize it’s important to prepare for a home inspection and also how to do so. Below are some of the most common areas you need to check in your home and things to complete in order to properly prepare for a home inspection.
Check Your Lighting
As you prepare for a home inspection, one area of your home you need to check is your lighting. Home inspectors will be checking the light fixtures throughout your home so a simple walk around your home to test your fixtures should be easy. If your light fixtures are not working it could be a simple fix such as replacing a light bulb.
Inspect Your Homes Mechanics
One very important aspect of a home that buyers are looking at while viewing homes are the main mechanics, such as the homes roof, furnace, water heater, and air conditioning. As you prepare for a home inspection you should have your homes main mechanics inspected.
It’s highly recommended that before you list a home for sale that you have the HVAC cleaned and inspected by a licensed contractor. Providing a home buyer a receipt indicating that the HVAC system has been cleaned and inspected and that it’s in working order is a great way to eliminate a potential problem after the inspection. It’s also a good idea to install a new furnace filter as you prepare for a home inspection.
One of the most costly home repairs is a roof replacement. It’s critical that while you prepare for a home inspection that you inspect your roof or hire a roofing contractor to do so. If you have an older roof, understanding how to know if you need a new roof is very important. The replacement cost of a roof alone is enough to scare away many potential buyers.
Other mechanics that you should have inspected as you prepare for a home inspection include;
- Hot water heater
- Central air conditioning unit
- Electrical panel and wiring
Check The Exterior
The exterior of your home is just as important to properly prepare for a home inspection. There are a few tasks that you should complete prior to an inspection.
One important task to complete prior to an inspection is the cleaning of your homes gutters. Clogged gutters can be very problematic since they can create issues with channeling water away from your home. While you’re cleaning the gutters on your home, you also need to check your downspouts. Downspouts play a big role in channeling water away from your home.
This is only one example of an exterior task that you should complete as you prepare for a home inspection. Some other important tasks include;
- Inspect the grading around the foundation of your home
- Inspect the siding and/or exterior paint condition
- Inspect the fascia and soffits
- Inspect the condition of your driveway
- Trim trees, bushes, and shrubs away to ensure they’re not touching your home or roof
- Check your doorbell to ensure it’s functioning properly
- Check your garage door opener to ensure it’s functioning properly
Check Your Windows
The condition of a homes windows are important to many buyers. As you prepare for a home inspection, you should check your windows, both inside and outside. Make sure that your windows are functioning properly and that they open, close, and lock properly.
Recently while selling a home in Rochester NY, the homes windows were painted shut. As you can imagine this created a problem for the buyer since they weren’t able to open the windows in the home. The seller was asked to correct this problem prior to the closing.
It’s also important to make sure there are not ripped screens or broken windows. Depending on the type of mortgage a buyer is obtaining, broken windows can create issues with a bank appraisal.
For example, if the buyer is obtaining an FHA mortgage, the appraiser will likely cite in his report if there are broken windows. These broken windows will need to be fixed before the bank funds the money to the borrower. It’s important to note that a broken seal in a window will likely not be required to be repaired prior to a lender approving the funding. A broken seal is when a window has a foggy appearance.
Check Your Plumbing
Water leaks can create major problems in a home. As you prepare for a home inspection, it’s vital to check the plumbing in your home. This can be done by simply running your homes faucets, flushing the toilets, and running the showers/bathtubs. As you run your homes plumbing you should check under sinks to ensure there are no water leaks occurring.
Keep an eye on the water pressure as you’re testing your homes plumbing. While you are running the water in your home at the same time, the water pressure should still be strong. If the water pressure seems low, it’s possible you have a clogged, damaged, or old galvanized main water line and you should have a licensed contractor further evaluate.
If your home happens to have a septic system, it’s highly recommended that you have it cleaned and inspected. There are some types of financing that require a septic inspection to be completed prior to the funds being approved.
Provide Clear Access For The Inspector
An area of your home that you rarely access or maybe have never accessed are crawl spaces and the attic. Quality home inspectors will want to have easy access to a homes crawl space, knee walls, or attics. As you prepare for a home inspection, it’s important that you provide a clear access to these areas. This may mean that you need to clean out a closet where the scuttle access is or make sure pull down attic stairs are functioning properly.
It’s also important to make sure there is clear access to your homes electrical panel, furnace, air conditioning unit, and water main. By not providing easy access to these areas, it’s possible a buyer believes you’re attempting to hide issues within your home.
Check Your Detectors
While you prepare for a home inspection you should be checking your homes detectors. This includes your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. Depending on where you’re selling a home, you maybe required to have a certain number and location of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. In New York State, every home is required to have at least one smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector.
There are other detectors that your home may also have that you should check while you prepare for a home inspection. If you have smart home technology products, such as a water leak detector, you should ensure that is also functioning properly.
Check Your Utilities
If you’re selling a vacant home and have turned off your utilities, you need to check them as you prepare for a home inspection. Since a home inspector is going to be testing a homes plumbing, electric, heating and cooling, and other utilities, it’s critical that they are on but also working properly.
Check Your Appliances
If appliances are included in the sale of your home, you need to check them prior to the home inspection. A quality home inspector is going to test the oven, washer, dryer, and other included appliances. An exception to this is if the appliances are being sold in as-is condition.
One of the most common issues that is cited during home inspections is the type of venting a dryer has. Many homes still are using plastic venting rather than metal which is now code. This can be cited as a potential fire hazard but can be fixed cheaply.
Are you prepare for a home inspection, make sure that your appliances are cleaned and emptied. For example, if your washer and dryer are included, make sure there are no clothes in either since they will be tested. The same can be said for the oven and dishwasher.
Knowing how to prepare for a home inspection cannot be overlooked. Since the inspection period can be one of the biggest hurdles in a real estate transaction to overcome, preparing properly is vital.
As mentioned above, it’s highly recommended when selling your home that you consider a pre-listing home inspection. Correcting problems discovered in a pre-listing home inspection is a great way to improve the chances the transaction doesn’t fall apart because of a poor inspection.
Other Home Inspection Resources
- Making The Most Out Of A Bad Inspection via Teresa Cowart
- What’s The Difference Between An Appraisal And A Home Inspection?
- Should Sellers Get An Inspection Before Listing via Selling Warner Robins
Are you selling a home in the Rochester area and wondering how you should prepare for a home inspection? If so, the above information should be extremely helpful in preparing you for your homes inspection. If you have yet to list your Rochester NY home for sale and you’re still looking for a top Rochester Realtor®, contact me. I’d love to share with you how I provide maximum exposure for Rochester NY homes that are for sale.
About the authors: The above article “How To Prepare For A Home Inspection When Selling A Home” was provided by the Keith Hiscock Sold Team (Keith & Kyle Hiscock). With over 30 years combined experience, if you’re thinking of selling or buying, we’d love to share our knowledge and expertise.
We service the following Greater Rochester NY areas: Irondequoit, Webster, Penfield, Pittsford, Fairport, Brighton, Greece, Gates, Hilton, Brockport, Mendon, Henrietta, Perinton, Churchville, Scottsville, East Rochester, Rush, Honeoye Falls, Chili, and Victor NY.
© 2016, Kyle Hiscock. All rights reserved.