If you are selling your home for the first time you may be waiting for that signed contract from a buyer to break open the champagne and start packing. But there is one more step in the process before you head to closing. As a seller you provided disclosures about what you know about the condition of your property, the age of your systems such as the furnace, and any issues that you know about, such as a recent repair in the roof. Following acceptance of the offer on your home the buyer will probably be scheduling a home inspector to come to the home and give a professional opinion of the property’s condition. It is best to be as prepared as possible for the home inspector to make the process go smoothly and efficiently.
What can you do?
- Clean house
It may sound pretty simple or maybe unnecessary and many homeowners overlook this tactic. Remember the home inspectors are human and they notice if a house appears to be unclean. This can trigger the preconceived idea that the home is not well maintained because it is messy. Clean homes say you care and take care of the house.
- Be ready
Home inspectors can be early sometimes so it is best to have the house ready to be seen before your appointment time. Don’t be scurrying around looking frazzled when he arrives.
- Clear space for the inspector
The inspector will need to get around the water heater and furnace, so remove boxes or anything else blocking access the major systems in the house. The inspector will need three to four feet of working space to inspect these items.
- Clear way to allow easy access to attic and garage
The inspector will need to get into your basement and attic, so move any furniture or items that block a clear path to these areas. Move boxes away from the walls and vacuum spider webs.
- Clean up brush and debris outside
Snowdrifts around the foundation can be left alone in the winter, but do provide a path around the house. In the summer, clear away brush up against the home. Cut down dead tree branches and move trashcans away from against the house.
- Unlock outer buildings and provide garage door opener
The inspection covers the entire property including outer buildings.
- Have any repair documentation available for the inspector
Have on hand any of your documentation regarding remodeling you have done or repairs-such as a new roof. Always have the paperwork to prove all improvements and repairs you say you had done were indeed completed.
Typically, the buyer attends the home inspection so try and make yourself scarce so that buyer feels comfortable asking all questions of the inspector and talking openly about the property. If you are there, the buyer may feel uncomfortable asking things about what is still “your” property right in front of you. Crate your pets or remove them from the property and clean up any pet droppings from the yard. Be patient as well. Home inspections take 2-3 hours to complete.