I recently shared some of my top tips to help home buyers prepare for a home inspection, but sellers should also make sure they are prepared ahead of their inspection to avoid any surprises and to ensure they have a plan in place for responding to repair requests and making any necessary changes in a timely manner so that closing is not delayed.
If you're a seller with a home inspection is on the horizon, here are few tips to keep in mind as inspection day approaches.
If you are selling your home and you have concerns about what items might come back on a home inspection, you always have the option to do a pre-inspection before listing your home.
A pre-inspection allows you to note any big-ticket items that might be a deterrent for potential buyers and address them prior to listing your home. Whether you choose to make the repairs or note allowances for them in the listing, it’s nice to know you will have less surprises during the due diligence period.
Be sure that you provide access to all areas of the home. Make sure any storage areas or exterior entry additional spaces are open and accessible by the home inspector. Also, be sure to clean your spaces so that items are not obstructing access or the view of any rooms or areas during the inspection.
Small ticket items to check and repair prior to inspection are things like lights, faucets, and toilets. It’s also a good idea to clean gutters and clean and debris off your roof, check things like furnaces, water heaters, and air conditioning units, swapping out any filters, and having your home treated for bugs, just in case!
On home inspection day make sure your home is prepped and ready. Ensure walkways and hallways are clear and areas are easy to access. Make sure all your utilities are on, and that the inspector also has access to any systems or electric panels in your home that need to be checked. Plan to be away from your home for a few hours, and if you have pets, it’s often best to take them with you so they aren’t in the way.
If your home inspection returns repair requests from the buyer, you have a few options as the seller. You can agree to the requests and complete the modifications prior to closing, you can choose to correct a portion of the items or repairs with modifications, or you can reject the repair requests.
As you’re deciding the best course of action, it’s important to consider the impact these items might have on the safety of the home, AND whether or not the items are substantial enough to cause the potential buyers to walk away. Always talk through these negotiations with your listing agent to navigate the best course of action to get you successfully to the closing table.