We talk to a lot of home buyers about what to look for during a home inspection and what they can learn by sitting down with their inspector to go over his or her report.
But, as we’ve discussed on this blog before, the home inspection is just as important to sellers as it is to home buyers.
So, whether you’re getting ready for a pre-listing inspection or preparing for a buyer’s home inspection, there are some common steps you can take to increase your odds of a smooth process.
While a home inspector's job is to be an impartial observer of the property and most buyers approach the process with logical reasoning, the home buying process, just like anything else in life, can be affected by the emotions of the situation.
Buyers might see a long list of minor maintenance items on the home inspector's report and wonder, “Was this home well-maintained? What else could be wrong with the house that we can’t see?”
You can avoid adding to any buyer uncertainty by making sure you’re up-to-date on all routine maintenance and tackling this quick checklist before the home inspection takes place.
Your Pre-Inspection To-Do List
Change all of your HVAC filters.
Have your dryer vent cleaned (or do it yourself with this handy video).
Clean out the rain gutters.
Repair any leaky faucets, and make sure all of your sink drain stoppers are in working order.
Remove hard water stains on bathroom glass and shower doors.
We recently heard of one home buyer asking a seller to replace all the drain stoppers in a home after the inspection report noted that one sink wasn’t completely holding water properly. This isn't the norm, but again, small items that add up can affect the buyer’s feeling of the house as a whole.
Replace any light bulbs that are burned out.
This is a good idea for showing your home, separate from inspection time, too. Making sure all light bulbs in your home are working, and that each is the maximum wattage that each fixture can take. This will make your home feel brighter and more welcoming for prospective buyers.
Make sure there are screens on every window and that the screens are in good shape.
Clean all the windows.
Clean the tracks of all sliding windows. This will help the windows slide more easily and ensure the weep holes are free from debris, which helps with proper drainage of water away from the window openings.
Clear the path to any areas the inspector will need to access on the outside of the house, like the crawl space.
AmPro inspectors are often encouraging our customers to accompany us during the inspection. So, these could be times for the inspector and your prospective buyer to see how well you’ve maintained important areas of the home.
Clear away any spider webs that are visible in interior or exterior corners.
If the home is vacant, be sure you’ve kept the utilities on, including gas, water and electricity.
This will help ensure that the inspector can properly test all major appliances, like the hot water heater, dishwasher, furnace and air conditioning unit.
Touch up any paint or caulk on the exterior of the home.
Re-seal any grout lines in the kitchen and bathrooms.
Touch up any caulk that is shrinking, cracking or missing in important areas of the kitchen and bathrooms.
Have any electrical issues or shorts repaired by a licensed electrician.
If you need the recommendation of a trustworthy guy, we know some of the best professionals in Colorado Springs. Feel free to drop us a line. We’d be happy to provide a timely referral for you.
If it’s been a while, have your furnace and air conditioner serviced by a professional.
It’s a good idea to keep you service records and receipts from these visits, in case buyers would like to see evidence of the maintenance on the home’s major appliances.
Seal and patch any cracks or pits in your concrete, especially on the front porchway, walkway and driveway.
Repair any broken, damaged or missing fence pickets.
Make sure sprinkler heads are all working properly and pointing in the right direction.
Most of the items on this list are routine maintenance items that you’re probably already on top of, but it’s always good to catch up on them, especially if you’ve fallen behind in any of these areas.
Checking off the items on this list will help your home show well, help you get top dollar and keep prospective buyers from getting a negative impression of your home.
Also, the fewer items that are discovered and discussed, the less likely it is for a buyer to request repairs or price concessions for minor issues found by a home inspector.
If you’re getting ready to list your home or preparing for an upcoming home inspection, remember that keeping your home in top-notch shape condition will ultimately result in a sale with fewer roadblocks to manage along the journey.