March 26, 2020 –
You sold your house. Hooray!
But before you order the champagne and moving boxes, make sure you have done all you can so your home passes an inspection with flying colors.
Typically, an inspection is scheduled after the buyer signs the purchase agreement and before the final closing. Many closing are contingent on the results of the home inspection, meaning the buyers can walk away if the inspection identifies an issue and you, as the seller, will not repair the problem or reduce the purchase price. Therefore, you want the inspection to go as smoothly as possible. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to prepare.
What do inspectors check?
*Stove * Oven * Refrigerator * Dishwasher * Washer/Dryer Garage Door * Water Heater * Electrical Systems * Gas * HVAC * Roof * Garage * Attic * Crawl Spaces * Siding * Windows * Doors
Provide access to areas that need to be checked
Make sure that the home inspector has easy access throughout the property. Clear away any clutter impeding access to basements, attics, and furnace rooms as well as under sinks. And don’t forget to clear around the exterior, too. Remove trash cans, stored items, and excessive plants.
Check the roof
The roof is a key part of the inspection, so don’t ignore it. Clean moss and debris from the gutters, check for damaged or missing roofing tiles, and make sure downspouts are properly positioned. Also, check your insulation.
Look for water damage
Make sure you repair any water-related damage before the inspector comes knocking. Be sure to check under sinks and around faucets, toilets, bathtubs, and showers. Also, look under dishwashers and refrigerators. Check walls, ceilings, and floors for signs of warping, sagging, or buckling. Again, walk the exterior to see if there are any leaks or water pooling near the base of your house.
Take care of any bug problems
Remove a wasp nest in the backyard. Address that line of ants that march across the kitchen floor. Most bug problems aren’t a huge deal, but they can turn off buyers. So hire a pest control company if you need to.
Check your doors and windows
Make sure that every door is in working condition. They should sit well in the frame. The doorknobs should be secure, and locks need to function properly. Check that the weather stripping is intact. Doors can warp so be sure to check all of them. While you are at it, open and close windows and test locks and seals. Replace any broken windows or torn screens.
Make sure your toilets
are functioning properly
Does your toilet run for a long time after you flush? Fixing a running toilet is an easy and inexpensive repair you can manage on your own, so take care of the problem before the inspection. Other things to check include fixing caulking and grout and removing clogs.
Repair faulty cabinets
It’s easy for the hinges on cabinets to get a bit loose. If you have a cabinet that doesn’t close correctly or that is not flush with the frame, you can usually fix it just by tightening the hinge with a screwdriver.
Clean one more time!
Just make sure everything is clean and tidy. A dirty or messy house may make the inspector suspicious that the property just hasn’t been properly maintained. So clean the floors, countertops, and glass surfaces and mow the lawn—one more time!
Put in a fresh furnace filter
Regularly replacing the furnace filter is important for air quality and the performance of your heating system. Demonstrate that this is something that you have been paying attention to. If your kitchen hood has a filter, change that, too.
Turn all the pilot lights on
The pilot light in your water heater is probably on, but what about the pilot light in your gas fireplace? Double check that the pilot light—and the fireplace—are working.
Ensure the fuse box is properly labeled
A confusing fuse box is frustrating for homeowners and home inspectors alike. Double check that each switch in the box is labeled clearly and correctly. Replace any labels that are incorrect or difficult to read.
Replace any bulbs that are out
A blown bulb could mean there is a problem in the fixture’s wiring. Avoid the issue entirely by replacing worn-out bulbs. Make sure the light switches all work as well as your ceiling fans, smoke detectors, and carbon monoxide detectors. Finally, check that all your outlets are working.
On inspection day
You’ve done the hard part. Just turn all the lights and utilities on; unlock any gates, electrical boxes, or other areas normally kept secure; and head out. Take your pets if you can. Make sure they are crated if you can’t.
At this point, take a deep breath. Most buyers aren’t expecting perfection; they just want to know that there are no significant issues waiting to surprise them. So make sure you are prepared. Then, start planning your move.
If you need any help with your move or with any of the items on this checklist, give me a call. I am here to help.