If there's one thing that homeowner's don't do enough of, it's inspecting their house for defects. No one likes to admit that their home isn't the best on the block. The fact of the matter is that homes need periodic repair. Often, the only way you find out about serious issues is with a professional home inspection. But, you don't want to just open your front door and let the inspector in. You want to take some time to prep the house first. Here's how.
Clean Up The Place
This is so simple, but it's something that real estate agents, even ones from Agent Harvest, run into a lot. Homeowners fail to clean their homes before an inspection. Inspectors will often look at the condition of the house as a preliminary measure of how you take can of the home, generally. If there's any doubt as to the condition of something in the home, or whether something needs to be repaired, the inspector is going to assume the worst if your home is unclean.
That's because having an unclean home says that you don't care about the condition of the home. Even if that's not true, that's the message that's being sent.
Sync Your Watch
Be on time. The inspector will be, and so should you. Like cleaning the house, being late sends the wrong message - that you just don't care.
Leave Utilities Connected
The inspector will need to turn on the stove, run the dishwasher, and test all of the other appliances that will stay with the home. He will also want to check the furnace and the air conditioning unit to make sure they're working properly. If you turn off the utilities, the inspector will just have to reschedule, which will delay the closing.
Let The Inspector Into The Basement and Attic
The inspector needs access to the basement and the attic. He may also need to get into the garage, so don't block these areas.
Provide Any Repair Documents
If you've done any repairs, speak up. Leave repair documents with the inspector. Here's where things can get hairy if you chose to do all repairs yourself. You must be able to prove that you've repaired something if there's any question or doubt about the condition of anything in the home.
Home inspectors generally side with the buyer. That's what they're there for - to audit the condition of the home before the buyer makes any final commitments. So, expect to prove everything, even a simple paint job.
Stay Away For Three Hours, Minimum
It's going to take a while to inspect your home. Usually, the buyer will be there with the inspector, but it's bad karma to be there while the whole thing is going on. Buyers often feel uncomfortable asking questions if the homeowner is there. That's understandable. Many homeowners can easily become offended or defensive if the buyer starts asking the "hard questions" about quality of any repairs or remodeling the homeowner has done, or about appliances or fixtures that might need to be replaced.
Arthur Young loves his career in real estate. He enjoys turning his years of experience into practical writing for the everyday homeowner buying and selling in today's housing market.