You found a buyer and have an offer on the table. The home inspection is one of the last things standing between you and closing day. You can help the process go much smoother by preparing for a home inspection as a seller.
Follow these steps to make things easier for everyone involved.
1. Know What the Home Inspector Will Look For
According to the California Real Estate Inspection Association, an inspector visually evaluates the vital structures and systems of your home. This includes the roof, foundation, drainage and overall structure. The inspector also examines the plumbing, drainage, heating and cooling systems, insulation, windows, doors and walls. To the best of your ability, ensure that there are no major issues that can jeopardize the sale of your home.
2. Ensure Access to Every Part of the Home
If you haven’t already done so for showings, now is the time to remove any clutter in the home. In particular, clear any items blocking access to different areas of the home.
The International Association of Certified Home Inspectors emphasizes the importance of providing the inspector with access to your home, including the water heater, HVAC system and furnace. If these systems are located in attics, basements and crawlspaces, unlock all doors and clear the area around the appliances for the inspector.
The inspector also needs access to the utility panels and shutoffs and resets for GFCIs.
3. Test Items the Home Inspector Will Check
Preparing for a home inspection as a seller includes testing items for functionality.
Here are some of the things you can check quickly and repair before the inspection if needed:
- Make sure all the windows open and close and test the locks
- Run all faucets, tubs and toilets, checking for leaks and hot and cold water access
- Verify all ceiling and bathroom fans work
- Turn on all the light switches, replacing bulbs as needed
- Test the garage door opener, if you have one
- Confirm weather stripping on windows and doors is in place
- Check that your downspouts are draining away from the foundation
- Ensure heating ducts are connected
- Check that fan ducts vent properly, usually out of the attic
4. Clean Your Home Thoroughly
Dirt and grime typically won’t lose you points during the inspection, provided they aren’t causing problems with any of the core system the inspector checks. However, if you didn’t clean your home for the inspection, the inspector might wonder if you bothered to maintain your home systems. Home inspectors look for delayed maintenance, so presenting a clean home leaves a great first impression. It doesn’t have to be spotless, but it pays to make a good effort.
5. Last-Minute Preparations
Here are some additional steps that help the inspection go smoothly and make your home safer for the inspector:
- Leave your home well before the time of the inspection
- Remove all pets from the home
- Leave remotes for appliances where the inspector can find them. Label the garage door opener, ceiling fan control, etc.
- Label the keys for electrical boxes, outbuildings and gates
- Turn on pilot lights for the stove, water heater and any other gas-powered appliances
- Remove any laundry from the washer and dryer
- Leave paperwork for recent repair work and insurance claim information
Home Inspectors in Southern California
Following the steps above helps you confidently prepare for a home inspection as a seller. Finding the right home inspector to provide an impartial evaluation is just as important. Reliant Home Inspections provides home inspections and pre-inspections for homeowners and agents in Southern California. Contact us today to schedule a comprehensive inspection for your home or client.