Savvy and Quick Home Prep Tips: Make Your Home Inspector Love Your Home (and You!)
By: Anne Anderson
If you’ve ever been involved in a real estate transaction—having sold or purchased a house—you already know how important it is to get a favorable Home Inspection Report back from the inspector. But right now let’s just talk about home inspection from a seller’s point of view.
As a general guideline, sellers prepping a house for sale should make things as easy on the inspector as possible. A checklist is a checklist, but an extra boost of preparation goes a long way. Just as curb appeal holds real weight in the value of a home, a clean home gives the impression that you take good care of your property so a home inspector shouldn’t expect to find as many problems below the surface.
Consider a Pre-Inspection
Depending on the age and condition of your home, you may want to invest a few hundred dollars in your own inspection before it goes to market. If your home is relatively new and there are no known issues, you can comfortably skip this step. But it may play well into your long game if you have any concerns about your property—giving you the opportunity to resolve issues on your schedule ahead of time, instead of when negotiating closing dates and/or work requests from buyers.
Savvy and Quick Home Prep Tips: For Your Home Inspection
(And earn bonus points with the home inspector!)
- REMOVE CLUTTER: Remove every obstruction away from doors, stairways, under and in sinks, around heat registers, grills, water heater.
- GET YOUR PAPERWORK TOGETHER: Assemble a folder file that holds all maintenance and repairs, receipts and inspections performed on chimneys, roofs, and furnace. If you’ve had any insurance claims or other pertinent info include these to demonstrate resolve.
- PROVIDE COMPLETE ACCESS TO YOUR HOME:Unlock gates, doors, sheds—anything that doesn’t have lockbox access. Remove any toys, furniture, plants, wastebaskets, etc. blocking access to the basement, storage space, attic, and garage areas.
- LEAVE HOME:Pets and people should be out of the house when the inspector is present. It’s very distracting to inspector professionals; homeowners should plan on being out for a few hours as you would with a home showing at your property.
- CLEAN YOUR HOUSE:Cleanliness and order impress upon the inspector that you have a well-maintained home, and suggests less underlying problems.
- TEST WINDOWS AND LOCKS: Make sure window locks are easy to open and close. Open and close your windows as they might be a bit stuck from winter freezing.
- LEAVE THE LIGHTS ON: Turn all your lights on upstairs and down. Make sure your light bulbs work, especially in storage spaces or areas you don’t often use. Your inspector will love you if everything is easy for him/her to access and the home is well lit.
- BE SURE ALL SMOKE DETECTORS ARE WORKING:Be sure your smoke detectors all work or buy a 3-pack with batteries and place them out on table.
- REMOVE DOG KENNELS
- REPLACE YOUR FURNACE FILTER:Even if you keep your home immaculate, dust, pollen, bacteria, pet dander, and mold spores can be detected. These irritants will continue to build up and foul the air quality inside your home.
- SHOVEL WALKWAYS: Snowy state residents know this one well!
Good luck on your home inspection! If you’ve reached this place you’ve most likely accepted an offer on your home–so congratulations and hang in there!
Just remember, disclose to your realtor as much information about the under and outer-carriage of your home. Your realtor is there to serve you and help you navigate through such things to discover what is and isn’t material information.