Looking at some of the tips to homeowners on how to pass the home inspection or how to ace the home inspection leaves an opportunity for a home inspector to share tips on how to prepare the home for a home inspection and ensure it sells without any property related issues. We will go over all the categories a professional home inspector looks at to assist with your home inspection preparation.
There is a myth in the real estate industry that a bad home inspection can blow the deal. The truth of the matter is a good home inspector takes considerable time checking out the home and will find most everything wrong with the home. The key is that home inspectors look and find what is wrong with the property.
As a homeowner and seller, you want to minimize the number of things wrong with the home. When you take the steps before the inspection to keep the home inspection findings to a minimum you can have an easy, stress-free real estate transaction. A well-maintained and well-prepared home is easy to spot upon arrival to the home. Fresh paint, and very few issues on the outside always indicate a well-maintained home and one that will sell with fewer home inspection findings.
Roof. Repair the roof if there are water stains on the walls or ceilings. If the roof has been previously repaired, leave the paid invoice and warranty information on the kitchen counter top. Home buyers are often concerned about pricey roof repairs, so ensuring the roof is in good condition makes for a cleaner home bill of health.
Exterior. At least every year take a close look at the siding and trim for damage, deterioration and water damage. Repair any areas that are damaged. Do not seal over deteriorated and water damaged wood. Do paint any wood that does not have paint. If there is cracking, peeling or flaking paint you will want to scrap and repaint these areas. There are few home buyers willing to put significant money into their next home, so have the exterior in good repair is a big relief for many home buyers, especially first-time home buyers.
Basement. Take a close look at your basement. Do you see water staining, water ponding , wood framing that has damage or does not look quit right? Chances are you have some water entering the basement or some structural issues. Take the time to gather repair estimates and consider making repairs if possible. The most obvious indicator that you have possible foundation issues is cracking in the walls above, and windows and doors that do not open properly. Basement water leaks is a common deal breaker for home buyers. It is highly recommended to keep the basement dry.
Foundation. If you see cracking have a foundation specialist come provide repair estimates and have it repaired, if possible. When you make a major repair like this before the inspection there is a greater chance that the foundation cracking will not prevent the home from selling. There are few people willing to tackle foundation repair. A smart homeowner preparing their home for sell would ensure the foundation is solid and watertight.
Property Grading. Take a walk around the outside of your home to make sure there are no low areas close to the home. If there are any water ponding areas or areas where the ground slopes toward the home have soil added to help water drain away from the house.
Every home buyer receives a good training session during the home inspection about taking care of their home. Included in the training is how to prevent major foundation issues which includes ensuring that water drains away from the home. The beginning of most foundation issues is having downspouts drain right at the side or corner of the home. Extension tubes will help move water away from where they can cause significant issues.
Structure. Take a good look at home at each corner and look down the side of the home. If you see bulging across siding like a brick wall, then you can have siding separating from the home. This is a major issue and a possible safety hazard for your visitors. Have this corrected when you can. You may need a professional to help spot structural issues.
Crawlspace. Keep the crawlspace dry, clean and free of critters and rodents. Open the access and shine a flashlight inside to see if termites are eating wood framing or created tubes into the home. Schedule a termite inspection if you have not had one recently.
Heating. Replace filters, look over any exposed duct work and use the proper shiny metallic HVAC repair tape if you have openings or loose sections. Schedule a preventative maintenance visit with your HVAC technician. Leave the service report on the kitchen table.
Cooling. Look over the condensing cabinet outside to make sure it does not have any damage. Schedule a preventative maintenance visit with your HVAC technician and ask to comb out the fins if they are damaged. Leave the service report on the kitchen table.
Plumbing. Run water through every plumbing fixture, dishwasher and cloths water. Look under the sink for leaks. After running them for 1-2 minutes look in the basement or lowest part of the home and look for water on the ceiling. Then look at the main drain pipe and look for leaks or oozing gunk out of old pipes. Make any repairs from leaks and oozing.
Electrical. If you have outlets that do not work, get them fixed before the inspection. You can buy an outlet tester and check to see if your outlets are wired correctly, but if your home is newer and have never been worked on then you should not have any issues. Renovated homes and older homes often have wiring issues from improperly improved electrical wiring. Most home buyers shy away from any electrical repairs, and electrical repairs are often requested after the home inspection. Take time to ensure that the electrical panel and outlets are wired correctly.
Fireplace. Schedule preventative maintenance and cleaning before the inspection and leave the service report on the kitchen counter. Most properties inspected have caked up soot in the fireplace and flue that this small step will set your home apart from the rest. Every fireplace should be serviced and cleaned during a real estate transaction.
Attic. This often-forgotten place around the home should be free of clutter and have layers of insulation. Sometimes there are water stains and damaged rafters or truss members. If your attic has stains and you had the roof repaired leave the service report on the kitchen counter top.
Doors, Windows & Interior. Give the house a good look over for cracking, water stains and open and close every door and window. Your home inspector will do this also, but as the homeowner and seller you want to find issues and fix them before the inspector does. Missing or broken hardware, windows that do not open, close or falls should be fixed and is often asked to be repaired by home buyers.
Every home inspector is different. You can have a home inspector that checks out just a few windows, doors, outlets and may not even get on the roof or crawl the crawlspace. However, if your next inspector comes from Green America Home Inspections, you can expect a comprehensive home inspection of everything that is accessible. We look for hidden deficiencies, improper repairs and attempts are hiding issues. Do not gamble with the chances that your home inspector will glance over things. Prepare your home for the home inspection by taking care of it now with the above tips.
This is a good start to ensure your home will fare well during your home inspection and is not an exhaustive list. Keep in mind that a well-maintained home is the best insurance policy for a clean home bill of
health during your home inspection.