A home inspection can be the critical last step when it comes to sealing the deal on a home. As a home seller, you will want to put your best foot forward when it comes to preparing for a home inspection.
According to the American Society of Home Inspectors, a standard home inspection consists of examining the following:
- Heating system
- Central air conditioning system
- Interior plumbing system
- Electrical system
- Roof, attic, and visible insulation
- Walls, ceilings, floors, windows, and doors
- Foundation, basement, and structural components
For an average-sized home, an inspection takes from 2 to 2.5 hours.
If you want to breeze through the process and sell your house fast, keep these things in mind:
Clean the house
It’s basic and yet it always needs to be stressed: clean the house. While a home inspector is going to focus on the elements listed above, doing prep work with some good home staging and a tidy home interior can help leave a good impression on your home inspector. A clean house shows that you do your best to keep the home well maintained.
Prep relevant documents
Collate relevant home maintenance documents in a folder and leave it somewhere handy for the inspector to look through. Gather invoices and other documents related to any work done to the house, whether it’s interior remodeling, adding a new roof, or renovating any of the internals and utilities. Not only can this help speed up the inspection, but it can also leave a good impression to the inspector and buyer to show what’s been maintained in addition to the inspection.
Keep everything running
It’s important to leave your utilities running when you’ve scheduled a home inspection. This may not be an issue if the house is occupied but if it’s vacant, you’ll need to get everything running before the inspector’s visit.
If your utilities are off, an inspector will have to reschedule, which can result in additional fees, delay closing, or have the buyer trigger the home inspection contingency clause.
On a related note, you should also keep the pilot lights ignited for your furnace, water heater, and other related appliances. Many inspectors won’t ignite them due to liability and insurance concerns. Keep the pilot lights on so that the inspector can do their job, and avoid costly rescheduling fees.
Keep the area around appliances and utilities unobstructed
Inspectors will need some space to move around and inspect appliances and utilities, so move boxes, furniture, and other such impediments out of the way. Make sure that there’s at least three feet of space around each item. An inspector generally isn’t supposed to move anything, so if they don’t have reasonable access, they might chalk it up as an inspection failure, require a rescheduling, or recommend an additional specialist inspection, all of which are outcomes you don’t want!
Clear the yard for inspection
You’ll also want to clean your yard and clear the way for exterior inspection points. Leave the keys and openers to your outbuildings, utility boxes, and garage door. Make sure to uncap your sprinkler system.
A home inspector will need to see key points of the foundation, so clear out any underbrush or dead branches that are in the way, and relocate trash bins if
they’re in the way.
Clear the attic and basement
Especially in storage areas like the attic and basement, move items away from walls and make sure that structural features like supports and beams and foundation are accessible. Tidy up – wipe away dust, spider webs, and get rid of rodent droppings.
Secure your valuables and pets
For everyone’s peace of mind, make sure you keep valuables under lock and key ahead of the inspection. After all, you don’t want them lost or damaged. You will also want to make sure that you’ve made provisions for your pets. Drop them off at a kennel or ask a friend or relative to pet sit for a few hours. If you can’t bring your pet somewhere else, then make sure you can confine them in a secure pet crate or enclosure, and leave them food and water.
A final reminder: make sure you do your prep work early so that you’re not rushing about the night (or even an hour) before the home inspector is supposed to arrive. Make sure all is ready ahead of time.
Do you need help selling your home? In northern Atlanta, the Page Morgan Team will find you qualified buyers. With more than 25 years of experience in one of Georgia’s most competitive markets, we are ready to help you every step of the way.