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7 Ways sellers should prepare prior to a home inspection

repairman gives repair estimate to a senior couple

The typical home seller has a long list of to-dos. Repairs and refurbishments are likely part of this list because the condition of a home affects its market value. The seller wants to avoid potential issues that a buyer might flag during a home inspection.

Many real estate deals have fallen through because of major problems cited in the home inspection report. As a seller, that can be heartbreaking.

While not required, it’s best to get your home inspected before listing it. You can best assess your next steps once you receive the report. It gives you room to take action (or not) on several fronts: repair what needs to be repaired, make partial repairs and have the buyer take care of the rest, negotiate terms with the buyer, and so on. You can also consult your real estate agent on how to deal with the results of the inspection report.

However, due diligence means your buyer may still insist on ordering their own inspection. In that case, if you want to sell your home, here are some tips on preparing for the buyer’s home inspection.

  1. Boost curb appeal
  2. While an inspector’s job is to check the nuts and bolts of a house, it doesn’t hurt to make a good first impression. An exterior that looks its best will suggest a home that’s been cared for.

    For curb appeal:

    • Spruce up the front yard. Trim lawns and hedges. Remove dead plants. Apply a fresh layer of mulch to add a vibrant and manicured look to your yard.
    • Clean exterior walls.
    • Inspect the driveway for any cracks on the asphalt or concrete. If there are visible marks or imperfections, consider caulking.

  3. Make sure roof and drainage look good and are functioning well
  4. Keep roofing or drainage issues out of the inspection report. When you know all is in top shape, reinforce that impression.

    • Use a pressure washer on the roof if you notice natural debris piling up.
    • Replace missing or chipped roof tiles. Use mastic or a caulking agent to make temporary fixes on any visible areas that have minor damage.
    • Make sure gutters and downspouts are clear of debris. Check if runoffs are causing water to pool nearby.

  5. Check that things are in working order
  6. Trying to impress the home inspector simply means giving them the courtesy of finding:
    • A clean home
    • The lights work
    • The toilets flush
    • The utilities are on
    • The furnace filter is clean or has been replaced
    • Doors close and latch securely, including cabinet doors
    • The fuse box has been properly labeled
    • Nothing leaks
    • There are no bugs
    • The pilot lights in your water heater and gas fireplace are on

    Note that a standard home inspection covers the following:

    • Heating system
    • Central air conditioning
    • Interior plumbing
    • Electrical
    • Roof and attic
    • Visible insulation
    • Walls, ceilings, and floors
    • Windows and doors
    • Basement, foundation, and structural system

    Test out what you can ahead of the scheduled inspection date. If you find problems and if you have time, weigh the costs of having a contractor fix things quickly against the possibility of having your asking price negotiated down because of issues.

  7. Prepare relevant documents
  8. If you’ve had repairs and upgrades in the past, dig up receipts, permits, and related paperwork.

    Whether it’s plumbing work, mold and mildew removal, roof repair or replacement, the paperwork showing you conducted such work tells inspector and buyer alike that you’ve been diligent in maintaining and fixing the house.

  9. Don’t be around during the inspection
  10. Give the inspector a wide berth when it’s time for them to do their job. The buyer may opt to come along for the inspection. You and your family, however, shouldn’t be around. It usually takes two hours to complete the inspection.

  11. Examine the inspection report carefully
  12. Once you receive a copy of the inspection report, read it carefully. Sit with your agent if you want to clarify certain items. Understanding the inspection report will inform your next steps with the buyer. If warranted, prepare for concessions following the release of the report.

  13. Seek expert advice from seasoned Realtors
  14. Not sure if you have everything covered before the home inspection? Both first-time and experienced home sellers often need the guidance of a real estate expert. A Realtor’s insight and trained eye can help you navigate this step so close to the end of the home selling process.

If you need to consult trusted and experienced Realtors on your home sale in Central Texas, contact Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Caliber Realty. Contact 979.694.8844 or send an email to sales(at)bhhscaliber(dotted)com to get started.

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