The good news, your home has an accepted offer and is now in the contingency phase. You’re checking off the list of what needs to be completed before the sale of your home is finalized. There are just a few items that are causing some anxiety. The first one to overcome is the home inspection! Even if your home is in fantastic shape and you’re sure that the inspector won’t find anything major, you still find yourself a bit nervous. I want to share some possible issues that could come up to help you feel a little more prepared.
Right after you have accepted the buyer’s offer, their agent will schedule the home inspection right away. This is if it was written in the contract and stated as a contingency for the buyers. As the seller, you already disclosed to the best of your knowledge the facts of your home in writing in the Seller’s Property Disclosure. Now, the buyers want to double-check everything looks good before they move forward with the purchase. If something does come up that the buyer addresses as an issue, there’s a chance for you and the buyer to agree on how to handle that. Whether it is crediting for repairs or formally agreeing to replace/repair the particular item(s) before closing. If there is something serious revealed in the home inspection, the buyers also can back out of the deal.
As the seller, you will want to know the key items that the home inspector will look at during the home inspection. Starting with the foundation, and structural components, if the weather allows they will also take a look at the roof, HVAC, plumbing, and electrical systems. This thorough look at the home usually takes around two to three hours, depending on the size of the home. You’ll have to plan to be out of the house for a bit while this is being conducted.
Just like you will be notified about the time and date of when this will take place, so will the buyers and their real estate agent! The buyers and the buyer’s agent will also attend the inspection so that they can go over it in detail with the home inspector about the findings. It is not required for them to be there, but important they do attend.
According to the American Society of Home Inspectors, here is a full list of what the home inspection will include:
- Home’s heating system
- Central air conditioning system
- Interior plumbing system
- Electrical system
- Attic and visible insulation
- Structural Components
Now that we know what they’re going to be looking at, let’s go over some tips before the home inspection takes place!
By now, you’re probably already an expert at tidying up the place due to showings & listing pictures. Well, now you get to show off your skills one more time. For the home inspection, it’s essential to make sure there aren’t any objects obstructing an entry/exit. You want to make sure the home inspector can get to every area in the home to ensure everything goes well in the final report. If they have to write a “defect” in the final report because they weren’t able to get to an essential item, that wouldn’t look too good to the buyers. Dusting & vacuuming also would be great.
Show some TLC to your gutters and roof. This will for sure be inspected so it’s important to clean those out. Debris is easy to spot, make sure to clean that out so it looks all nice and pretty to the home inspector! Showing TLC to the roof won’t require too much work. If the weather is nice, just use some tools to clean it off like a leaf blower. If you decided to tackle some repairs and you’re not too experienced in roofing, that could be very noticeable to the inspector and could risk it being labeled as a defect in the report.
The purpose of this professional home inspection is to find any issues that could be safety hazards and such. Therefore, some items don’t seem like a big deal to some. For instance, checking to make sure the light bulbs work, unlocking all doors, emptying the washer & dryer, smoke detectors, and other appliances. Keep these in mind to ensure the inspection runs as smoothly as possible. The light bulbs need to be working to prove there aren’t any serious wiring issues going on in the house. Unlocking all the doors helps everyone out by letting the inspector conduct his job & inspecting all areas of the house. This can also include the garage shed & attic! They will also inspect the appliances to make sure they are in working condition, so remember to empty those!
Finally, it’s strongly recommended you plan to not be present in the home inspection while it is being conducted in your home. Sometimes home inspectors will arrive earlier to prepare. If your pets aren’t big fans of people wandering around the home and tend to bark or growl, it’d be a good idea to keep them in their kennel or you could even take them with you.
As long as you have disclosed everything that has taken place in your home and you can provide proof of maintenance, you shouldn’t have much to worry about. Most homes in the area were impacted by the Derecho storm. Therefore, most homeowners have insurance claims for repairs that require attention. That would be something you’d want to disclose and maintain documentation of.
Hopefully, you find these tips helpful and learned something new about what takes place at the home inspection. I hope there was something in here that you can find useful for your next home inspection. When in doubt, disclose, disclose, disclose!