your home can be a stressful time, and one of the best things you can do
to avoid surprises is to prepare your home before it goes through the
Buyer's Home Inspection process.
While homes are rarely in perfect shape when
they go on market, there are several things you can do in advance of Home
Inspection that can make the process a little easier for yourself and the
prospective Buyer. Addressing and fixing minor problems before a home
is inspected will save you time and money in the long run!
Houses are complex structures that
require an examination, however, there are four areas that you can review
before a professional Home Inspector inspects your home: the interior, the
exterior, plumbing and electrical systems.
- Examine your walls, windows, and
ceilings for obvious cracks and holes, and check to see if the windows
all have operable latches. Can windows and doors open and close? Are
there any broken window panes or seals?
- Look to find any watermarks or signs
of infestation. It you've had your home tested against insects, you
should be prepared to provide proof of any treatments or guarantees
you've received on your home.
- Clean or remove excess clutter in
order to make sure there is appropriate access for the inspector to do a
full and thorough inspection.
- Examine your chimney to see if it
needs cleaning. Does the damper open and close properly?
- Keep your gutters clean and free of
debris so they can be inspected easily. Are the downspouts and gutters
secured to the house? Take a good look at your house from the front. Is
your wood trim in good condition and free from rot or mold? Is your
siding dented or in need of repair? Are any roof tiles missing?
- Mow your lawn and keep plantings in
check so that your foundation can be easily inspected. Are your
sidewalks and driveway in generally good condition?
- Make sure the porch and stair
railings, as well as fences and gates, are secure.
- Do your faucets shut off completely?
Are they leaking from the base or spout?
- Unclog drains that may be sluggish or
clogged and ensure that stoppers work properly in both sinks and tubs.
- Be sure that there is easy access to
main shut-off valves for water and gas, if applicable.
- Check to see that your shower and tub
are properly caulked.
- Repair or replace switch or outlet
cover that are missing or damaged, and check to see the actual switches
and outlets are operable.
- Replace any light bulbs or pull
chains that may be missing or damaged.
- Be sure that smoke alarms, appliances
and ceiling fans are all in working order.
- If you have the instruction manuals
for any appliances, have them readily available.
While individually many of these items
are not a big issue, the cumulative effect of many small items could be
discouraging for a potential Buyer and delay the closing process. If a
home Seller knows what to look for, many of these minor items can be
identified and addressed prior to a professional Home Inspection.