Selling a home is an invasive process with realtors, buyers, and inspectors streaming through and poking into every corner. According to NAR (National Association of Realtors) 84% of homes are inspected before purchase. So it is important to understand how you can prepare for a home inspection. Try to avoid these things:
1. Hassling Over the Schedule
Life is busy, especially before a move. Before accepting an offer on a house, be ready for an inspection. Especially with short option periods, the seller needs to be flexible. The more accommodating you are, the better relationship you will have with everyone throughout the process.
2. Painting Without Replacing
Don’t just plant a few flowers in the front or paint a little. There are many easy things that you can do. Replace burned-out light bulbs; replace broken switch and receptacle cover plates; make sure the toilets flush; apply sealant (caulking) around the tub and other areas that need it. If you can, replace boards that are deteriorated or damaged. If the A/C isn’t performing, making it cold the day of the inspection won’t fool the inspector. To identify areas that need attention, it’s a good idea to have an inspection done before putting your house on the market. Then you can choose what to repair or disclose to get the best price.
3. Leaving It Dirty
Home inspectors are people too. If the home is dirty and has piles of dirty dishes and laundry everywhere, it does not make a favorable impression. Clean it. Get rid of as much clutter as possible so that walls and floors can be seen. Inspectors disclaim things they can’t see, which is not viewed positively. The more inspectors and buyers can see, the more the buyer feels confident that the home is in good shape.
As a final precaution, don’t try to cover pet or other odors with a bunch of plug-ins. When a house is overpowering with those smells, inspectors instantly suspect problems.
4. Making It Not Accessible
You are packing and moving. Selling a home can be overwhelming at times. Keep in mind as you stack boxes that the inspector needs access to equipment. The electrical panel box must have a clear path to it and around it. Inspectors are taking the front cover off to inspect the wires in the box, not just looking in the door. Attic access ladders, water heaters, and air conditioning equipment also need to be accessible.
5. Holding Your Pets
Everyone loves pets, but your dog or cat should leave the premises during the inspection. Barring that, pets must be caged. Closing pets into a room is not enough. Inspectors can’t watch out for them while they go from room to room. Both cats and dogs can be escape artists! It can also be dangerous because no one can know for sure when a pet might decide to bite someone.
6. Staying Home Is a Bad Idea
No one wants to hear or see negative things about a home they love. You have built a life there and it has been good. Watching the inspector take pictures or talking to them is awful. They open every door and turn on every faucet. Don’t follow the inspector around; it makes people think you are trying to hide a defect. Plus, it will annoy the inspector. This creates a needlessly stressful situation.
Do yourself a favor – leave. Expect to be gone 2 to 3 hours for most inspections. If you have a large home or extras on the property like a pool or apartment it can take longer. Plan to spend the day away so it won’t bother you. Spend time with friends or loved ones and try not to stress about the results.
7. Communicating With Tenants
Tell your tenants the truth ahead of time. Communicate with them about the open house or showing events as well as the inspection. Coordinating with tenants can be difficult since they aren’t as motivated as sellers. Provide a short check list to make sure they are ready for the inspection too. Ask the tenants to leave the home. Inspectors in Texas pass a strenuous background check so you can trust that they will not ruin their career by taking things.
The information about your home is the intellectual property of the client in Texas. Buyers will not feel comfortable discussing the results in front of you. The report is not a personal attack. Every house has issues. Anticipate that there will be a few items that the buyer will want, and try not to stress over negotiations. Besides getting your home in good shape, the best thing you can do is relax away from home during the inspection.