Prepare for a Home Inspection
You’ve prepared and listed your house with a realtor, and they have found a great buyer. The price of the sale has been agreed upon. Although the sale of your home is almost finalized, your buyers will usually request a home inspection before you can start packing your belongings. Knowing how to prepare for home inspection can ease your and the new potential owners minds, and will get you that much closer to the final closing.
The home inspection takes place in a normal real estate transaction after the buyer has approved a purchase agreement but before the actual closing day. Most buyers decide to make the closing conditional on the outcome of the house inspection, giving them the option to back out of the deal if the inspector uncovers a major defect and the seller refuses to fix it or reduce the asking price to reflect it. The inspection is typically paid by the buyer.
What does a home inspector do and who are they? We are not “code inspectors” but rather are highly trained, experienced, insured, and certified by the state. The engineers at Middle Tennessee Inspections have years of experience and training and have passed the National Home Inspectors Examination. We are members of the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors and licensed by the State of Tennessee.
We will look
over from top to bottom during the inspection, with particular attention paid to assessing the roof, walls, foundation, plumbing system, electrical system, and HVAC system. Inspectors will also look for leaks, mold, mildew, and other indications of water damage, as well as the functionality of installed devices like carbon monoxide alarms and garbage disposals.
As the seller, you want the home inspection to go as smoothly as possible, and there are a few simple items that can help you ensure that it does.
Provide open and clear access to areas that need to be checked.
Quite often we have to simply disclose an area or item as an unknown if we cannot access it. I have had blocked attic doors, shelves in front of electrical panels, locked doors, in even areas where pets such as dogs were kept. While part of the selling process is to clean and move items out of the way, please make sure we have access to important areas. This includes basements, attic doors, electrical and plumbing access, and very importantly under kitchen and bathroom sinks.
Clear the exterior perimeter
Inspectors will examine the foundation and area around the structure. Before the inspection please trim growth from around the structure, and make sure the area around your water faucets and heating system are clear.
Roof and Gutters
Make sure that your gutters are clean and in good condition. If you have debris, moss or algae growth on the roof, which is quite common in middle Tennessee, try to get these cleaned. Trim tree branches. A major part of our inspections is to check these components by latter, walking on, and by drone. It is much better, and economical for you, if you take care of it before the sale.
Keep a Clean House
Selling your house can be exhausting. Keeping it clean and tidy before a showing (especially if you have kids) can wear you out. But please do keep it clean, and remove before before the inspection.
Replace light bulbs
A blown bulb can mean one of two things to a home inspector: either the bulb is broken or there is a problem with the wiring of the fixture. Either the inspector will have to spend time evaluating whether a fixture is inoperative, or they will simply record that a potential fault exists. While our engineers will make every attempt to verify the fixture is working sometimes we cannot. By making sure that all of your bulbs are in good operating order, you can prevent both of these situations.
Cabinet doors can easily become mis-aligned, even when new. My kitchen is only a year old and I have already had to readjust the doors. Spend a few minutes making sure all doors and drawers operate the way that they should. And obviously fix or replace those that do not.
Make sure that your toilets flush, and sinks drain
Does your toilet keep running after you flush it? When you deal with a problem on a daily basis, it becomes simple to ignore it, but you don’t want the house inspector to discover it. It is a quick and easy fix. Here is a great article Fixing a running toilet Make sure that your sinks drain properly. And please flush the toilets. Yea, I’ve seen that.
Look for leaks
Leaks and spills happen. Fix any water-related problems before the inspection. We search for leaks and water damage visually and with
InfraRed Sensors and moisture sensors. Check under sinks, around faucets, at the base of bathtubs and/or showers, and under any potentially leaky equipment, such as refrigerators and dishwashers. Don’t forget to look for leaks or water damage on the outside of your home.
Replace your furnace filter
Part of preparing for a home inspection is to change your furnace filters. They are an integral part of your homes environmental well-being. Take a few minutes to replace your filters. While I do not report that as a ‘defect’, the picture of a very dirty filter reflects negatively.
Check doors and windows
Make sure that all doors and windows close properly. Homes settle with age. A simple readjustment of a door or window will eliminate a possible ‘ding’ on the report. Clean sliding door tracks and replace window screens if necessary. Remember to check your attic door
A common issue is broken or missing switch or receptacle faceplates. These can be replaced for less than one dollar. Make sure the electrical panel is easily accessible and the circuits are labeled. We at Middle Tennessee Inspections almost always remove the front panel to check the integrity of your electrical system. And if you see outlet boxes coming out of the wall – fix them!
Middle Tennessee is a wonderful place to live. We all love it, but so do pests. Before your inspection it is advisable to make sure these are minimalized. If found we report on rat traps and poison, wasps and bees, termites, and any other ‘critters’ that we find evidence of. If you do have pest treatments, which many of us do, leave the contract or schedule out and we will document that in our report.
Breath. You have a great house and excited buyers. Soon the paperwork will be finalized and you can start your new adventure. Do a final check, make sure your pets are confined, dishes are put away, toilets flushed (thanks), and nothing is in the oven (I once found a batch of newly baked brownies – I did NOT try them but they smelled awesome). Your realtor will have already provided me on how to enter your home, and I always will try to text them and the buyers agent when I am complete. As a professional, I will always treat your home as I would want someone who comes into mine. I have “inside” and “outside” shoes, and a mini-vac id needed. Many home owners prefer to stay and I do not mind whatsoever.
This should help you prepare for a home inspection. Thank you again allowing me into your home, and great success in the future.