When selling your home, the potential buyers will buy time through the Option Period to inspect the home. Buyers will hire a licensed home inspector who will come to your home and comb over it from top to bottom. The goal of the inspector is to find something wrong with the house. Chances are, even if your home is very well maintained, the inspector will find issues with your home. These tips will help you to prepare for the inspection to ensure a smooth transaction.
1. Check your HVAC
It’s good to have your A/C serviced once per year. If it’s been over a year, it’s a good idea to have someone out to check your system. Many heating and cooling companies offer low-priced preventative maintenance inspections – costing on average between $60 and $100 – in which they’ll clean your HVAC unit and replace your air filter. Make sure the A/C is in working condition, as well as clean inside and out.
A maintenance inspection should include checking the motor, blower, drain line, coils, operating pressures and temperatures, the return and supply lines, refrigerant levels, and connections.
Any issues should be addressed and fixed, if possible.
2. Hot Water Heater
This is an easy thing to do that comes up in most inspection reports. Clean out the drip pan to keep it from being a ding against your home during the inspection.
Make sure your home is calked inside to seal any open spaces in existing calking. This gives the appearance of a well maintained home and is a good practice. http://www.caulkyourhome.com/how-to-seal.php
4. Weather Stripping
Make sure that the weather stripping on all doors and windows is positioned properly. Replace missing stripping. Essential Guide to Weather Stripping.
Make sure trees are trimmed back away from the roof and have damage fixed that the trees may have caused. If you do this right before you put your house on the market, save the receipt to provide to the new buyer.
6. Landscaping & Sprinklers
Make sure the dirt is not too high on the foundation. Your foundation needs to breathe and having too much dirt around the foundation can be detrimental to the health of your house. Also check the sprinklers around your home. Have faulty sprinkler heads replaced and fix any leaks in your yard.
Clean out the gutters around your home. Replace damaged gutters. Consider installing gutters if water pools near the front door.
8. Siding & Wood Trim
Replace or repair any damaged siding and/or rotted wood around your home.
Make sure the fence gates are in good working order. Replace any missing boards in the fence. Fix the gate if it is automatic and not working. Replacing the fence is often not necessary.
Check all faucets to make sure there are no leaks. If you find leaks, have it repaired by a licensed plumber.
There is really not much you can do to prepare your foundation for the inspection, other than to provide documentation of all previous work done to your foundation to the buyers for the inspection. It’s easier if the inspector has access to all foundation documentation to make proper assessment of the condition. You may also want to make sure the foundation is not over exposed or under exposed with dirt as this often comes up in inspection reports.
Check all appliances and make sure all is in working order, including trash compactors, ovens, ranges, garbage disposals and anything else you can think of.
Make sure all outlets are in working order, all ceiling fans are working and all light bulbs are replaced.
Once the inspection is completed (takes generally about 2-4 hours), typically the Seller will receive a list of items that the Buyer wants addressed in the form of a Repair Amendment. At that time the Seller can decide which–if any–items he/she wants to repair to facilitate the sale. Checking and repairing these items in advance helps move the process along and leaves a better impression with your buyers during the option period.