Are you preparing for a home inspection? If you’re selling your home.. ya should be!
Hey everyone, welcome back! I’m Lindsay, with the Wise Move AZ Team at Realty ONE Group. If you want to stay up to date on all things Anthem and Real Estate then you’re going to want to subscribe to our YouTube Channel. Pro Tip: You’re also going to want to hit that little bell icon while you’re over there, so that you’re the first to know when our new videos are posted every single Thursday!
As your Anthem, Arizona REALTOR® I love helping people navigate the home selling process, and one big part of that is working through the Buyer’s Inspection Period. If you’re selling or thinking about selling stick around to find out what you can do to make your home stand out, in the best ways, during the inspection process.
I’m going to be hitting you with a list of to do’s in this post but don’t worry if you don’t have a pen and paper handy. At the end, I will give you access to a printable checklist that you can carry around your house and ‘check’ the items off as you complete them!
So, YAY! If you’re selling your home and you have questions about the inspection, there’s a good chance you’re already under contract! Congratulations! Or maybe it’s that you’re just as Type A as I am and you’re doing all this research WAY in advance because, well, you can’t help it. In which case, I’m so sorry!
Any inspections will typically be scheduled by the Buyer or the Buyer’s Agent. Once scheduled, it is your responsibility to ensure that the home is available for the inspection. The inspection will take roughly 2-4 hours depending on the size and complexity of the home. The Buyers and their agent will typically meet with the inspector at the end of the inspection so that they can highlight their top findings and show the Buyers some of the workings of the home. We typically encourage our Sellers to leave the home during the inspection, to give the inspector and the Buyers a bit of privacy. That being said, there may be circumstances that require you to be home during the inspection, for example, if you work from home. We get that. If this is the case, please give the inspector and the Buyers space. Remember, they are going to be discussing flaws and items that need repair, and doing that in front of you is… ummm… AWKWARD! Be respectful! If they are not able to get all of the information they need, they may walk away from the deal.
What can YOU do?
You want your home to show in the best possible light during the inspection, and normally, that doesn’t just “happen”. It takes a little bit of effort on your part.
So, with all that in mind, in no particular order, here are the 10 things you need to do get your home ready for an inspection:
#1: Keep the Home in Showing Condition
I think I just heard Sellers all over the world sigh. I know this is tough; you have kids, dogs, and an upcoming move that get in the way of keeping your home spotless. But do your best to keep your home in showing condition. You want the home to be as clean and inviting as possible.
#2: Open Up
What do I mean by this? Well, if you have locks on your electrical box, your gates, or storage areas, you need to either leave these unlocked on the day of the inspection or at the very least provide well labelled keys. This includes providing any keys for fire pits or fireplaces, and ensuring that the pilot light is on. If the inspector can’t access something, they will make note of this in their report, and you can rest assured it is going to make the buyer uneasy. They may even try to stick you with the inspectors fee to come back out and inspect that area. Also, if you have a security system, make sure that it is off for the inspector. You don’t want them to start their inspection in a bad mood because the alarm went off, trust me!
#3: Remove Obstructions
Remove any personal items that would impede the inspectors ability to access the major components of the home, including the attic, water heater, HVAC equipment, windows, doors, etc. For example, if you have stuff piled up around your water heater, you’re going to want move it out of the way for the day. Also, if you have vegetation touching the side of the house, you’ll want to trim that back. Not only does vegetation obstruct the inspectors view of the exterior walls, but it will also come up as a potential problem on the Termite Inspection.
#4: Check Batteries and Bulbs
Walk around your house and make sure that all the light bulbs are working and anything battery operated that conveys with the house is working. This includes remotes for blinds and fans, and that chirping smoke detector you’ve been ignoring. Some of these things might be outside of the inspector’s scope but you don’t want to find that out after they’ve been to the house. If something doesn’t appear to work, they will put it in the report, even if it’s something as simple as a burned out light bulb. Yes, I’m serious!
#5: Change Air Filters
If it’s been longer that it should be, change your filters.
#6: Provide any Special Operating Instructions
The inspector will want to show the Buyer that the home is in good working order, and while they have seen a lot of things, they haven’t seen it all and they don’t live at your house. If there are any special instructions needed to show that your home is in working order, leave them out for the inspection. For example, if you have to hit a certain switch to get the pool light come on and it’s not obvious, let them know.
#7: Empty the Dishwasher
The inspector will run the dishwasher to confirm it’s working so you’re best bet is to empty it before the inspection.
#8: Remove or Crate your Pets
If you have pets we recommend that you take them away from the property during the inspection. If you can’t accommodate that, make sure they are securely locked in a crate. The inspector will be opening doors and we don’t want any runaway pets.
#9: Ensure all Utilities are On
This one is pretty self-explanatory and only tends to be an issue with vacant homes. Please ensure all of your utilities are ON at the time of the inspection.
#10: Make any Obvious Repairs
If there are things that are clearly going to show up in the inspection report but you’ve been putting them off, consider doing them before the inspection. Fewer repair items on the inspection report is never a bad thing! I’m not saying you have to do your own inspection before the buyers’ inspector arrives, but the obvious things you’ve been ignoring, like the leaky faucet, sticky door handle or slipped roof tile you may want to go ahead and get corrected preemptively. Remember, you want your home to look and feel it’s best for the new buyers.
Think of the inspection as a second date between the buyers and your home. You want to ensure you are putting your best foot forward and show them that they are buying a home that someone loves and is well cared for.
So, there you have it! I hope this has you all fired up about what to do before your inspection. These ten things won’t take long, but they can make a world of difference. As promised, if you would like a downloadable checklist of everything you need to do before the inspection, simply click here.
Also, if you want information about what happens after the Buyers’ inspection, you may want to watch our video on Seller tips for navigating the BINSR process.
See YOU, next Thursday!