It’s a scene that plays out dozens of times every year across the United States: selling a house and moving into a new one.
If you’ve sold a house, it can be a good feeling. It can be a tremendous weight off your shoulders. So too can packing up all your boxes and getting ready to move to your new digs.
But you’re not done just yet.
If you’ve sold a home, you’re still going to need to pass a home inspection. With most home transactions, a home inspection is an essential piece of completing the deal. It usually after a buyer has signed a purchase agreement, but before a closing date. In most cases, passing a home inspection is a condition of closing on a home.
If you’ve sold your home and are waiting on a home inspection, don’t worry. It’s an important step in the process, even if it can involve as many as 500 data points. During the inspection, a nationally certified master inspector is going to examine everything from top to bottom, checking the roof, foundation, plumbing and everything in between.
If you’re feeling stressed, don’t be. Instead, focus on what you can do to prepare for a home inspection:
- Check the roof: For a good number of home owners, the roof isn’t a part of the house that’s necessarily checked every day. It is however an important part of the inspection, so it must be dealt with. Make sure to clean the gutters and check for any damaged shingles or tiles. If you do find any damage, you’ll want to get it taken care of before the inspection happens.
- Check the home’s perimeter: The condition of a home’s interior is important during an inspection, but so is the exterior of the property. During an inspection, an inspector will check the home’s siding, the condition of and caulking around doors and windows and the home’s trim. Before an inspection, take time to clean the area around the house, removing any plants or weeds that may get in the home inspector’s way along with any yard equipment, trash cans or anything else laying around.
- Keep the home clean: It may sound like an obvious thing, but the last thing you want holding up the sale of your home is a messy interior. Chances are good that in the midst of moving and packing you’ve done a good deal of cleaning. If that’s the case, keep your home in the clean state that it’s in. The last thing you want is for inspectors or a buyer to get suspicious about anything and back out of the sale.
- Checking the toilet: The biggest part of your home’s plumbing system you’ll want to check is the toilet. If you’ve got a toilet that runs for a long time after it’s been flushed, you’re going to want to take care of that.
- Beware of bugs: It’s likely that every home has a few bugs in it, but if you’ve got an insect infestation or a recurring problem, you’re going to want to get it taken care of. The last thing you want a buyer to be surprised by is a hornet’s nest in the corner of the garage or an ant problem in the basement.
- Be prepared: On the day of the inspection, you can really help your cause if you’ve done all that you possibly can to prepare.
Make sure that you’ve kept utilities turned on; make sure the outside of the house is clean with easy access to everything an inspector might want to check; unlock electrical boxes and gates for easy access; try to arrive early just to double check everything.
The average home inspection takes about 2-4 hours and while home inspection services aren’t expecting perfection every time, you want to make your home look as presentable as possible.
When it comes to inspections, most homeowners (about 70%) said an inspection helped them avoid potential issues and in another survey, 90% of homeowners agreed an inspection is a necessity.
Getting everything in order for an inspection can take some work, but putting in the time to make sure everything is in the best shape possible will pay off in the long run.