Normally when people talk about preparing for a home inspection, they're looking at things from the buyer's perspective. While there's no denying that the home inspection is an important event for the buyer, it's ultimately something that sellers should prepare for, too.
With that in mind, I've brought you four tips for how sellers can prepare to have their homes inspected. Read them over so that you know how to help your home make the best impression possible.
Make sure everything works indoors
At its core, a home inspection is meant to verify that all of your home's systems and major mechanicals are in working order. That said, you'll want to take the time to check the following to ensure they are in working order:
- Your HVAC system
- All of your plumbing elements
- All of your electrical outlets and light switches
In addition, you'll want to ensure that:
- All your doors and windows open and close properly
- There are no cracks in your walls or by your foundation
- There are no stains on your ceilings
If anything is not working or looks to be in disrepair, your best bet is to have it taken care of before the home inspector arrives. If any of these items get flagged on the home inspection report, you may have to negotiate the repair with the buyers, which can often be more work than taking care of the problem yourself.
In addition to making any minor repairs that need to be done, it's a good idea to clean your house before the big day. While cleanliness is not a factor in the inspection, having a clean house will leave a better impression overall with the inspector and with the buyers.
Don't forget to spruce up the outside, too
Just like your goal for the inside of the home is to have everything show its best, you'll want to take the time to ensure that the home's exterior looks nice as well. In this case, you should focus on doing the following:
- Pump up the curb appeal by making sure the lawn is mowed and any landscaping is properly pruned, weeded, and watered
- Clean out your gutters
- Patch up any missing shingles on your roof
Gather up any important documents
If you've recently had any work done on your home—like having the roof repaired or any HVAC system maintenance—you'll want to gather up documentation for those items.
On the one hand, this is useful information for the inspector to be able to access. But, on the other, it will be a calming factor for the buyer. They'll be reassured that they're buying a home that's been well taken care of instead of having to wonder how long it will be before they have to pay for those big-ticket repairs.
Be prepared to make yourself scarce for the inspection
Lastly, though it may seem helpful to hang around during the inspection in order to be able to point things out to the new buyers, it really is better if you take the initiative to leave once all the parties arrive. Put simply, if you're there, the inspector may feel awkward pointing out problems with the home and the buyers may feel uncomfortable asking questions.
By the same token, if you have pets, you'll want to do your best to take them with you as well. Often, pets can get underfoot during inspections and you don't want to risk having anyone get hurt.
However, there's anything that you feel may be helpful for the inspector or the buyers to know, your best bet is likely to leave it in a note for them to find. Odds are that they will appreciate the shared wisdom.