Nine Steps to Follow Before the Experts Arrive
Whether you are a prospective home buyer or seller, obtaining a home inspection should be one of the first steps you take when considering a real estate transaction.
As a seller, you gain a true understanding of the current condition of your home with information obtained from a trusted professional. This will give you confidence when negotiating with buyers and provides the opportunity to fix any issues that could have a negative impact on your asking price. Obtaining an inspection “pre-listing” also allows you to provide full disclosure when you are making a sale, and eliminates the risks of having a surprise issue later in the selling process that could potentially ruin a deal.
As a buyer, obtaining an inspection could save you thousands of dollars, or even your life. An inspection provides insight into the structure you are about to invest in. Often home inspectors detect issues before a sale is final, which would have cost you thousands of dollars to repair once you were the homeowner. Home inspections can also uncover hazards that could be harmful to your family such as signs and sources of carbon monoxide, missing or poorly maintained safety issues, and other safety hazards.
Whether you are a seller, buyer, or even a third party (such as a real estate agent), knowing how the home should be prepared pre-inspection is extremely valuable information. Follow these nine steps to ensure the inspection can be completed properly and efficiently.
Clean the Home
One of the easiest steps you can take to ensure the home inspection is accurate and not delayed is cleaning the home thoroughly. If a house is cleaned properly, an inspector can properly view the structure and materials. A clean living space is also a reflection of the current owners and how they may have treated their home in the past. Keep this in mind as an inspector or buyer is entering your home.
It is a great idea to be ready for inspection 20-30 minutes early in case the inspector shows up before the appointment time. By being early, you can begin the process without delay and start off on the right foot in the eye of the inspector and/or buyer.
During the inspection, it will be necessary to view all the critical areas of your home such as your furnace, hot water heater, electric panel, AC units, and the attic. It is a good idea to move any personal belongs far away from these areas so the inspector can easily locate these spots and assess them with ease. It is also crucial that you do not leave any areas or doors locked, which may prevent the inspection from being conducted properly.
An area that is often overlooked when it comes to access is the exterior greenery and gardens. Ensure all growth is neat and orderly. Look for any vines, leaves, or branches that may be obstructing the view of the foundation, windows, the roof, and air conditioning units. The easier it is for the inspector to view your home, the more accurate the inspection will be. This is can also be very important during the winter in British Columbia; do your best to remove snow from the important exterior inspection points.
Don’t Forget -> leave behind keys or access tools that may be required such as garage door openers and spare keys for any locked points, such as an electrical unit.
Check and Replace
Go around your home and check any lights, appliances or monitors with parts that need to be replaced often. Definitely install new light bulbs into fixtures where the bulbs have burnt out. Clean out and replace the filters of your HVAC system appliances. Check the batteries and expiration dates of all alarms and monitors including smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
Watch for Water
Go around your home and check all the sources and exit routes of water. Taps and shower heads should not be dripping and ideally drain immediately. If you have a minor clog in your drain or toilet, look to remedy the issue first with a store purchased drain cleaner. If the issue persists, enlist the help of a professional plumber. While you are investigating your sources of water, keep an eye out for any water damage or leaks. This issue needs to be resolved immediately as it can lead to major damages elsewhere in the home and toxic mold.
Tip -> Inspectors will generally check the pipes under all the sinks in your home. Many homeowners forget to clean out these areas, leaving soaps and cleaning products that crowd the area. Remove all items from under your sinks to ensure the pipes can be checked quickly and easily.
Push out the Pests
Survey your property for any signs of pests. Look for any damage in wood from termites and bees. Torn insulation or small droppings are tell-tale signs that you could have rodents nearby. Any sort of infestation will be a major issue for a prospective buyer, so contact a professional pest-control company immediately to solve the issue, ensuring they take the proper steps to stop them from returning.
Address the Issues- Professionally
If you do find any major issues that need to be fixed, enlist the help of a professional. We cannot stress this point enough. Often when a homeowner tries to fix difficult issues on their own, they end up making the issue much worse. This is especially true when it comes to anything to do with the structural integrity, the foundation, and major plumbing/electrical problems. A quick cover-up home renovation can make the inspection process more difficult, and when it is uncovered, the confidence of the inspector and the prospective buyer may be lost.
Provide All Documentation
Once you have completed any repairs that were required, ensure you keep all invoices, documents and receipts to display to the inspector. This style of documentation is also recommended for any recent home remodelling or adaptations such as a new roof, windows, or flooring. Having accurate documentation will help with the home inspection, and often is a vital tool when negotiating with a potential buyer.
Find Something to Do
A full inspection can take up to three hours. Ensure you and your family have something to do during this time and if you have any pets, it is also a good idea to take them with you as they can be distracting to the inspector and potential buyer.
If a buyer is with a home inspector, it is advised that you leave the property during the inspection. This will put the buyer at ease, and allow them to ask any questions they have without pressure.
Great! Now you and your home are ready for a full inspection. After following these nine steps, the inspection should go smoothly, and you are one step closer to selling your house, or buying the home of your dreams.
If you have any further questions about preparing for a home inspection or need to book one for yourself, the team at Building Pro Inspections Inc would be more than happy to help you out. If you don’t have time to call, you can also book your inspection online at anytime.