You prepared your home for sale, and now you have an offer. Congratulations! But you haven’t crossed the finish line yet. Preparing for a home inspection is probably next on your to-do list after accepting an offer.
Julia Monaghan Real Estate is here to help you on your homeownership journey. Whether you’re buying, selling, or aren’t sure what you should do, we would be honored to assist you. Reach out today to get started.
Preparing for a Home Inspection
Getting your home ready for a sale can feel like a marathon. The cleaning, decluttering, and packing prior to listing your home takes a significant amount of time. When you accept an offer, it can feel like you’ve crossed the finish line.
You’ve made it to the home stretch, but you aren’t quite done yet.
Don’t worry, though. After all the preparation for listing your home, this part isn’t too tricky.
The inspector isn’t there to determine if your decor is on point. Their job is to assess the property’s integrity and safety so that the buyer and their lender feel confident in the purchase. With that in mind, here are some tips and tricks as you get ready for the inspection.
Get Advice from Your Agent
Your agent can help guide you to the items that need to be your priority as you prep. They also can help connect you to contractors and other professionals for any necessary work.
It’s unlikely that a home inspection will come back with a perfect score. Even brand new construction may have some things to address. Talk with your realtor about what your next steps will be if (more likely when) the buyer asks for repairs.
Keep It Clean
You probably mastered the art of keeping your home exceptionally tidy when you placed it on the market. Now that you’ve accepted an offer, the pressure is off. A little bit.
But don’t let the laundry pile up just yet. When the home inspector tours your property, you want them to receive the impression of a well-cared-for home. While they won’t note ‘dirty dishes’ on their report, messiness may impact their overall view of your property. This could come out in the tone of their report.
If the washer and dryer are part of the home sale, the inspector will need to check that they work. It’s best to have all of your laundry out of the machines before the inspection.
Cleanliness shouldn’t make a difference for your inspection, but since we’re all human, it’s best to err on the side of tidiness. And on a practical note, if the inspector can’t reach something because of obstructions, they may not have a complete report to offer.
Look for Leaks
Water can do all sorts of damage when it doesn’t stay in its lane. The signs of a leak can range from discoloration to puddling and mold.
Take a look at any pipes that are easy to access, such as those under sinks. Check the bases of toilets and the edges of tubs and showers. Also, inspect the floor around the dishwasher and refrigerator. Get up into your attic to look for any evidence of roof leaks, too.
If you find any signs of a water leak, track down the source so that you can take care of it before your home inspection.
Keep Going with Maintenance Chores
It’s easy to lose focus on the basics of home maintenance when you need to get ready for a move. But this is not the time to let it go.
If you follow an annual home maintenance checklist, stick to your schedule. Your diligence is going to help keep your home inspection free of expensive surprises.
But if you have let some tasks slip to the back burner, take the time to check off a few items:
- Replace your furnace filter if needed.
- Put fresh batteries in your smoke detectors if you haven’t recently. Test them to make sure they’re working correctly.
- Make sure all windows open and close properly.
- Clean the filter in your range fan. Bonus: your kitchen will smell better.
- Replace burnt-out light bulbs.
- Patch significant holes in walls, such as from doorknobs.
If there are known issues that you plan to repair but haven’t completed yet, your agent can communicate that to the inspector. Whatever you do, don’t try to hide a problem or defect. The inspector will find it, and then you look a little suspicious.
Make Sure the Home Inspector Has Access
If you are no longer living in the house, make sure utilities stay on. This will make it easier for the inspector to complete their report. If gas, electricity, and water are off, the inspector cannot get the data they need.
Your moving boxes or other property should not block access to any part of the home. This situation is probably the biggest pet peeve for any home inspector. They will need to get a good view of electrical boxes, attics, and crawl spaces. You do not need to provide ladders or flashlights since the inspector should have what they need.
Along these lines, make sure you know where the access points are so that your agent can communicate that to the inspector. It’s surprising how often homeowners don’t know where the hatch is to their crawlspace!
Budget for a Few Repairs
Even with regular maintenance, homes occasionally need repairs. Don’t be shocked if your buyer requests a couple of fixes after the inspection.
Your realtor can help you manage expectations when it comes to repairs the buyer requests. If you aren’t comfortable agreeing to their list, you can decline to make changes. The buyer can choose to cancel their offer at that point or continue with the sale.
Sometimes, a buyer will opt for a re-inspection after repairs. They are responsible for that cost unless your contract states otherwise.
Are You Ready for the Next Step of Homeownership?
Are you exploring the housing market in Portland or surrounding areas? Whether you are thinking about upsizing, downsizing, or stepping into the market for the first time, Julia Monaghan Real Estate can help. Reach out today to get started.