You just accepted a great offer on your home and you’re doing a happy dance!
The couple who bought it is thrilled! Looks like now you can relax and wait for a closing date.
Not so fast. Getting your home under contract is just baby step #1. There are still a few more hurdles to jump, and one of the biggest ones is the home inspection.
Being Prepared Is Half The Battle.
Just as your Realtor made many suggestions on how to put your very best foot forward when getting your home ready for showings, the same hold true when getting ready for the home inspector’s arrival. It can make all the difference between getting an accepted offer and holding that offer together.
The home inspector will be going over your home with a fine tooth comb, checking out everything from your roof to your basement. After the home inspection, the buyers of your home will sit down with their Realtor and go over an extensive report from the home inspector that will detail any and all problems/issues found.
The key here is to minimize or even eliminate issues and problems before the home inspector even arrives. Remember, the buyers of your home are excited. They’re so anxious to get to the closing table and be handed the keys. They are already picturing themselves in your home. You want to keep it that way. If the list of problems becomes too long, Buyers have a way of quickly becoming disenchanted with your home, and a long list of problems could turn them off to the point of wanting to cancel the contract. (Our Greater Louisville Association of Realtors contracts give Buyers the right to cancel a contract if they are dissatisfied with the home after the home inspection.) Planning ahead can save you a lot of grief, and help solidify the sale.
Here Are 20 Tips For Getting Your Home Ready:
- Starting outdoors, make sure you clean your gutters and clear off any limbs or other debris from your roof.
- Divert all water away from your house. Clean out your basement entry drains if you find any blockage. Check your downspouts, sump pump and condensate drain.
- Trim back your trees and bushes if they are too close to your foundation.
- Scrape and paint all exterior trim if necessary, and caulk around the windows and doors.
- Seal chimney cap and check to see if your metal flue cap needs to be replaced.
- Seal any large cracks in your asphalt driveway.
- If you have a deck, make sure there is proper bracing. If there are no joist hangers, add them.
- Replace or clean your furnace filter. Clean your air returns.
- Test all smoke detectors to make sure they are working correctly.
- Check you attic for adequate insulation
- Have the chimney professionally cleaned. Let the inspector and the buyers see a copy of a paid receipt for this at the time of inspection.
- Make sure all your doors and windows open, close and lock properly. If any windows look “milky” or “dirty” they have probably lost some or all of their energy efficiency and should be repaired or replaced. The same holds true with a cracked window pane. This is a safety issue, and it’s best to take care of this before it becomes an issue.
- Thoroughly check all your plumbing against leaks (tubs, toilets, sinks and showers). Get these repaired ahead of time, and if there is damage, for instance, to the bottom of a sink after a slow leak that has gone unnoticed for awhile, make those repairs ahead of the inspection, too.
- Make sure all water sources have GFCI receptacles. (ground fault circuit interrupter). This should be professionally done and a receipt provided to the inspector and the buyer.
- Replace all burned out light bulbs. So often this can become an “issue” or at least a “question” on a report simply because the home inspector could not determine whether a light failing to come on was due to an electrical problem or just a burned out light bulb.
- If you have a crawl space, it is imperative in our Louisville area that there is a proper vapor barrier. Clear out any debris that might be sitting in this area as well.
- Remove any solvents, gasoline, paints or anything flammable from your attic, basement or crawl space.
- Make sure your kitchen has proper ventilation and that your bathroom vents are also in proper working order.
- Make your home easily accessible for the inspector. He or she has to be able to walk around the basement and check out all the walls. Make sure everything is cleared out of the way of the attic access.
- Make sure all appliances that are staying with the house are in proper working order.
Of course it stands to reason that a good home inspector worth his credentials will still find a few things that a Buyer will ask you to repair, replace, or correct. And the Buyers’ agent will explain to them that this is to be expected. But there is a huge difference between finding 4 or 5 items of concern and 20 items of concern, so let’s pare that list down to a number that won’t frighten a Buyer away.
If you would like a list of licensed home inspectors in our Louisville area, feel free to email me @ Jacki@TheShaferTeam.com or write a comment below.
ere are 20 Tips That Will Help Give Your Home A Clean Bill Of Health: