Thoughts on, and preparing for, a home inspection (for Sellers)

[ 0 ] June 16, 2016 |

qtq80-mAHlWPOnce you are under contract, an inspection will be scheduled. Here are some thoughts on how the process works and some things you might consider doing/not doing leading up to and during the inspection.

    1. The inspection will take anywhere from 2 to 4 hours, depending on the size of the home. The inspector will check everything from the furnace, to the appliances, to the electrical outlets (and much more), and he will look over, among other things, the hot water heater, the roof, and the siding (and much more). He will also go through the attic and the crawl space (if there is one), and he will even look at the foundation for settling, cracks or heaving.
    2. The buyer of your home will also likely want to check the level of radon in the home – the inspector will, on top of the things listed above, test for radon. He will place a canister-like device in the lowest livable area of your home (he would put it in a basement; he would not put it in a crawlspace) – it will need to stay in the home for a minimum of two days. The inspector will schedule a time to come back to pick up the test; he will only need to be in your home as long as it takes for him to pick up the test.  If you’d like to read more about radon gas the City of Fort Collins put together this pamphlet – it will likely answer any questions you have.
    3. When finished, the inspector will provide a report to the Buyer detailing his findings, both good and bad. If we are going to hear anything regarding the inspection, and/or if the buyer is going to ask for any repairs or considerations for inspection issues, we will generally hear within a couple of days following the inspection.
    4. Unless you really aren’t comfortable with the inspector being in your home without you there, it really is best if you are gone during the entire inspection. The inspection often serves as a time not just for the inspector to do his job, but also for the buyer to spend extended time in the home. Often, buyers will do things like take measurements for and decide where to place furniture, and generally just walk through and get comfortable in the home. In essence, this time alone in the house allows them to further “bond” with what they hope is their new home: this is a very good thing – we want them to bond and fall in love with the home. If you are home, it can be very difficult for buyers to feel comfortable, so please try to take a few hours away from your house until the inspection has been completed.
    5. Because we want the Buyers to love and feel good about the home, and because we know the buyer is likely to show up for the inspection, we suggest treating this time as any other showing. That is, the home would ideally be clean and tidy, the lights would be on, and pets (at least any dogs) would be gone. We want the home to show as well as it ever has.
    6. Finally, an inspector is just like anybody else in that he can be influenced by “feelings.” That is, if the inspector gets the general impression that your home is in good shape (as evidenced by things like clean furnace filters, clean vents, etc.) and has been well-maintained, he will likely paint a slightly better picture to the buyer. If he forms the opposite impression, he may, without knowing, paint a slightly worse picture to the buyer. This is not something to worry about, so please don’t stress about this. We are simply offering a few thoughts on how to present your home in the best possible light.

Here are a few things you might consider doing:

  • If it’s time to replace your furnace filter, do so before the inspection.
  • If the furnace is dusty and dirty, give it a quick wipe-down.
  • If it’s fall, and time to clean out gutters, consider doing this in advance of the inspection.
  • Clean bathroom vent fans and/or return air vents (each can “catch” lint and dust).
  • If you have sliding glass doors or windows that are sticking, clean out the tracks.
  • Finally, even though issues of theft are rare, we still recommend you secure all valuables and account numbers.


Category: For Sellers

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