Inspections are necessary before selling property. This is to ensure the home is safe as well as documented records of what is and isn’t working on the property. Today we’ll talk about ways to make your life and their job easier when you must work with an inspector so you can move on to closing the property quicker and easier.
- Be honest. Tell the inspector of anything you’ve seen that seems to be malfunctioning or a problem so they can be aware of it and know how to approach the situation. As with buyers, it doesn’t pay to tell them the property is flawless and it can save the inspector some time if he’s made aware of repairs you are working on or are aware of.
- Keep records. Be it past inspections, repairs, or insurance claims, it’s all useful. If you have records showing the house had some water damage and it was repaired through the insurance company, the inspector may check out that area to ensure the repairs have held up (especially if it’s not a reputable company who did the repairs) or he may skip past that area for the time being.
- Remove clutter and debris. If there is a box or piece of furniture blocking outlets, electrical boxes, plumbing, heating/cooling systems, or the attic it will just prolong the inspector’s visit and make his job increasingly difficult. The same goes for items in appliances (microwaves, ovens, dishwashers, washing machines, or dryers for example) and general clutter. It would be better to have dirty dishes or laundry in boxes in the garage or in corners than in the inspector’s way.
- Check light bulbs. This may seem like a minor thing, but if you see a dead bulb, check with a brand new bulb to see if there’s a problem which may need to be addressed, let the inspector know, and he may be able to suggest a solution to the problem. The same goes with outlets and appliances. If an appliance isn’t working that you plan on selling with the home, have it looked at and documented.
- Avoid the home. It may sound awkward, but sometimes leaving the property is helpful to the inspector. If you lived in the property for years, you may find offence to problems found in the home. If you are simply selling the hole as a real estate agent you may still become defensive or try to argue that the problem does not need fixing to sell the property. The inspector will leave a detailed report for you and you can always call or visit to go over results (or come back to the property when he is finished). Chances are, he wants to have room to move about the home at his pace to do the work properly. If you don’t leave the home, at least designate an area you will be if he has issues or concerns.
- Some recommend keeping doors unlocked while the inspector is there, but if you are safety conscious, it would make more sense to wait until he arrives to let him in or find a way to drop off the keys to the office and inform him of which doors he can enter with said key. If you are working with an inspector you have previously done business with and fully trust, this should not be an issue. Also, it is helpful to keep attics, basements, and other doors unlocked within the home so the inspector can check each room appropriately.