By Wes Grant, NPI Franchise Owner, Indian Trail, North Carolina
When you’re selling your home, preparing everything for the home inspection can prevent unnecessary delays during the closing process. For liability reasons, home inspectors are not required, nor advised, to move items blocking access to areas that need to be inspected. If you don’t provide access to these areas during the inspection, it can lead to incomplete results, callbacks, additional fees or a frustrated buyer. Most home inspectors charge an additional fee if they must return to the property to inspect items which were not accessible.
If you’re selling your home, you probably want to make the process as smooth as possible. Here are five tips to help you along:
1. Make sure all utilities (power, gas, water, etc.) are on for the inspection. Few things are more frustrating to a home inspector than arriving at a scheduled inspection only to find that none of the utilities are turned on or the pilot flames are not lit. This normally requires the inspection to be rescheduled and oftentimes results in the buyer having to extend due diligence, which therefore extends the closing date.
2. Create clear access to the electrical panel, water heater, furnace, attic and crawl space. If major appliances are not readily and easily accessible, the inspector will be unable to closely examine the equipment, which may again result in a return trip after you have cleared access to these important components of the home. Again, this will result in a delay and additional costs.
3. Board or kennel the pets. The home inspector is there to perform a thorough inspection, which takes a great deal of skill, knowledge and concentration. I love dogs (not so much a cat guy, though, sneaky critters), but we go in and out of the house quite a lot during a home inspection as we check different components of the home. Dogs that bark endlessly or cats that like to run out of an open door affect the inspector’s concentration, which could be detrimental to you or the buyer.
4. Don’t stuff the garage or the attic. It’s always a good idea to de-clutter your home in preparing to put it on the market, but don’t do so at the expense of stuffing everything in the attic or garage, as that will make those areas inaccessible (see No. 2 above). There are potentially defects that need to be noted in the attic and garage, and as has been the case for everything so far, that could lead to a return trip, delays and additional costs. It’s better to rent a storage unit or a POD that can be stored on your property.
5. Do some repairs and cleaning. I always recommend that sellers spruce up the house by doing some of the maintenance they may have let slip. Change burned-out bulbs in light fixtures; and caulk or seal around bathtubs, exterior windows/doors, anywhere there are gaps that allow water or pest intrusion. Dust, paint areas that need it, clean windows, clean bathrooms and the kitchen. Like they say, “Dress to impress.”
In conclusion, if you as a home seller follow these “Big 5” recommendations in preparing your home for an inspection, the process will go a lot smoother with no delays and minimal frustration. You will also be able to concentrate on your own schedule of finding another another home without the frustration of rescheduling inspections for the buyer of your current house. Happy selling, and remember to call NPI before you buy — or sell!
Wes Grant is a professional National Property Inspections home inspector in Indian Trail and the surrounding Union County area in North Carolina. If you live in the area, call 704.628.6601 to schedule your home inspection with Wes.
NPI and GPI home inspectors have the tools and knowledge to assess your home. Consult with your local NPI or GPI inspector for an assessment of your home, from roof to foundation.
Tagged: home improvement, home inspection, home maintenance, preparing for home inspection, real estate, selling your house, Wes Grant