If you’re selling your home, one of the things that might make you nervous is the home inspection. It is a process where a certified home inspector will come to your home and make a physical and objective examination of all the physical structures and systems of your home. This is an essential step in any home selling transaction, and you will not be able to legally sell your home without it.
A typical home inspection will include a visual inspection of all the physical parts of your home, from the roof to your foundation. It will also cover all the systems in your home, such as electrical wiring, plumbing, heating, and central air conditioning.
Can My House Fail a Home Inspection?
One of the main reasons why many homeowners dread the home inspection is that they think that they can “fail” a home inspection. However, this is a misconception. Home inspections are not the same as an appraisal (to determine the monetary value of a home) or a municipal inspection (to determine if a house is compliant with local regulations).
Therefore, a home inspector cannot “grade” a home and say if it “passes” or “fails”. The main and only goal of a home inspection is to create a detailed description of the physical condition of the house and to determine if there are any major repairs or replacements required.
This Sounds Easy…Why Can’t I Do It Myself?
Unfortunately, a regular homeowner is not allowed to legally inspect their own homes even if they promise to “document everything”. Only certified home inspectors have the technical knowledge, training, and experience to be able to conduct a thorough and objective home inspection based on federal regulations. Even the most experienced homeowner will find it impossible to remain completely unbiased when it comes to inspecting their home, and any documentation will not be considered as a reliable source.
Is it Expensive?
Generally, the cost of hiring a home inspector will vary depending on the geographical location and the provider. However, you should not consider the cost as the only factor that lets you decide on which home inspector service to hire—a cheap service might not necessarily be a bargain! Always look for the qualifications, experience, training, and certifications a home inspection company provides. You can even get feedback from other homeowners who might have already used a certain company’s services.
What Do I Need to Do to Prepare?
Here are some simple steps that you can do to help make the home inspection process as quick and smooth as possible. Keep in mind that most of the time, potential buyers will be there with the home inspector. These steps can help leave a great impression on the buyer, and it might give them that final nudge towards finalizing the sale.
1. Clean Your Home
This might seem obvious, but many homeowners overlook this simple step. Clean homes mean that you take the time and effort to care for your home, which will reflect well on both the buyer and the home inspector.
2. Repair Anything that’s Obviously Broken
Complete all small repairs around the home before the home inspector even comes by, such as busted light bulbs, broken knobs or hinges, or window cracks. These repairs are quick and cheap, but leaving them unattended might have negative consequences during the inspection.
3. Leave all Utilities Connected
The home inspector will want to check all electric appliances as well as water heaters, garbage disposals, and other home devices. Keep them connected so that it will be easy for the home inspectors to turn them on and check if they are working properly.
4. Provide Access as Much as Possible
Getting into spaces such as the attic, garage, and basement are all part of the home inspection. Make sure to clear away any obstruction so that there is easy access. If there are locks, make sure to leave the keys somewhere they can easily be seen.
5. Provide Repair/Replacement Documentation
If you had any major repairs or replacements done, provide the home inspector with these documents.
6. Be on Time
Promptness is always a great way to leave a good first impression. If the meeting is set for a certain time, make sure that you and your home are ready for the home inspector and the potential buyer. No one wants to see you getting ready and hurrying about to leave!
7. Keep Away
A typical home inspection lasts around three to four hours, and during this time, you might be asked to leave the premises so that the potential buyer will be free to ask any questions that they might have about the condition of your home.