Home Inspection Preparations
An important part of the home-selling process is the home inspection. A negative home inspection can be a deal breaker, even after an offer is made. For home owners, the thought of someone going through their house making notes about everything that’s wrong can be nerve wracking. However, there are steps you can take that will help ensure a complementary home inspection and reduce negative comments in the report. The good news is that many of these steps are achievable at either no cost or low cost.
Clean the Home
First of all, give your house a good cleaning. A dirty house gives the impression that it has been poorly maintained. While you are cleaning, make sure to replace the furnace filter and clean the air returns. If you have a wood stove or fireplace, hire a professional to clean them and the chimney. Ensure that access to any areas subject to inspection, such as the crawlspace, attic, garage, and basement are free from obstacles. Remove any dangerous chemicals such as solvents, paints, fuel, and gas from those areas.
Many of these repairs are low cost. However, when you make repairs, do them correctly and don’t cut corners. Saving a buck here or there may inadvertently attract the attention of the inspector and unnecessarily raise question about your home.
• Test all smoke detectors. If they are battery operated install new batteries.
• Ensure that that all tubs, toilets, faucets, and sinks work correctly. If needed, replace the caulk in bathrooms and kitchen.
• Check and ensure that the bath vents are in working order
• Make sure all the doors and windows work properly. Replace any cracked glass panes or panels as well as damaged or torn screens.
• Confirm that all electrical outlets near sinks and faucets are GFCI rated.
• Double-check that none of the light bulbs are burned out.
• Ensure the masonry walls in the basement are sealed.
• If your basement has a sump pump, check that it works properly.
• If not present, install window wells and covers.
Prepare the Crawlspace
To improve the likelihood of a good report after the home inspector examines your crawlspace:
• Ensure that the crawlspace is dry; remove any moisture from the crawlspace.
• If necessary, install a vapor barrier.
Don’t Neglect the Outside
Investing a little elbow grease into improving the outside of your home can go a long way to making it easier for the inspector and for reducing negative comments.
• Make sure all exterior wall penetrations (anything that sticks into or comes out from the exterior wall) are properly sealed or caulked.
• If you have a deck, make sure that there is proper grading under it.
• Remove any firewood or rotting wood that may be touching the house.
• Repair any broken mortar.
• Paint any weathered exterior wood.
• Put fresh caulk around the doors, windows, chimney, and trim.
• Make sure there is six inches or more of clearance between the siding and grade or mulch.
• Clean the gutters and remove debris from the roof.
• Ensure that the grading makes all water (such as from downspouts) flow away from the house.
• Install metal flue caps and seal masonry chimney caps.
• If you have an asphalt driveway, seal any cracks.
Don’t be surprised if you get some negative comments in the home inspection. No house is “perfect,” and every home gets negative comments. If you have questions or concerns about the home inspection, ask a Rochester, MN real estate agent. Your professional real estate agent can give you valuable advice about getting your home inspected.