How to Prepare For a Home Inspection When Selling a Home

How to Prepare For a Home Inspection When Selling a Home

How to Prepare For a Home Inspection When Selling a Home

The home inspection process can be nerve-wracking as a seller. The inspector may find many necessary repairs or structural problems with your home that are costly to fix or could jeopardize a pending sale. It can be a smart idea to schedule a pre-inspection before putting your home on the market to know what may need repairs before finding a buyer. Here are some ways to start preparing for a home inspection

Select a Reputable Home Inspector

In your local area, there are likely many different companies available to conduct your home inspection. It is critical that you only work with experienced and trustworthy inspectors that will provide you with an unbiased look at the current condition of your home. Ideally, the inspector has experience with homes like yours, particularly if you have a septic system or a pool.

Things to Do Before a Home Inspection

Now that you have a home inspection scheduled, you might wonder what is the best way to prepare for an inspection. Here is what to do before a home inspection to get the most thorough and fair assessment:

  1. Clean Your Home - Start by cleaning your home thoroughly, as you would do before any showing. You want to showcase your house in its best light. Clearing away all clutter, dust, and other items that might hinder the inspector’s view will make a big difference in the results.
  2. Prepare a List of Questions - You should also prepare a list of questions to ask the home inspector during their visit. It gives you the opportunity to find out the specific details regarding any potential issues the inspector will find and allows you to plan ahead on how you might repair or fix any problems. Specifically, you want to ask what the inspector estimates the cost of repairs should be. While the inspector can’t give a firm price quote, they can give you a rough idea of what you could expect to pay to get the house into a state where it passes the inspection.
  3. Ensure Clear Walkways and Access - Clear walkways and access for your inspector is also an important factor to consider. Remove any things that may be in the way of the inspector, such as cars and toys, as well as any furniture or decor that might block access to panels that the inspector needs to access. 
  4. Allow Time for Inspection - It is always a good idea to allow the inspector plenty of time to look through your home. Depending on the size and complexity of your home, it can take some time for the inspector to do a thorough inspection. It is wise to allow at least two hours to complete the inspection to assess every square foot of your home and its structure. Larger homes may require more time to inspect.

Understand Common Reasons Homes Fail an Inspection

There are some issues that cause homes to fail at inspection. It can be a good idea to know these situations in advance before the inspection, as some of these problems could be addressed before trying to sell your home. The most common reasons houses fail home inspections include:

  1. Bad Roof - If your roof is in poor condition, this could be a large red flag for the inspector. The inspector will likely recommend that you replace your roof before you can sell your home. Some lenders will not approve financing for sellers for a house with a bad roof.
  2. Electrical Issues - The inspector will review your electrical system thoroughly. Issues with fire safety and functionality will likely be a part of the inspection. Sometimes homes have electrical systems that are not up to the current standards or codes and require updating to be able to sell.
  3. Plumbing Issues - If your plumbing is not up to code, it could decrease the price of your home. Sometimes, the price will be deducted due to these issues. When selling a home with bad plumbing, you may need to thoroughly address damaged pipes or leaks before completing the home sale transaction. This can include current leaks and water damage.
  4. Termites - If termites have affected the structural integrity of your home, you may need to address it before you put your house on the market. For example, if your home is covered in termites, they can make the interior walls sag and affect the structural integrity. The inspector will look at any damage that has been or can be caused by termites and note the severity of the damage prior to a home sale.
  5. Asbestos - Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral once used in many home building and industrial applications. It’s no longer popular because researchers linked exposure to asbestos as a cause of cancer. Many homes built before the 1980s include asbestos. Asbestos causes health issues, such as cancer, when inhaled by humans. In some cases, this may lower the price of your home or prevent you from selling your home at all. It is critical that if any asbestos is found in your home that it be thoroughly addressed by a professional.
  6. Lead Paint - Lead paint is another major problem that can prevent your home from selling. Lead used to be a common additive in paints that research shows can be damaging to human health. If your home has lead paint or the possibility of lead paint, your state might require sellers and buyers to sign a disclosure indicating that there might be lead paint in the home.
  7. Infestations - If your home is infested with pests, like roaches or rodents, it could decrease the value and marketability of your home. If this is the case, you should  hire a professional pest control company before putting your home on the market. Some homeowners know about infestations, but many do not  find out that there is a problem until during the inspection.
  8. Foundation Issues - Foundation issues can be identified by the inspector, causing red flags for potential buyers. If there are any significant foundation issues that cannot be fixed in a reasonable amount of time, the home will require a longer, drawn out process to be sold.
  9. Mold - Mold can be very harmful to the home's structure and will negatively affect the home's sale price. If mold is found during a home inspection, the inspector will likely recommend further testing to determine the extent of the problem. For severe cases, the home may not be safe to live in. The cost to remove mold will depend on the severity of the problem, but it can often cost thousands of dollars. 

What to Do After a Home Inspection

After your home inspection is complete, you should ask for a copy of the final report. This report will include pictures and comments on all findings in your home. It will also highlight any necessary repairs that need to be made to bring your home up to code. 

If your inspection was part of a real estate deal, your potential buyers will have the opportunity to continue with the purchase, end the deal and walk away without buying the house, or ask for concessions, including the inspector’s recommended repairs, to be made. Alternatively, you may be able to negotiate the repairs needed and offer a price adjustment. 

If the inspection was a pre-inspection prior to listing your home, you can decide whether to list your home for sale AS IS, make the necessary repairs, or to accept a lower offer. When you account for the cost of the repairs, accepting a lower offer might actually be less expensive than first paying for the repairs on your own. If the inspector finds significant damage, this might be your best bet.

Can I Sell My House Without an Inspection?

If you know that your house would have difficulty passing an inspection, you may want to know if you can sell your house AS IS without having to do an inspection. While it is possible to sell a house fast, especially to an all-cash buyer, it is likely that you would still need some sort of inspection. By choosing to sell a house without a Realtor to a home buying company, the company will make you a fair offer without requiring you to make repairs or offer concessions to them to make those repairs.

The pre-inspection can help you identify any problems that need repair before your home is sold. The inspector will likely note the problem, provide recommendations, and offer an approximate cost of repair. Knowing how to prepare for a home inspection can make the process easier. By taking action before an inspection, you can be proactive in preparing your home for a home inspection and reduce the chances that any issues will be detrimental to selling your home.

House Buyers of America Buys Houses AS IS for Cash

If you didn’t get the pre-inspection outcome that you wanted, that’s okay! House Buyers of America buys homes that need repair in Washington DC, Virginia, Maryland, and the Mid-Atlantic region. You can receive a fair cash offer within a few minutes by phone. We manage our own inspection process and take care of most repairs on our end. This means that you won’t have to pay for costly repairs if we buy your house.

To get started, call us at 855-659-3289 or fill out our online form. Our team of real estate professionals is here to help you throughout the process!

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