Home inspection: What Sellers Need to Know

You got an offer for your home, what’s next? Your buyer and his agent will schedule a home inspection of your property. The selling process includes a home inspection so that they can see and uncover issues on your property that you may not know about. Even if you believe your home to be in the best shape, you will never know what the inspector may find. The home inspection observes and reports which includes an assessment of the property’s condition, fire, and safety issues. Generally, the home buyer pays for the cost of a home inspection. Here’s what you need to know about home inspection as a seller.

Home inspection benefits for sellers

For home sellers, a home inspection will:

  • Expedite the selling process.
  • Sets the expectations by providing proof of condition to buyers.
  • Let the seller know about the true condition of their real estate property and set an appropriate price.
  • Offer negotiation leverage for homes in good condition
  • Reduces the risk of lawsuits
Who will be there?

Have your agent communicate with the buyer’s agent about the schedule. You won’t actually be present for the home inspection. You will be asked to vacate the property while the inspection takes place. Typically, the home inspector and the buyer’s real estate agent will be there. In most cases, the buyer is present. This gives them time to explore the property in detail and ask questions. The inspection usually takes 2-4 hours and may take several days to process up to the final report.

What will the home inspector check?

The home inspector will look at the interior and exterior parts of the home. This may include:

  • plumbing
  • central HVAC
  • electrical systems
  • structural components
  • roof and rain gutters
  • attic, may include visible insulation
  • walls
  • ceilings
  • floors
  • windows
  • doors
  • garage
  • basement
  • foundation
  • water and sewage
things that turn off home buyers
Preparation for home inspection for sellers

Here are a few things you can do to help the process:

  • Leave your keys and label for the inspector.
  • Gather documents with proof of services conducted in your home as well as receipts for big-ticket items like the A/C and appliances.
  • Make sure your home is clean and uncluttered.
  • Remove any pets.
  • Make the areas of the house accessible to the inspector including the basement.
  • Replace broken windows.
  • Ensure drains are clear.
  • Make sure that pilot lights and utilities are turned on.
  • Get rid of bugs.

A home inspection could expose problems in your property that may need repairing in order to proceed with the home sale. The buyer may accept a reduced price for negotiable repairs and agree to handle the repairs after purchase. Let the buyers know that you’re willing to negotiate, otherwise they may walk away and move on to another property.

It may be wise to consider a pre-listing inspection of your property. If an inspector find potential problems in the early process, you can address the repairs and make your property even more attractive to potential buyers.