Why is important to be prepared for an inspection...
Home sellers spend a lot of time and money preparing their home for potential buyers making home improvements (granite counter tops, new carpeting, fresh paint), these efforts help to make your home stand out from the others in the neighborhood, but an important step in the selling process is preparing your home using a home inspection.
TuCasa Home Inspectors report many of the same safety, repair and recommended improvement items in their home inspection reports.
Some of this items can detract from the many positive aspects of the home, but many of these problems could have been addressed in advance by the home seller with little effort and minimal cost.
Follow the list of 15 Simple Things the home seller can do to prepare your home for the selling process.
Scheduling a seller home inspection will allow you to identify and fix items before they interfere with your buyers offer. This also allows you to negotiate from a position of strength and demonstrates that you are a committed and honest seller.
Single tips to be prepared for a selling process...
- Gutters which are full of leaves and debris are unable to perform their intended function of channeling water away from the house. Clean out the gutters and ensure that both the gutters and downspouts are secured and that they extend at least 5 feet from the house.
- Trim back tree branches and shrubs to ensure that they are not in contact with the house or roof.
- Check to see if there are a minimum number of smoke detectors on each floor. Test them to see if they work. Replace the battery.
- Check to make sure that light switch or outlet covers are not missing or damaged. Replacing missing or damaged covers is an inexpensive repair.
- Test all interior and exterior light fixtures. If they are not, often if is as simple as changing a light bulb.
- Does the doorbell work?
- Check under the sinks, are the traps or faucets leaking? The home inspector will test faucets and report concerns. Repairs by a plumber are often relatively inexpensive.
- Check to make sure that the toilets do not continue to run after the flush. Often simple adjustments are needed to correct this.
- Is the fuse box properly labeled?
- Clean the dryer vent and make sure the vent is metal rather than plastic. Dirty dryer vents and those that are not metal are a safety concern. On the day of the inspection, make sure the washer and dryer are empty so their operation can be tested.
- Install a new filter to the furnace.
- Make sure windows operate smoothly (not stuck or painted shut).
- Check that all interior doors latch to the strike plate.
- Make sure handrails are securely fastened.
- Schedule a seller home inspection to have a complete vision of potential improvements.
Checklist for your inspection
BEFORE THE INSPECTION
- Make sure all the dirt and landscaping material is away from the siding of the house. There should be 4-6 inches of clearance beneath the siding of the house.
- Plant growth should be cut back away from the house at least 10-12 inches.
- Any stored items should be moved as far away from the structure; stored firewood in particular should be moved as far away from the house as is reasonable.
- Check the siding and trim for any damages and repair as needed.
- Repair any missing caulking around doors, windows and over nail heads.
- Make sure all exterior doors and door knobs/deadbolts are operating properly. You may wish to repair any damaged weather stripping.
- Clean all moss and debris off the roof. Use a pressure washer only if absolutely necessary. A broom or blower is preferred.
- Repair any damaged or missing roofing. Avoid using mastic or caulking as a repair as it is considered a temporary repair only and may be called out by the inspector.
- Clean out gutters and repair any damages to the gutters such as rust through or sagging.
- Make sure all downspouts are properly diverted away from the house, either with elbows and splash blocks or drain lies.
- Check the garage door opener and adjust it as needed so it properly reverses against pressure.
- Make sure the garage door itself is operating properly and repair as needed.
- If the home is newer with solid core, self-closing door to the interior, make sure the door closes and seals properly by itself, with the weather stripping intact.
- Check for leaks under the sinks and around the faucets, repairing as needed.
- Look for possible floor damage around toilets and adjacent to tubs and showers. If found, damages may need further evaluation by a contractor.
- Make sure that all grout and caulking is in good repair. This includes tub and shower surrounds along the floor in front of tubs and showers.
- Check to be sure all fixtures, fans and appliances are working properly.
- Check interior doors and windows to make sure they are operating properly. This is particularly important for bedroom windows.
- Make sure smoke detectors are in place and functional.
- Remove any stored items from the attic space. Check to be sure all fan ducts are properly connected and venting outside the attic space. Repair if not.
- Make sure all light switches are functional and any burned out lights are replaced.
- Check your water heater for any leaking or damage. If present, repair or replacement may be needed.
- If missing, install proper rated earthquake strapping to water heater.
- Make sure the water heater pilot light is on.
- Repair any plumbing leaks found in the crawl space.
- Inspect your furnace filter and change, or clean, if dirty.
- Regarding air conditioning, make sure all debris is cleaned away from the exterior compressor.
- Regarding a gas-fired appliance, which utilizes a pilot light, such as a gas log fireplace or older furnace, make sure the pilot light is on. The pilot light may have been turned off for the summer or if the house has been vacant.
- Remove any wood, concrete, form wood and cardboard debris.
- Remove or replace any damaged, fallen floor insulation.
- Make sure crawl space is fully covered with plastic. Only use 6 mil black plastic, if adding more.
- Reconnect any disconnected heat ducts.
- Repair any damaged foundation vent screens and make sure all foundation vents are clear. Use only 1/4 inch galvanized hardware cloth for repair. Don't use any louvered type vents
- Make sure all animals are secured.
- Make sure all utilities are on.
- Remove any locks on outside gates, which prevent full access to the exterior.
- Be sure there is total and complete access to the following areas:
- Electrical Panel. (Panel cover will need to be removed)
- Furnace. (Furnace cover will also need to be removed)
- Water Heater.
- Attic Space. (Inspector will need to access inside attic space)
- Crawl Space. (Especially if it is inside a closet full of stored items)
- All bedrooms and living areas.
- All exterior surfaces, siding, decks, etc...
Thoroughly Home Inspection Service
Inch by inch inspection along all systems of the house to permit you the closing of your property without surprises.