While many sellers may assume that home inspections should be completed after they’ve found a buyer, having a pre-listing home inspection can come with multiple benefits. By taking care of the inspection upfront, a seller has the opportunity to resolve any major issues with the home. Not only does this prevent a possible sale from being delayed or falling through, but it can also save homeowners money on the repairs by not having to use a buyer’s own contractor to do the work. This pre-listing home inspection can also help a seller set the most accurate asking price for their home, preventing surprises later on in the process. This also gives a confidence boost to potential buyers. With a clean inspection on record, they may feel more comfortable about making an offer.
So what should a seller do to prepare for a pre-listing inspection?
- Make sure you’re hiring a certified and qualified home inspector. It’s extremely important to hire a home inspector who is both qualified and certified as a home inspector, especially if you live in a state that requires certain licenses. An unqualified inspector may see problems where there are none – or miss major necessary repairs. Either of these issues could turn off a prospective buyer, particularly if they arrive with their own (qualified) inspector to look at the house. Additionally, if you do hire an uncertified home inspector, their inspection report may not be considered valid or honored by anyone else. Be sure to do your research and save time and money by only hiring a certified professional.
- Clean and Declutter. Having a clean house won’t make a difference if you have large issues, but the inspector may be more likely to see how you take care of your property. Clearing out spaces under sinks and around appliances like your water heater also makes the inspector’s job easier by giving them better access to the important inspection areas around your home.
- Gather your paperwork. You’ll want to create a single file that has all your documentation on previous repairs to your house. Any insurance claims or previous inspection reports should also be included as well. Not only will this provide any details on previous repairs and maintenance, but it can also prove that you’ve already addressed any issues with your home in a timely manner.
- Make minor repairs now. We all have the little jobs around our home that have been ignored over time. However, a lot of little fixes can add up to a big issue with your home inspection. Go through your home now and make the necessary repairs to handles, knobs, and faucets before an inspector ever steps foot in your house. This will not only make their job easier, but it’ll reflect better on you and your home.
- Have your home ready to start. Inspectors will need to test a variety of connections and utilities during the course of the pre-listing inspection. Make sure your pilot lights are lit on all appliances, as inspectors aren’t legally allowed to light these themselves for safety reasons. Additionally, if your house is already unoccupied, make sure that all utilities will be turned on by the day of the inspection. Without these, the inspection will be incomplete and delay your home selling process.
- Leave the keys and clear out. The final step in preparing for your pre-listing home inspection is to be ready at least half an hour before your inspector is scheduled to arrive. This includes leaving keys to the property, including keys for any locked doors or utility closets. Then leave and let the inspector get to work. Inspectors often prefer to work with free access to the home, and having family and pets around can interrupt the process. Be prepared to leave for at least three hours to allow the inspector to finish their work.
Take care of these things, and you will be much more prepared for your pre-listing home inspection. And when you’re ready, and if you are in the Hendersonville, Nashville, or Middle Tennessee area – give J and J Home Inspections a call!