Home inspections are often thought of as homebuyer tools, not seller tools. This is because it is normal for most homebuyers – and many mortgage lenders – to insist upon a home inspection before the sale is final. This can make the inspection a nervous time for the seller. The following tips can help you survive the inspection and close the deal on your home.
Tip #1: Begin With the Roof
One of the first things inspected is the roof, and for good reason. Problems with the exterior of the roof can indicate even bigger issues, like water damage, inside. Perform your own inspection from the ground with a pair of binoculars. You are looking for broken or missing shingles, damaged flashing, and rotten or broken trim. Check the soffits underneath the roof and make sure they are also in good repair and that all soffit vents have a mesh cover to keep pests out. Finally, verify the guttering is attached properly with no leaks.
Tip #2: Move Down the Walls
While you are still outside, turn a critical eye onto your siding and windows. Any flaking paint, whether it's the window trim, a stair banister, or the siding itself, will need to be fixed and repainted before the inspection – bare wood is always a red flag that there could be moisture damage during an inspection. Make sure all trim is attached properly and that the siding is undamaged. Also, make sure windows are properly sealed. Finally, look at any bricks or exposed concrete work and make sure there are no stair-step cracks, since these can indicate a foundation issue that will require a major repair before you can sell.
Tip #3: Perfect Your Plumbing
Are there any known plumbing issues in your home? This is the time to fix or replace leaky faucets. Sending a sewer scope down the drains can help you find any potential problems so that you can have a plumber properly snake out the drain. This is especially important if you have trees and shrubs in your yard, since the inspector will likely be looking for major drainage problems. Symptoms of main drain problems, such as slow draining tubs and sinks or water backing up out of the main drain will need to be addressed, and having the sewer and main drains scoped is one of the easiest ways to find the issue.
Tip #4: Inspect Your HVAC Systems
Start with a filter change, since you want to make sure these systems look clean and cared for. Go room to room and check that the system is blowing air through all the vents. This is also a good time to make sure the vent registers are vacuumed out so there are no debris, such as a lost toy, sitting inside. If you have any issues, make sure they are repaired before the inspection.
If you don't want to perform a full inspection yourself or hire a seller's inspector, at the very least bring in an HVAC professional to check the mechanical systems and a professional plumber to scope your drains. These are issues that are more likely to scare away potential buyers since many people see them as expensive to fix.