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Navigating the Home Inspection for Sellers

One of the most daunting aspects of selling a home is the buyer's home inspection. The home inspection typically takes place after an offer is put in and before closing the sale, allowing the buyer to fully understand the property's value. The inspection helps lead negotiations and provide both parties with as much information as possible. By, understanding the home inspection process, you'll be able to take on the closing with confidence. 

What are they looking for?

The home inspection is a thorough evaluation of the home for any major issues, The inspector is typically looking for things that don't function properly, are hazardous, or are at the end of their service life. Among the features and issues inspected are: 

  • Electrical systems
  • Roof
  • Plumbing
  • HVAC systems
  • Structural issues
  • Insulation and ventilation
  • Fireplaces
  • Water damage
  • Mold
  • Asbestos
  • Lead paint

Problems found with some of the above pose safety and legal concerns, which are of primary importance. 

What happens next?

Once the inspection is completed, the inspector will write up a report of their findings. This report may take a few days to produce and then will be available to the buyer to be used for negotiations. Oftentimes the buyer will ask that issues are either fixed or that they are given a credit to cover the cost of repairs. The problems prioritized are those that pose a safety or legal concern and will likely require that the two parties come up with a solution. Negotiating repairs is always best done with your agent who will have the best understanding of what are reasonable requests and help you navigate any questions about receiving credit. Any repairs that will be completed before closing often require that you hire a professional, we suggest that you receive quotes from a few reputable contractors before you settle on one. In the worst-case scenario, a buyer will back out of the deal due to issues with the home. In this situation, you may consider getting necessary repairs done to the house and relisting or just simply listing the home "as-is" with a lower asking price.

How can I prepare? 

In order to prepare for a home inspection, you need to make sure that your home is accessible to the inspector. This means not only making sure that they can access the electrical panel, furnace, and water heater, but also that any clutter is cleared away from areas to be inspected. Look for areas where simple fixes can be done to improve the inspection, like making sure that your drains are not clogged and that lightbulbs are working. You can also have any maintenance or service records on hand to show the inspector and buyer, proving that your home has been well maintained. In order to avoid surprises entirely, you may also consider having a pre-listing inspection done. This way, you will be able to make any repairs necessary before a buyer inspection and be able to more accurately price your home.