Home Inspections for Sellers: Prepping for the Sale

A thorough home inspection is a critical step in the home-buying process, which is one reason that it’s typically thought of as something the buyer has to do. There are, however, a few things that a seller can do to make the process smoother and ensure that a property gets flying colors during the inspection.

What can sellers do to get ready for an inspection?
The first thing is make sure they aren’t around during the inspector’s visit, says Kenny Rhodes, a licensed home inspector with nearly 20 years experience. “It’s really important that the seller not be here when we’re being critical of his home,” Rhodes says. If a homeowner does hang around, the potential buyer may not feel comfortable asking questions or discussing a property’s issues openly and honestly.

A seller can also prepare the home for the inspection. The most important thing to do here is to keep all key areas of the house free, clear and accessible. This includes providing access to the furnace, boiler and circuit breaker.

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In an ideal world, the home will inspect well and the real estate transaction can move forward. But what happens in the event that things don’t go as planned? Don’t be surprised if the buyer asks the seller to spend some money to make some repairs identified during the inspection. Buyers may also request to renegotiate the home’s price to accommodate the necessary improvements that the inspection uncovered. And in a worst-case scenario, the buyer could even walk away from the transaction entirely.

Obviously, the best way to avoid any of these situations is to deal with any problems before the inspection takes place. And how can sellers do that? They can get their own pre-sale inspection before putting the property on the market.

As you can see in this video, the inspector found some potential problem spots that the home owner may not have even considered – like a tree too close to the home and stairs not being built to code.

While hiring an inspector may feel like an unnecessary expense for a seller, it could actually end up saving money down the road. If the homeowner can make some simple repairs before the open houses begin, there will be fewer issues for buyers to notice, and the inspection process will go more smoothly once an offer is made on the home.