Probably every real estate agent has experienced it… the buyer and seller finally agree to a price and contract terms. The buyer orders a home inspection and the inspector delivers a report full of items in need of repair, adjustment or replacement. The perfect house doesn’t look so perfect anymore. The buyer is panicking, questioning the decision to purchase this particular property. The seller is upset, blaming the home inspector for criticizing his or her “perfect” house. The agent is doing everything possible to save the transaction at hand. This scenario should not happen very often, but we believe it can be minimized or totally eliminated with some home inspection preparation. One of the best possible solutions is to order a pre-listing home inspection. Such an inspection can reveal most of the problems and include the list of recommended repairs.
Even without such an inspection, the sellers can do quite a bit of home inspection preparation. Below are some common problems that typically appear on a buyer’s home inspection reports. Early correction of these problems can increase a home’s appeal. This can set the stage for a favorable buyer’s home inspection and helps expedite and simplify the sale. It is very important to pay attention to the details. Seller should also consider maintenance improvements, take safety precautions and making cosmetic improvements to the property.
Don’t forget to look at the exterior of your home if you are responsible for the maintenance.
- Trim trees and shrubs, which touch or overhang the house.
- Apply new caulking and weather-stripping as needed around the windows and doors.
- Clean gutters of debris, repair or replace cracked or broken gutters, downspouts, and install downspout extensions.
- Check proper drainage, re-grade soil around the foundation, as needed, to keep the water away from the house.
- Re-secure any loose deck railing or siding, re-stain if needed.
- Replace dirty filters in the heating systems.
- Have the heating professionally serviced and cleaned.
- Have chimneys professionally cleaned and install caps as needed. This may be handled annually by your homeowner’s association so check with them before you make arrangements.
Bathrooms and Kitchen
- Repair leaky faucets.
- Repair leaky sinks and tub drains.
- Replace bathroom grouting and caulking where necessary.
- Tighten loose doorknobs.
- Replace damaged or missing screens.
- Replace broken or fogged glass panes.
- Replace burned out light bulbs.
- Secure loose stair railings.
- Patch holes and cracks in walls and ceilings.
- Repair peeling wallpaper.
- Ventilate closed basements and crawl spaces.
- Re-secure loose outlets and switches.
- Install GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters) electrical outlets in “wet” areas (kitchen countertops, bathrooms, garages, and outside)
Prevent safety and fire hazards
- Install smoke detectors (at least one on each level).
- Keep flammable products away from heaters, water heaters, and fireplaces.
- Install carbon monoxide detectors within 15 feet of every bedroom.
It is a good idea to assemble in advance various house records that can be used to answer questions from buyers and home inspectors like appliance receipts, service records and warranties, major component warranties (siding, roof shingles) and heating, water and electric bills from the previous year.
Keep areas clear to give the buyer and the home inspector access to the garage, crawl space, attic, heating and electrical equipment.Return to Sellers Page