We do many inspections and some homes and people are more prepared for the inspection than others.
You should be ready for the inspector to go through your home, looking in every corner and checking all of the home’s features. Preparing ahead of time by clearing areas and fixing simple items can go a long way to making everyone feel better about the inspection and the sale of the home.
Discussing with your agent about specifically how you should prepare would be a great idea. You want the buyer to be happy with the home, it is important to help the buyers be comfortable during the inspection. This maybe the longest time that they will spend in the home, they should not feel pressured or uncomfortable. Leaving them alone to walk around and picture themselves in the home while they make plans to make it their own is a great start.
The time it takes for the inspector(s) to inspect the home can vary greatly. Some inspectors are faster than others, some bring a team, homes are different sizes and complexities. You should feel free to ask the inspection company how long they expect the inspection to take. The time will vary and knowing exactly how long it will take is usually not feasible. Some issues may arise during the inspection and the buyers will certainly have an effect on the time it takes to complete the inspection. We highly recommend that you plan on being out of the home for about three hours but this could vary. There are a couple of reasons why you would leave, first and foremost you want the buyer to relax and feel comfortable in the home. You want them to be able to freely talk to the inspector and discuss plans for the home. The inspectors will usually not tell you what they find, they are bound by a contract and code of ethics. Finally, you will feel uncomfortable with someone poking around the home. If you are worried you can ask your Realtor to be there and most inspectors have had a background check, which is required for licensing in the State of Florida. You can leave contact information if a question arises.
Remember inspectors will not usually move your items, be sure that access it available to all areas, including doors, windows, appliances and utility services. Buyers may have questions or concerns if items are not properly inspected and may require return visits, costing time and money. Sellers can speed-up their home inspection by following these suggestions. The inspection will go smoother, with fewer concerns, prevent delays and make the buyer happier.
Confirm that water, electric and gas service are on, with gas pilot lights burning(including fireplaces).
Ensure pets won’t hinder the inspection. Ideally, they should be removed from premises or secured outside. Tell your agent about any pets at home.
Replace burned out bulbs to avoid a “Light is inoperable” report that may suggest an electrical problem.
Open all window coverings, removed additional locks.
Prepare all appliances to be operated, most inspections(in Florida) will include testing appliances.
Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and replace dead batteries.
All remotes that are needed to operate items in the home should be available and working.
Clean or replace dirty HVAC air filters.
Remove stored items, debris and wood from the foundation. These may be cited as “conducive conditions” for termites.
Remove items blocking access to HVAC equipment, electric service panels, water heaters, attics and crawl spaces.
Unlock areas the inspector must access – attic doors or hatches, electric service panels, closets, fence gates, sheds and crawl spaces.
Trim tree limbs to 10′ from the roof and shrubs from the house to allow access.
Fix anything that is broken or missing items like doorknobs, locks and latches; window panes, screens and locks; gutters, downspouts and chimney caps, whenever possible.
Many inspections will include pool, spas, tubs docks, and irrigation systems. Those items should be ready also.
Checking these areas before your home inspection will assist in selling your property. A great way to communicate specific details would be to create a list or put post-it notes around the home where appropriate.
When the inspection is complete the inspector will provide a report the buyer usually within a day or two. The buyer then would need some time to digest the information and decide about anything further. Feel free to contact us if we can answer any questions.