How to prepare your home for a home inspection
How to make sure your home is ready for a buyers home inspection
Are you selling your home and have a home inspection coming up? Are you ready? You want to prepare your home as much as possible for this appointment. So what do you need to do? The best thing you can do is have a sellers home inspection done by Valler Home Inspections. This way you’ll have the full detailed report on the condition of your home and know what to repair or replace before the buyer sends in their home inspector. You can also inspect the home yourself and here are some things to look for and have access to.
Make sure all systems are accessible and ready
You want to make sure all your systems are accessible and operational for the home inspector. These systems include, the heating system, hot water heater, sump pump, electrical panel and the HVR (Heat Recovery Ventilator). If these systems are not accessible then its not reported on and it leaves the buyer with questions about your home that may lead them not to purchase.
What are the main issues that come up in most home inspections?
Some of the main things that come up in most home inspections are the things that you can correct before the appointment. You want us to find as little as possible. If there is not much found then its less likely that the buyer will come back with a counter offer on the price. Here are the things to look for and correct before the home inspection.
The thing you can do to make sure the roof inspection goes without a hiccup is to insure that all fasteners penetrating the roof are sealed, all wind turbine ventilation systems are operational and working correctly, any damaged or missing shingles are repaired or replaced and all roof systems have a roof vent.
Some of the things I notice a lot on the exterior of homes are the downspout extensions. Every downspout should have an extension installed so that it diverts water away from the home about 4 to 6 feet. They should be down in the summer and up in the winter to prevent them from getting damaged. Replace all damaged siding and seal all penetrations to prevent moisture intrusion. Make sure all windows and doors have the proper flashing installed above. If the homes foundation are showing signs of cracking or parging is missing you should have it properly repaired by a professional. Make sure the deck does not have rotten boards and the rails are sturdy and properly installed. If you are selling a mobile home you want to make sure that you have access to the underside of the home. You will also want to make sure that the underside is ventilated properly. A great read for mobile homes and their requirements is, “The Evolution of Modular Homes”. This will tell you everything you need to know about your modular/mobile home.
The heating system includes your furnace and fireplaces or woodstoves. You want to make sure there is nothing around the furnace so that the home inspector can view it without any limitations. Make sure that if its an older home, the pilot light is lit and gas is on. That is the same for gas fireplaces. Also it would be beneficial to have the furnace filter changed. The home inspector is not allowed to turn on the gas, light the fireplace or move the home owners belongings to gain access, so if you do not want a call asking for confirmation that the furnace works make sure that everything is up and running prior to the home inspection.
The homes AC system can only be tested during the warmer seasons and not below 15 degrees Celsius as it can damage it. but the unit itself can still be visually inspected. The main things you want to look at with the AC unit is if its level. An out-of-level AC condenser can damage the lines over time and should be corrected. The other issue that usually comes up in home inspections is that the system is uncovered during the winter months. You want to have the condenser covered to prevent it from filling up with snow. Snow accumulation inside can potentially damage it if its not melted when you try and fire up the system. Last but not least, make sure your unit is clean on the exterior. The fins on the exterior are used to draw in cooler air to prevent it from over heating. If they are clogged it can shorten the life span of the unit.
The plumbing system in the home consists of the hot water tank, plumbing drains, lines and sinks. Everything in the home that’s associated with water is the plumbing system. How old is your hot water tank? Is it leaking? Hot water heaters life span range from 6 to 12 years but I have seen some still working at 35 years. It is all depending on how well they were maintained. Before the home inspection it would be a good idea to have the tank replaced by a professional if it is leaking. The sump pump is another important system. It removes the water from around your home. You want to test the pump to make sure its working every spring and replace it if its not. Check all the plumbing drains under every sink in your home to make sure there are no leaks. If something is leaking you want it fixed because leaks will definitely cause damage.
When it comes to the electrical system in your home, I would recommend to have a professional correct any issue needed. The corrections of the electrical system is best left to the specialists. but the things you can look for are if the wires are in contact with the heating ducts. There should be some kind of barrier between the two to prevent the wire insulation from melting on the hot ducts. Most people and builders use fiberglass insulation for the barrier. Do all your electrical outlets, do your switches and junction boxes have covers? If not have them installed because that will be mentioned in the home inspectors report. You want to make sure all the wiring in the home is protected for safety reasons.
With the interior of the home you want to make sure that the doors are operating as they should and they latch properly. Patch any holes in the drywall that was done by your teenager that couldn’t get his or her PlayStation working properly or repair any damaged trim that the dog made when left home alone for 5 minutes! Make sure that the washer and dryer are emptied as they will not be tested if your belongings are inside. If your laundry room is on the main floor or second level of your home there should be either a drain installed under the washer or the washer is placed inside a pan for potential leaking. Another suggestion is checking the condition of the flooring as even dirty or stained carpets are reported in the inspection report. Lastly if a water stain is noticed anywhere it is a good idea to have it looked at by a professional.
When it comes to the kitchen there are several things to check and correct if possible. For instance checking to see if appliances are in good working condition. Is the rangehood venting outside? It would be a good idea to have the fan on and exhausting out the cooking odors and moisture. Lastly make sure the cabinets and drawers are opening and closing properly and that under the kitchen sink is cleared out so the plumbing can be inspected.
The garage is a place that is usually forgotten by the home owner when it comes to prepping the home for a home inspection. Its usually packed full of stuff and just left as is. You want to make sure the garage is cleaned the same as your interior. Its good to move the Christmas boxes left from the holidays and cleaning up the tools left by the fixer in your home. Some of the other things that should be checked is if the overhead door is working properly. Is there a roof above the garage and if so is there an attic access installed? This allows the inspector to inspect the roof structure above. Lastly you want to make sure the windows, doors, outlets or electrical sub panels are accessible for inspection.
If the garage was something that the seller forgets about then the attic is definitely another part that gets left out. The issues to look for in the attic are for starters the hatch. The attic hatch should have insulation on top of it and weather stripping around the opening to prevent warm air from the home entering into the attic space. Look at the Hatch risers, does it have mold on it? This is a prime location for mold so if it’s present I would suggest that it gets removed. Do you notice any leaks inside the attic? If so I would recommend having the leaks repaired. Also make sure all the vent lines are properly attached and venting outside and not in the attic space. This will cause a lot of issues for the new owners and should be corrected before selling your home.
You are now ready for your home to be inspected
Everything that is listed above should be looked at so that your home is ready for the buyers home inspection. This allows you time to have the major issues corrected. If you are in need of a home inspector I will be happy to help! Visit my website or social media accounts (Instagram or Facebook). Best wishes!