Buyers typically hire a professional home inspector to inspect the home that they are purchasing. To ensure that everything goes smoothly, I recommend that a Seller take these important steps to prepare the home for the home inspection:
Don’t hide what isn’t working: If an appliance isn’t working, leave a note that indicates what isn’t working and how you’re getting it fixed. Don’t try to conceal defects because it can make the Buyers start to view you as dishonest and wonder what else you’re hiding.
Make things accessible: Ensure the location of the attic and/or crawlspace are identified and easy to access. Don’t make a home inspector move your belongings in order to gain access. Move boxes, pick up clothes and toys, and PLEASE CLEAN YOUR HOUSE. This is the time where your home is under the microscope, and your potential Buyers are more than likely there with the inspector, for hours, examining every nook and cranny. Don’t give them any reason to back out of the deal or ask you to make costly repairs that could have been avoided. Also make sure the inspector can freely access the breaker box, after heater, HVAC, etc. by not stacking anything in front of them.
Check the light-bulbs: If a light-bulb isn’t working, the inspector will need to determine if the fixture is inoperable. Save them time by making sure all the light-bulbs in the home operate, including those in the crawlspace or attic.
Note septic systems: If you have a septic tank in the yard, be sure to leave a sketch that includes the location of it, if possible. It’ll avoid home inspectors, buyers, and real estate professionals having to conduct prolonged searches for it. It’s honestly not a bad idea to have the septic cleaned out and inspected prior to listing your home, but not 100% necessary.
Keep appliances clear: Don’t leave dirty dishes in the dishwasher or sink, or even laundry in the washing machine or dryer. The inspector will need to test the appliances, and he doesn’t want to have to pull out dirty clothes in front of the potential Buyers. Also, make sure your oven and stove-top are clear and clean, so they can easily test them without setting off the smoke alarm or other “alarms” with the potential buyers.
Make sure all utilities are on: Even if your home is vacant and you have no immediate “need” to have the electricity, water or gas on, your potential buyers will need those items to be available for inspections and the appraisal.
Buyers typically have 3 chances to negotiate for your home:
- When they submit the initial offer on your home
- After they have their home inspection done, during their inspection or due diligence period
- After the appraisal is done, if the appraisal comes in low.
As a Seller, you want to make sure your home is in tip-top shape so that Buyers don’t feel like they can negotiate the condition off of the price of your home. What you may see as a $50-$100 repair, a Buyer may see as three times as much.
You can also get a home inspection before you list your home, in order to alleviate potential repairs before a Buyer finds them and wants to “negotiate” those items off of your price. Just be sure to disclose, disclose, disclose any items found on the inspection that are asked on your Seller’s Property Disclosure Statement when you put your home on the market.
For more information on listing your home for sale in Pooler, GA and surrounding areas, contact the Pooler GA Real Estate expert, Trisha Cook.