Preparing for an inspection? 10 things sellers need to do
There are many obstacles that can derail an inspection, especially in today’s COVID-19 climate. Here is some advice for sellers on what to do to make the process go a bit smoother.
1. Set expectations
Sellers need to make sure they are communicating and setting expectations, and managing inspector protocol. Whether or not it’s required in your market, sellers should request that inspectors wear masks, gloves and booties or anti-slip socks when going through the inside of their home. They should ask inspectors use hand sanitizer or wipes to promptly disinfect any surfaces they touch.
It may work best if your sellers have a supply of these items out and available to the inspector to easily use. Also, request that they sweep up any debris from their inspection after going in an attic, crawl space, etc.
2. Make space
Sellers need to make sure that inspectors can access the areas and spaces they need to check. This might mean moving a few belongings or clearing out an entire area.
Remember — inspectors themselves aren’t allowed to touch or move personal items. If they can’t access an area, they’ll likely wait and return after that space has been cleared. Obviously, not only does this prolong the process, it also causes frustration for everyone involved in the transaction.
Make sure an inspector can access electrical panels, water heaters, heating and cooling units and outlets.
3. Explain how systems work
Sellers should consider meeting with inspectors when they arrive to review how their systems, appliances and equipment work, and explain details and nuances before they leave.
Inspectors don’t want to risk damaging anything. So, if they’re unable to figure out how something works, they may note it as “inoperable” on the inspection. Sellers then have to troubleshoot and go over it with the buyers and their agent.
4. Have the HVAC serviced
If sellers haven’t had their HVAC serviced, cleaned and the filter changed, they should consider doing that before the inspection. This item is often called out on inspections, so taking care of this proactively will result in one less thing on the list.
5. Check light bulbs
Check light bulbs to make sure they’re all on and functioning properly. If sellers have any lights or ceiling fans with remotes, they need to make sure the batteries are working.
6. Take care of missing caulking
Sellers should caulk any obvious areas in need of attention around counter tops in the kitchen and bathrooms. They should pay attention to areas around sinks, tubs and any wet areas such as sinks.
7. Don’t forget the dryer vent
This is something that a lot of sellers forget or ignore, but often turns up as a common issue on inspection reports.
8. Turn on the ice maker
If sellers have an ice maker in the freezer, they need to make sure it’s turned on and making ice for the inspection. If it’s off, they’ll need to turn it on and demonstrate to the buyers that it is, in fact, making ice and working as it’s supposed to be. Obviously, this is not a difficult thing to do, but it’s one less thing to worry about.
9. Clean windows
Windowsills and tracks need to be cleaned. Dust and dead bugs can build up in these areas, which often get overlooked during the course of everyday cleaning. Wiping these areas down will minimize dirt and debris from the inspector opening and closing every window as part of the inspection process.
10. Test locks and the sprinkler system
If the home has a sprinkler system, sellers need to check it to make sure that the heads are hitting the areas they should, and that none of them are leaking when they run. Check locks, hinges and doors to ensure nothing sticks and everything latches properly.