No matter how well you've maintained your home, a home inspector may find issues that your buyers will want you to address. While the buyer has the contactual right to terminate the contract due to an unfavorable inspection, you can take steps to make it less likely that a home inspection will put an end to your sales plan.
Preparing for the Buyer's Inspection
Regardless of whether you’ve had an inspection, your buyers will hire their own home inspector. You can be helpful to that inspector in several ways, which is likely to make the inspector feel a little more favorable towards you and your home. The inspector will not overlook a serious problem, but perhaps he would lighten up a bit on how issues are presented to the buyer. The easier you make things for a home inspector, the more favorably disposed he’ll be toward your home:
Clear the space that will be inspected
It will help the inspector if you empty the spaces beneath your bathroom and kitchen sinks and move any belongings that block access to your water heater, furnacce or other appliances.
Document maintenance and repairs
You should create a file with documentation of all maintenance and repairs you’ve done on your home, including annual or semi-annual furnace inspections, receipts for roof or chimney repairs and other inspections. If you’ve had an insurance claim on your house, provide those papers so you can prove that you took care of the problem.
Give complete access to your home
Make sure you unlock gates and doors to a shed or garage. Move anything that’s blocking entrances to the attic, basement or storage spaces.
Leave the home
Inspectors find it easier to do their work without the presence of the homeowners and, even more important, without your pets and children around.
Clean your house
A clean home gives the impression that you take care of your property, so the inspector might not dig deeply expect to find a lot of problems.
Leave the lights on
Make sure your light bulbs work, especially in storage spaces or areas you don’t often use.
Consider a Pre-Inspection
Depending on the age and condition of your home, you may want to schedule an inspection before you put your home on the market. If your home is relatively new and you’re not aware of any problems, you can probably skip this step; but if you have any concerns about your property, it could be worthwhile to spend $300-$400 to hire your own inspector. Once the inspection is done, you’ll have the peace of mind that comes with knowing about potential problems and having the opportunity to address them on your own time, rather than under pressure from a buyer who wants work completed before the settlement date.
You must disclose to buyers any problems your home inspector finds and what you’ve done about them – whether you’ve made a repair, replaced an appliance or planned to offer a credit for the buyers so they can fix it their way.