How Listing Agents Help Sellers Prepare for the Home Inspection

Most sellers understand that there are at least a few things that need to be done to prepare their home to go on the market. Staging and cosmetic improvements may be some of the issues that come to mind first, but in order for the selling process to go smoothly, sellers should also consider preparing their homes for the inspection.

The inspection can play a pivotal role, with buyers taking the opportunity to use issues that arise as leverage to negotiate for a lower price. In some cases, the deal may fall apart because of the results of the home inspection.

As the listing agent, you can help mitigate the need for these negotiations by helping your seller properly prepare for the home inspection. One way to make this easier for your client is to provide guidance for preparing the home for inspection as well as a list of repairs that must or should be completed prior to the inspection.

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Preparation

-Ensure inspector has easy access to all areas of the home, including attics, basements and crawlspaces.

-Create a clear path to mechanical items, such as the furnace, electrical panel and water heater.

-Move furniture away from exterior walls so they can be assessed for cracks.

-Clear closet clutter so all walls inside a closet can be seen and examined.

Must-Fix

-Remove all ceiling stains. Regardless of origin, ceiling stains make people think of water damage, whether or not the source of the issue has been taken care of.

-Check the attic for mold. Improper venting for bath or exhaust fans can create a breeding ground in the attic if not properly vented to the outside.

Should-Fix

-If the seller has done any electrical work on their own, hire an electrician to ensure all electrical work is up to code and includes the appropriate GFI outlets in the kitchen and bathrooms while eliminating hazards such as double-tapped electrical breakers.

-Repair leaky faucets, slow drains and running toilets.

-Locate, repair and paint any rotting exterior wood. Even if it isn’t a structural defect, it may give the appearance of one.