You’ve sold your home! It’s a great feeling to have an offer and to be moving forward. There’s one last major hurdle to pass before you get your funds, and you can move on to the next adventure, and that’s the home inspection. Buyers typically make their offers contingent upon the results of an independent home inspection. If the inspection is clean, it’s smooth sailing to the end of the transaction. But, if the home inspector in Philadelphia uncovers safety issues or other significant problems with your home, you’ll need to return to the negotiating table to work out a remedy. Because the ultimate success of the sale is riding on the inspection, it’s worth taking time to prepare. The following tips will set you up for success:
Be Honest on the Disclosure Statement
You’re required to complete a disclosure statement that lists any known problems with your home and any significant work that’s been done. Be thorough and honest on this statement because the buyer will see this prior to making their offer and the inspection. Putting all the info on the table upfront avoids surprises down the line.
Proactively Address Major Issues
It’s not hard to predict the kinds of problems that will derail a deal. Water damage, faulty wiring, cracked foundations, and old roofs are just a few examples. The presence of these or other similar issues doesn’t preclude a successful sale, but you do need to get out in front of them. You have a couple of choices.
One, you can make the necessary repairs. Yes, it will cost money, but fixing the problem may speed the time to sell, which is certainly worth something. Or two, you can disclose the problem and offer price concessions to the buyer so they can make the repairs. If you’re working with a realtor, they will help you identify these types of problems and discuss the best strategy for moving forward. But don’t keep your fingers crossed that no one will notice the problem. Even if, by chance, your home squeaks through an inspection, the buyer can hold you responsible even after closing for significant pre-existing problems that were not disclosed.
The inspector isn’t looking for a clean home, but a clean home makes a good impression. Aside from clearing out the clutter, pay special attention to the following:
- Remove any items that block access to furnaces, water heaters, crawl spaces, attics, and other major appliances or fixtures. The inspector needs to inspect those things, and if they can’t access them, they’ll simply say so on the report, and the sale will be delayed while you clean up and schedule another inspection.
- Clean up outside, especially along the foundation of your home. Again, the inspector needs to inspect your foundation and look for drainage problems.
- Replace the batteries in smoke detectors.
- Repair any signs of old water damage.
- Recaulk. This is huge. Fresh caulking around sinks, tubs, and showers is easy to do and makes a big difference.
Don’t leave the inspection to chance, but don’t spend big dollars either. Basic preparation is all you need to sail through your inspection.