Selling your home? Here’s a handy checklist to help you go through all the stages of preparing for an inspection to help you stay ahead of inspectors and potential buyers, and to make sure you don’t forget anything.
Choose the Right Time for an Inspection
The average amount of time is usually in the range of 30-45 minutes. If you choose to hold the inspection during the week, most people will be working or tired after work. Many people spend their Saturday mornings sleeping in, their Saturday evenings going out, and their Sundays relaxing with friends and family. This leaves Saturday afternoon as the ideal time for an inspection.
The house should be sparkling from top to bottom. Remember that potential buyers will be looking EVERYWHERE so make sure you clean thoroughly. Keep in mind that buyers are looking at the property’s structural integrity, exterior, roof, attic, plumbing, electrical systems, appliances and garage. Make sure everything is clean, and in working order.
Control your Climate
Keep buyers comfortable and happy during inspections by controlling the internal temperature. On cold days, this means turning on the heater. On hot sunny days, switch on the air conditioning system. This will make a buyer immediately associate your home with comfort and give them positive feelings about the property.
Create a Pleasant Ambience
Turn all of these appliances off for inspections. If the house is too silent, turn on some light jazz or other inoffensive soft music to have in the background. You can further enhance the ambience of your property by lighting a fire or turning on a soothing fountain. All of these small details will help create positive associations in the mind of the buyer, hopefully putting them in the right mood to make a purchase.
Appeal to the Sense of Smell
Strong odours can be a turn-off to buyers – you’ll want to open up all the windows to air out your property before anyone stops by for an inspection. Don’t be tempted to mask these smells with scented candles and air fresheners as these artificial products could irritate buyers who have allergies. Fresh flowers provide a natural alternative as well as an appealing pop of colour.
Lighten Up the Home
Avoid a dull, dingy environment by turning on all of your property’s lights. Pull back all the curtains to let the natural light stream in, even if it’s a gloomy or overcast day. You can also strategically place mirrors in the home to help illuminate dark rooms, and set up spot lights behind furniture.
Remove Pets from the Property
Be sure to remove pet accessories that could sway the opinion of buyers as well.
Provide Marketing Materials
You can have colourful brochures or flyers printed up. Leave them in an easy to spot location, inviting buyers to pick one up on their way out the door. Be sure to include lots of memorable photos, a rundown of the best features of your property, the sale price, and contact details.
Lock important valuables or documents somewhere safe.
Just pop your valuables in a locked cupboard, safe, or even at a friend’s house.
Have at least two other people with you when you show your home.
It’s best to have someone trustworthy in each room that guests are viewing, just for peace of mind.
Prepare a sign-in sheet and request ID
This is safer and can also be useful when it comes time to follow up on initial buyer interest.
Only allow one point of entry
This is important to keep track of everyone who enters and exits the premises.
Encourage Buyer Feedback
One of the most useful tools that you can gain during the inspection process is buyer feedback. If buyers are not impressed by your property, you can find out why and try to fix the problem for next time. You can encourage feedback by printing up questionnaire cards and leaving them near the door. Another option is to leave a guest book asking for comments.
Prepare all paperwork
Have all your paperwork and documentation ready to go should any buyer wish to take immediate action.
With a little bit of time and preparation, you can help inspections run more smoothly and encourage buyers to make an offer. Although some homeowners will choose to show their own property, it’s usually a good idea to enlist the services of a professional real estate agent for private showings. You can compare real estate agents and find the one that best suits you on LocalAgentFinder. It’s a free, no-obligation service that is quick and easy to use. It’s also worth thinking about speaking with a professional stager.