Selling your home? Here’s a handy checklist to help you go through all the stages…
In most cases, the general consensus in Australia is that if buyers are interested in a home they pay for their own professional house inspection. At this point, the seller should disclose any major issues that could require attention down the road. There are also cases in which the seller will arrange for their own professional inspection to attend to these issues, which adds another layer of security to potential buyers. This helps ensure that buyers aren’t left in the dark when it comes to home repair or structural issues.
If you’re thinking about selling your house, you’re going to need to start preparing for these open or professional inspections. You can start preparing your house for sale by finding a qualified real estate agent to work with. Register your details at LocalAgentFinder and start receiving proposals from licensed agents in your area, which you can peruse and compare to find the best fit. Whether you leave the inspection in the buyer’s hands or arrange for your own professional inspection, you’ll need to get ready.
The following are ten tips that will ensure any open inspection runs smoothly, with no surprises.
1. Give your home a thorough cleaning.
Although this may seem obvious, it’s remarkable how many sellers don’t put forth this basic effort. Whether you’re preparing for a potential buyer at an open for inspection or for a professional house inspection, either way it’s important to make a great first impression. Each individual will have their own ideas regarding what a well maintained house looks like, so you need to try and shoot for the highest level of cleanliness. With a clean home, you’re showing buyers and inspectors that you care enough to take care of your property.
2. Be on time for inspections.
In Japan, you would be considered late if you hadn’t arrived to the meeting at least ten minutes early. This is a good timeframe to shoot for when you are meeting either house inspectors or the general public at open houses. In either of these situations, you can expect that buyers or inspectors could potentially arrive early to beat the crowd. The last thing you want is to still be cleaning when you hear the doorbell ring.
If you have an inspection planned at 10:00 am, then you should have your home in top shape and be ready to go by 9:30. Don’t be surprised if buyers or inspectors check exterior areas of the property before they enter your home. You’ll want to close your blinds or curtains so that you can avoid any surprises when you’re trying to get ready.
3. Ensure that utilities are turned on for inspections.
Your property may have been sitting vacant for quite some time, but the inspector will still need to test its heating and cooling systems. They will need to test appliances such as dishwashers, washing machines, and ovens as well in order to make their assessment. It’s the job of a professional house inspector to check that all of these elements are in proper working order. They will also need to look at issues like electrical grounding, which can’t be done if you have turned off the electricity. Water heating, water pressure, and gas outlets will also need to be checked.
If these utilities are turned off for the inspection, the assessor will be unable to meet their basic duties and you will have to reschedule for another time. This could result in a delay in your settlement or even a buyer backing out of the deal.
4. Give plenty of room for maintenance work around heating and cooling systems or water heaters.
A large component of a home inspection involves the inspector taking a closer look at the air conditioner, heater, and other major systems of this nature. Be sure to clear cabinets or furniture that would stand in their way. Give inspectors a good metre of room to manoeuvre around these various items, for a proper assessment.
5. Light pilot lights for water heaters, heaters, or stovetops.
If you have gas appliances and fixtures, you shouldn’t expect a house inspector to ignite your pilot lights for them. You will need to light them yourself, so that they can inspect these gas and heating units. As mentioned before, if you don’t comply with this need then you could jeopardize your sale and experience a delay in your settlement process.
6. Ensure that there is access to attics, basements, garages, and carports.
In addition to the main areas of the home, professional inspectors will need to see storage areas like the garage, attic, and basement. They may also need access to crawl spaces, so these should be left clear. If you haven’t been in these areas in some time it’s a nice courtesy to vacuum up any lingering spider webs.
7. Keep keys and remote controls close at hand.
If you have special keys or remote controls for areas like sheds, gates, and electricity boxes, you should have these kept nearby for the house inspector. They will need to be able to test garage doors and gates to see if they function and what lies inside. If you have a structure that is separate from the main house, be sure to unlock the doors for easy access. You’ll also need to unlock covers for sprinkler systems, electricity boxes, and any other mechanical features.
If your real estate agent is showing the property to buyers, they will also need to have access to these additional spaces. Find a real estate agent with the free online dashboard at LocalAgentFinder. This allows you to compare agent qualifications to ensure your property is being shown to its best advantage.
8. Clear a view to the home’s exterior.
Inspectors will need to be able to walk around the exterior of your home to take a closer look at brickwork and the home’s foundations. Be sure that there is a clear path so that they can reach these points easily. This could involve cutting down dead plants or trees in the winter, and pruning large branches in the warmer seasons. Remove rubbish bins that are blocking the way.
9. Keep pertinent documents close by.
If any repairs or renovations have been carried out, you should have some form of documentation of this. Keep this to hand to show the inspector when appropriate. For example, if you have replaced the roof, bought any major new appliances, or upgraded the heating system these would all be renovations to show the inspector. Keep track of your invoices and the buyers will know that these items were re-inspected.
10. Keep clear of the house for a few hours during the inspection.
It’s quite common for the potential buyer to accompany their professional inspector during this process. They may feel uncomfortable if you’re there lingering over their shoulder during the inspection. It’s better to leave your house so that the inspector and buyer can work in peace. If you have a pet that you cannot remove, be sure to keep it locked up in an area where it won’t get in the way, such as a box or a small section of the backyard.
By following these ten steps, you can prepare for the professional inspection and make the best possible impression. A smooth inspection will help move your settlement process along so that you can sell your home with ease. It’s a good idea to work with your real estate agent to help prepare your home, as they may have further suggestions pertaining to your specific case. Start the process by registering now at LocalAgentFinder. There are thousands of agents registered throughout Australia, which will increase your chances of finding the right fit.
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