One of the first things that will happen after you have accepted an offer is that the buyer will want to inspect your home.
In all likelihood, the buyer will hire a general inspector who will spend 2-3 hours in your home, going over it from top to bottom, “looking for trouble, but hopefully not finding any.” The inspector will look closely at the roof, the HVAC system, the electrical system, the plumbing system and the structural integrity of the home. He will also test the appliances, open and close all the windows and doors and look for signs of deferred maintenance.
No home is perfect, so be prepared for a laundry list of requested repairs from the buyer after the inspection. At that time, we’ll discuss each item and determine whether or not you want to address it.
However, prior to the inspection, it’s a good idea for you to go through the home with your tool kit (or with your handyman - let me know if you’d like to talk to mine) to correct as many items as you can ahead of time. Some sellers even hire their own inspector ($300 ish) and do a pre-inspection before sale to ensure there are no surprises during the inspection period. Let me know if you’d like some recommendations.
If you don’t hire your own inspector, here are some items to take a look at, and correct as needed:
- HVAC system - have it cleaned and serviced. If repairs are needed, make them
- Make sure most windows open and close, and that the locks work
- If you have removed the screens from your windows, re-install them
- Check for leaks in faucets and under sinks
- Dust off the water heater
- Ensure that sinks and tubs drain quickly
- Ensure that all light fixtures have working bulbs
- If toilets wobble, replace the wax ring and bolt down firmly
- Clean up cobwebs in basement
- Clean gutters
- Replace cracked or broken window panes
- Caulk around tub
- Clean out gook in faucet filters (to maximize water pressure)
- Fix squeaks in wood floors, if you can
- Ensure patio doors slide smoothly
- Roto-Rooter your sewer line
- Ensure downspouts have extenders
- Have your roof inspected, and make repairs as recommended
- Dig up receipts and warranties for recent repairs
Of course, this is just a partial list, but you get the idea.
When the inspector goes over his report with the buyer, he will point out every single item he found, no matter how minor it may seem to you. The fewer items the inspector finds, the more positive the inspection experience will be for the buyer... and therefore for you!