Home sellers have always needed to prepare for a home inspection when selling their house. This is especially true if a pre-list inspection wasn’t completed. In 2020 and onwards when we’re all trying to stay safe and keep our families safe, it’s even more important to be vigilant and have a solid checklist for a home inspection. These ten items are things a seller can do to prepare for a home inspection during COVID-19.
How to Prepare for a Home Inspection Before the Inspection Day
- Clean windowsills and tracks. Inspectors open and close every window. Wipe off dead bugs and dust and make sure the windows open, close, and lock. Inspectors will also note any missing screens.
- Clear dryer vents. Did you know, if the dryer vent isn’t clean, it goes on the inspection report? Crazy, right? Make sure the dryer vent is clean and wipe down the washer and dryer.
- Service the HVAC. If it hasn’t been done recently, service the HVAC and change out the filters.
- Caulk where needed. Go through the home with a caulk gun and and fill in any missing caulk around sinks, tubs, showers, faucets, baseboards, crown molding, and backsplash. If the existing caulk is old, hard, or too dirty to clean, scrape it out and replace it.
- Change light bulbs and batteries. Make sure all lights and light bulbs work, as well as remote controls for ceiling fans, lights, garage door openers, and other devices staying with the home.
- Check the ice maker. If the freezer has an ice maker, it should be turned on and making ice.
- Test all doors and special property features. Check locks, hinges, and latches on all doors to make sure they work smoothly. If the home has lawn sprinklers, outdoor lighting, a spa, or a pool, the mechanical functions should all work properly as well.
What to Do on Inspection Day
- Set some rules. Whether or not regulations require it, ask inspectors to wear masks, gloves, and either booties or anti-slip socks inside the home. Request they sweep up debris they may stir up inspecting the attic, cellar, or other spaces. Have hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes available and ask inspectors to use them after touching any surfaces. Use the same COVID-19 protocols you would use for home showings and open houses.
- Give inspectors room to work. Inspectors need access to things they check, but they’re not allowed to touch or move the seller’s personal items. If inspectors can’t get to something, they’ll have to come back, prolonging the process. Be sure inspectors have unobstructed paths to water heaters, HVAC units and grates, electrical panels, cellar or crawl spaces, and attics. If attic entry is in a closet, remove the contents or cover them in plastic. Move vehicles out of the garage, so inspectors can walk through easily, making sure objects aren’t blocking the garage door motion sensors.
- Explain how things work. If inspectors can’t determine how something works, they may report it “inoperable.” It’s best to tell inspectors how systems, appliances, and other equipment operate, including special instructions, which will also help prevent a setting or a system from being altered. To ensure safety, leave an instruction sheet for the inspector and let your Realtor know so he/she can pass on the information.
A home inspection is an integral part of the home selling process and can make or break the deal. It’s important to make sure your home is in the best condition possible when the buyer’s home inspector is at your home. Also keep in mind that the home will need to remain in the same condition until closing. The effort will be worth it when you sell your home and can move on with your dreams and plans.