Generally, when we discuss the topic of home inspections we usually focus on it from the perspective of the home buyer. We talk about the importance of getting an experienced home inspector, and one who is licensed and accredited. More importantly it is important to obtain one independent of your realtor so that there is no implied conflict of interest. After all your realtor wants to make the sale, as a buyer you want an opinion from someone who is getting paid one way or the other and has no vested interest in whether you finally go ahead and make the sale.
But what is often overlooked is exploring the concept of home inspection for sellers. Now you may wonder, as a seller of a home, why should I care? After all if the sale gets done why should the seller worry about whether the buyer was properly informed in their decision. Well on a purely economic level, you don’t. But given that home prices in the Toronto area are reaching unbelievable levels, you should rightly expect that a home inspection will come up in an offer for your house. That is unless you are simply selling to someone who plans to utilize the land only and doesn’t care about the state of the house itself. The last thing you want is for a potential sale to be scuttled because you were not prepared for a home inspection following an offer for your property. The following are some excerpts from a recent article by Rob Parker in the lfpress.com regarding home inspection for sellers:
- The home inspection will take approximately three hours to complete, therefore you should make plans to be out of the house for that length of time.
- Though the inspector doesn’t comment or judge a home on its cleanliness, buyers do.
- Unlock areas the inspector must access such as attic doors or hatches, closets, fence gates and crawl spaces. I
- Make sure that water, electric and gas services are on, with gas pilot lights burning.
- Test all electrical outlets and ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI) units to ensure they work.
- Clear any clogged drains. Make sure gutters and downspouts are clear.
- Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and replace dead batteries.
- Clean or replace dirty HVAC air filters, making sure they are the correct size for the unit.
- Remove items blocking access to HVAC equipment, electric, service panels, water heaters, attics and crawl spaces. Again the inspector in most cases will not move these items for liability reasons.
Ultimately you as the seller are responsible only to yourself to ensure the best possible foot forward in presenting your home for sale. If you follow some of these simple guidelines you will likely have a quicker and more lucrative outcome with the sale of your home. Best of luck!