All home inspectors are trained to find defects, and the good ones find more than the newer, less experienced ones. So expect a home inspector to find things wrong with every house if they do their job for their client. I tell people that there are no perfect houses. Houses built by imperfect people in an imperfect world add weather, age, and normal decay; they can’t possibly be perfect.
So what can a Seller or Real Estate agent do to improve their odds of “Passing” the home inspection?
Following is my list of things that can help expedite your home selling process with regard to passing the biggest hurdle: the home inspection.
- De-clutter and clean your home as much as possible. Make sure all Attic and Crawlspace cavities are “readily accessible”.
- Fix the things you have put off fixing. The fewer issues the inspector finds, the better your home looks to a prospective buyer.
- Make sure all appliances and fireplaces operate prior to the inspection. If pilot lights are off, light them ahead of time.
- Possibly have a Pre-list Home Inspection. This way you (the Seller) have a list to either fix or disclose depending upon your Realtor’s advice.
- Deal with Structure, Water, Electrical and Mold Issues you know about. These issues tend to scare away buyers because of a lot of uncertainty. Either fix them or get quotes from reliable contractors in order to take the uncertainty and fear out of the equation for the buyer.
- Insist on the buyer using a Home Inspector who uses a Cost Estimator with his Report. Assuming you have dealt with the Structure, Water, and Mold issues, a cost estimate on the balance of the findings should give everyone a more comprehensive idea of what to expect next.
Sometimes, the estimate is used to provide an Escrow fund for funding repairs after closing by the buyer. We do not recommend that a Seller perform repairs after a home inspection. Warranties on the work, implied by State law, do not necessarily transfer to the new owner if the contractor works for the seller. Also, everyone’s tastes and preferences are different, so the chances are great that the buyer will not be happy with the seller’s color choice, for example. The Cost Estimate minimizes the invasiveness of seemingly endless inspection by third parties and takes a lot of stress out of the process for everyone.
Remember: There are no perfect houses, so the more prepared you as a Seller and/or Real Estate Agent are the smoother the process!