Sellers, How To Prepare for a Home Inspection for a Smooth Transaction

Posted by on Saturday, October 5th, 2019 at 9:59am

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Sellers Here's How to Prepare for a Home Inspection

Some good advice: Do not try to conceal any defects you know are in the home. The key here is to work together! All homes have some issues, none are perfect so buyers and their agents are prepared to purchase a home that may have some issues.

The home inspector may find any defects anyway, and you don't want to be breaking any laws or causing the process harm. After all, you want to sell your home, and someone wants to buy it! 

Here are some ways to be ready for the inspection:

  • Keep your power on if you are listing your home vacant (the home inspector may need to check a few things that need power)
  • Check all your light bulbs and change any burnt out bulbs. This may cut down on time the inspector needs to
  • Keep closets tidy as this makes it easier for an inspector to check them.
  • Basement walls will need to be visible to inspect for cracks and water penetration so move things away from the walls.
  • Be sure the attic is easily accessible.
  • Change the filters to your furnace.
  • Leave all service tags on items such as hot water tank, furnace, A/C that may need to be noted by the inspector.


Keep in mind that the home inspection is one of the most significant hurdles for a seller to clear. It is vital to make sure your house does not have any glaring defects. Do what you can to make this part of the transaction go smoothly. It's a time to be sure all bells and whistles work properly!

Pros and Cons of a Pre-Listing Home Inspection

Pre-listing home inspections are popular with many agents and their sellers, and may provide you with extra knowledge of the condition of your home at a minimal expense. The condition will allow you to understand the value your home offers a buyer and may help you identify areas where you will negotiate and others you will not. Understand the condition of your home before the buyer’s home inspection takes place can be worthwhile. 


PROS of Having a Home Inspection Before Selling:

  1. You find out what condition your home is in.
  2. Makes pricing your home easier, and fair.
  3. Can minimize stress because it boosts your confidence in your home.
  4. Gives the option to complete repairs.
  5. Likely to have less to negotiate.
  6. Helps improve the buyer’s confidence.
  7. Helps your agent better advise you. 

CONS of Having a Home Inspection Before Selling:

  1. You must pay for it out of pocket and upfront. 
  2. Disclosure laws in Washington State require you to disclose the findings.
  3. There will be two inspections of your home most likely as the buyer will want to conduct their own.

Top Home Inspection Issues You Should Know About

Reasonable buyers don’t expect a home to be perfect if they have an experienced agent that can prepare them and guide them on what the inspection means for them. However, buyers do expect homes to be habitable and in decent shape, therefore, some issues are best to address that may be a problem because of how expensive they are to address—possibly big enough to kill the sale. These can include: 

  • Drainage and water issues
  • Mold
  • Radon
  • Wiring and electrical issues
  • Plumbing issues
  • Well water
  • Lead paint
  • A roof
  • Structural issues  

You will want to address the crucial issues if you want to sell for a reasonable price. Remember, these problems do not have to be the end of the world. 

What You Need to Repair Before Selling a House

There  are repairs that have a high return on investment because they can increase the desirability of your home and are often inexpensive.

These are some of the things that are easier to address and should be repaired before listing to give your home that move in ready pop: 

  • Painting the rooms that need it.
  • Exterior cleaning such as yard clean up, basic landscape to increase curb appeal, pressure washing, and adding accents.
  • Kitchen cosmetic repairs can be very affordable like painting, installing new fixtures and new countertops.
  • Bathroom repairs you want to address are missing tiles, replacing hardware, brightening up or replacing that grout.
  • LIGHTS! LIGHTS! LIGHTS! Lighting will make your home more inviting and spacious feeling.
  • Refinishing hardwood floors can be less expensive than you think. 
  • Make sure everything works, like door knobs and locks.

After a Failed Inspection

Poor planning can leave you with a failed inspection. That's why understanding the ramifications of re-listing your home again is crucial. Salvaging a home sale and making the buyer’s requested repairs may be the better route to take. The most important determining factor will be if the next buyer will also want the items repaired as well.

Remember a failed home inspection is the number one reason why pending home sales fall through.

Re-listing after a failed home inspection requires you to:

  • Be prepared to answer questions about you listing the home again.
  • Keep emotions out of it—be realistic of your homes value and what buyers will expect.
  • Your agent can help advise on what repairs to address to avoid a similar issue when re-listing.

What to Disclose After a Home Inspection

Disclosure laws vary from state to state. In Washington State, a seller must disclose everything they know about their house. Sellers may think that selling their home "as is" removes their responsibilities to be honest about the condition of their home. WRONG!

You and your agent must always be honest when a buyer asks you a direct question.

Your Real Estate Agent Should Attend the Inspection

YES! Absolutely your agent you choose to represent you is supposed to be looking after your best interests. One of the ways he or she does this is by attending the home inspection.

Your agent is an extension of your interests and cannot fully represent your best interest if he/she is not at the inspection. 

Here's how your agent being present can benefit you:

  • Your agent can help explain issues as the inspector identifies them.
  • Mitigating the emphasis of an issue.
  • The agent can only do the best possible job if he or she is aware of all issues with the house.
  • It is challenging to negotiate issues between buyers and sellers when you were not there first hand to see the problem.
  • It’s easy to misrepresent something when a real estate agent is not present.

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