When you are selling your home, you naturally get it ready for buyers to view it. Pick up the debris, declutter, clean a little deeper, and show it off. When you get an offer, there will be inspections and it is important that you are ready for the inspectors to achieve the best results. The first thing you need to do is have the utilities on so they can inspect the systems of the home. These include water, power, natural gas, etc. Vacant homes are often winterized during the colder months, but you need to get things turned on for the inspectors to be able to do their jobs. The inspectors won’t turn things on due to the liability. If you turned off the sinks to prevent accidents, the inspector doesn’t want to risk turning it back on. The little valves that control the water flow to a sink are known to leak when turned on and off. The home is yours; you should have it ready for them. If you are packing and storing things in a room, leave room on the edges for the inspector to access all areas in the room. If you hide the electrical receptacle in a room, they can’t test it. If it turns out that it is non-functional and you had concealed it there may be resulting hard feelings, or worse. Pest and physical inspectors need to access the crawl space. If you are living in the home and it is in your master closet, clear out the shoes so they can easily open the crawl space access hole. If you are on a well and the home has been vacant for an extended period, be sure to run the water so the water quality test results are correct. Stagnant wells can have high iron and other things that skew the results. Run the water for a while. If it has been a longer time, you might need to open the well and “treat” it before the test. That will take a few days to do right, so plan on it before you run out of time. If you know the inspectors are coming and you are low on oil or propane, make sure you have enough for the inspections. They need a minimal supply to do their job, but they need it. Your contract usually reads something like, “Seller agrees to have all utilities in service the day of any inspection and until COE.” You have a responsibility to have working utilities including oil or propane. If you’ve had a water leak, it helps if you advise the inspectors of such before they start. It helps them to avoid their normal “forensic” analysis when they find things like water stains from old leaks. They are much more at ease if you explain what happened and how it was handled. They are appreciative if you explain some of the past issues, or even current issues that you may be in the process of mitigating. It is especially helpful if the problem came from a deficiency that was corrected. Communication helps when it comes to inspections. Know when the inspectors will be there and who will be coming to your house. Often, the buyers will attend the inspection to observe and ask questions along the way. It is good to have transparency and thoroughness for the protection of all so don’t fret if the buyers plan on attending. Remember, inspections protect not only the buyer in their effort to assure themselves that they are buying what they bargained for, but the seller as well since you get a qualified independent disinterested party’s objective opinion of the status of your home. Everyone wins, so be sure to make the home as accessible and visible as possible on inspection day for the inspectors. Inspections can reveal surprising things. Most sellers of homes where deficiencies are found are truly surprised when the report comes back. Many things occur under the home, the part of the home close, close, nearby where few dare to go. Problems revealed by an inspection report can be a game changer – be ready to change your game if it isn’t what you expected. That applies to both sides of the bargaining table. When it comes to choosing professionals to assist you with your Real Estate needs… Experience is Priceless! Jim Valentine, RE/MAX Realty Affiliates, 775-781-3704. email@example.com
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