Do you want to learn how to ‘pass’ a home inspection?
Home inspectors typically find 100+ defects when doing an inspection, and usually at least several problems that are serious. I invite you to also read my guide on 7 things that fail a home inspection.
In this guide, I will go over things like…
- Clearing house clutter to help the inspection
- Making sure all the utilities are on
- Why getting your own inspection may be beneficial
- Checking the attic insulation
- Lubricating and servicing the windows
How Can Sellers Pass A Home Inspection?
Technically, there is no such thing as passing a home inspection, but sellers can improve the results of a home inspection in a few key ways such as clearing house clutter, leaving repair and service receipts, and locking up any pets.
Homeowners can also do simple things like caulking the bathrooms and exterior penetrations. Checking all of the windows is a good idea to make sure that they easily open and close.
And maybe the easiest thing to ‘pass’ a home inspection is for sellers to get an inspection for themselves. Once you have a list of items, homeowners can repair the most important issues prior to the buyer’s home inspection.
You may also want to read my guide 10 home inspection tips for sellers.
For more details, keep reading…
Clear The Clutter
One thing you can do to help the home inspector is clear your house of clutter.
When I see a closet full of boxes and items, I don’t remove it. I leave it in place, take a picture, and I write in the report “inspection restriction due to items”.
If you have a lot of areas that the home inspector can’t get to, it can cause doubt in the buyer’s mind — because it is unseen. And if the home inspector does decide to remove some items such as in a basement, it may piss off the inspector which probably won’t help the report.
Just go through your home, and make sure all areas are relatively clear of stuff.
If homeowners want to do well during a home inspection, leaving copies of all relevant receipts and documents at the home is a great start.
Unless you actually give the home inspector proof of a recent servicing, replacement, or installation — we have to just guess at the age.
The buyer will also feel that you have been taking care of the home, making it more likely for them to go ahead with the purchase. Providing documentation can help the buyer feel like there aren’t any serious flaws with the house.
The saying, “if you got it, flaunt it” is very apt for this tip.
Here are a few things that you can leave documents or receipts for…
- HVAC servicing
- Water heater replacement
- Pest control treatment
- Pool cleaning
- Exterior power washing
- Roof repair
- Professional painting job
Turn All Utilities On
Turning on all of the utilities such as electric, water, and gas is usually a pre-requisite for a home inspection.
If the buyer and inspector find that the utilities are not all on, it probably will not satisfy the home inspection contingency in the purchase contract. And if the home inspector has to wait, he may write up a harder inspection report.
Just make sure all the utilities are on prior to the inspection.
Leave The House And Cage Any Pets
For most homeowners, it is probably best to leave the house empty for the home inspection.
The majority of houses will have electronic locks that the realtor puts on the door — so opening the house isn’t even necessary anymore. And frankly, for most homeowners, it will just make the home inspection awkward if you stay in the home.
The buyer may not feel free to ask the home inspector all of their questions if the seller is there.
The only exception is if there are systems that the homeowner may be able to answer — but sellers should still stay out of the way for the most part. And if you have any pets, they should be in a pen or cage so they don’t get in the way.
Get A Home Inspection
Maybe I’m biased since I’m a home inspector, but I think all sellers should get home inspections for themselves.
If the seller gets a home inspection, they will get a list of a 100+ items that will need to be fixed even if most are pretty small things. But it will also allow you to talk with the home inspector to get an idea of what they’re looking for and their mindset.
You can also ask the home inspector what they think are the most important items to repair. So even if you don’t do all of the items, you can do the most important ones.
And when your buyer gets their own home inspection done, your house will be in a much better position.
Trust me, even if you think your house is in good condition, home inspectors will find things that you would never even consider.
Read Also: How Long Does A Home Inspection Take?
Check The Windows
Windows are a major component of a home inspection, and checking them is really easy for sellers. Simply go into each room and open all the windows.
- Are they opening easily?
- Are any windows falling down when opened?
- Do any of the windows have broken thermal seals?
- Are windows making noises when opened or closed?
If you noticed that a lot of windows have problems, having them lubricated and serviced by a window contractor prior to the home inspection is a good idea.
Caulk And Seal
One thing that home inspectors always look for is missing or degraded caulking on the exterior and interior.
Adding caulking to bathrooms is a pretty easy task for homeowners, and it is just a small step that can improve the home inspection.
It’s a good idea to also walk along the exterior and to look for degraded caulking and for air gaps. All wall penetrations should be sealed such as gas piping, vents, and other items going through the exterior wall.
One place that is a type of “out of sight, out of mind” kind of place is the attic. But home inspectors always check the attic for problems, and missing or inadequate insulation can sometimes make or break the home inspection.
I recommend homeowners take a peek into their attic and look for any noticeable problems such as signs of rodents or water leaks.
You should also look for any missing areas of insulation as well as the insulation levels. The insulation should be several inches above the tops of the ceiling joists. If you can actually see the ceiling joists, that means there isn’t enough insulation.
The attic tends to be the easiest place to add insulation that can help the home inspection go well.
Checking the home’s water pressure is a pretty easy thing for sellers to inspect prior to the home inspection.
Buyers frequently complain about low water pressure, and home inspectors always put these issues in the inspection report.
If you notice any sinks or faucets with low water pressure, it will likely be a faulty aerator or ‘screen’. These devices in the faucet basically mix air into the stream to save water — to make it feel like high water pressure — and it also prevents particles from getting into your water.
If you notice a small trickle, simply replacing the sink aerator frequently does the trick.
If homeowners want to ‘pass’ or do well during the home inspection, there are a few key things that they can do such as clearing clutter, leaving relevant receipts, and locking up all pets.
Sellers can also make sure the windows are in good working condition, and they can caulk all of the bathrooms.
Walking the exterior for any issues and caulking all gaps is also recommended.