Your home has been listed and tours have been taken. The moment has finally arrived when a buyer made an offer and the selling process and paperwork is underway. The home inspection could stand between you and the sale. Unfortunately, many sellers feel they are home free by this point, but in reality, these home inspections, paid for by the buyer, can be a deal breaker and make the selling contract null and void. As a seller, it is important to be aware that any repairs that are found necessary during this inspection can lead to a potential negotiating of price or asking you to do the repairs before the home sale moves forward. So how can you know that your home will pass the inspection with flying colors?
- Look for water stains and determine if there are leaks. Ceiling stains are generally caused by some kind of water damage. If you notice these stains check out the bathroom or roof above for any leaks or structural/gutter problems. Having these repaired and covered before an inspection will prevent your sale from falling through.
- Check corners of walls, under trim, and in bathroom/kitchen areas to be sure there is no sign of mold growing. Warm and moist areas of the house are the most susceptible to mold growth. Taking care of a mold problem before the inspection protects you from any surprises when the home inspector comes to complete his or her job.
- Exterior wood. If a porch, deck, or wood siding on home is rotted or deteriorating in any way, it is best to replace it and get it fixed before a home inspection takes place. If you do not want to spend the money to fix rotted wood issues, then be prepared to come down on your price when the buyer submits an offer much lower than your asking price.
- Pest control. Have a pest professional check your home for rodents and insects before the home inspection occurs. Many home contracts have fallen through because there was evidence of termite damage and other pest issues during the buyer’s home inspections. Getting it controlled before the sale is the best way to make sure the contract stays intact and the home sale goes through.
- If you have no desire to pay for the improvements and repairs need for the home inspection, you can always put your disclosure in the selling contract. For example, you know there are foundation issues but do not wish to spend the money to repair, disclose before the inspection with the understanding you may have to sell for a lower price.