Every agent learns early in his or her career that home inspections can be rough. But there are ways to smooth out the process.
First, get your seller to have an independent inspector give the house a once over before it is listed. That way, problems can be spotted — and corrected — before a would-be buyer ever gets wind of them.
Beyond that, prepare your clients for the buyer’s inspector and encourage the seller to fix those items he knows are broken — the little things every owner learns to live with — before they become bargaining points.
Many inspectors provide agents with pre-inspection checklists so all parties can be as sure as possible that the house is inspection-ready. There are a lot of things sellers can do, but if they are not skilled at certain repairs, even the simplest ones, they should call a professional. Not only can inspectors spot amateurish, sub-par work, they will wonder about the quality of repairs that are less visible.
When repairs are made, either by the seller or a professional contractor, it’s a good idea to have paid receipts and warranties on hand for the inspector and buyer.
Finally, on the day of the inspection, sellers should give the examiner full access to the attic, crawlspace, electrical panels, furnace, air conditioner and water heater. Get the clutter out of the way, and then take the kids and the dog and go out for a few hours so the examiner can do his job efficiently and without interference.