If you've been considering listing your house for sale, it's tempting to just go for it and have a real estate agent put the listing up. However, if you want the best chance of a successful sale, you should take some time to prepare your home. Since the home inspection is one of the most common reasons why home sales fall through, you should keep this inspection in mind as you prepare your home for sale. Here are some of the things you should consider through the preparation stages.
Outdoor Inspection Issues
Before you list your home, take some time to evaluate the exterior and address any of the most common inspection issues ahead of time. Make sure all of your windows are intact and free of cracks. Ensure that each window has a screen and that your double-paned windows aren't foggy, as this indicates that the seal is broken on the window. Check the window frames for any damage and repair them as well.
The paint and exterior caulking should all be in good condition as well. Peeling paint or cracked caulking will be noted on the report, and the buyer may request that you address it before the closing. The same applies to any siding or trim damage that may be present. While you're at it, take a look at your roof or have it professionally inspected. That way, you can address any potential problems before they come up in negotiations.
Finally, make sure that the drainage system is functioning properly and you don't have water pooling around the foundation. This will be flagged in an inspection as a leak risk, so you want to avoid that as an issue if possible.
Interior Inspection Issues
Inside, there are several things that you'll need to look at. First, you'll want to make sure that your HVAC system and your water heater are properly functional. The inspector will test both, so address any issues with these right away.
You should also have the electrical system inspected for any signs of damage, shorts, or other problems. If you've been ignoring outlets or switches that aren't working right, get them repaired now so that you don't risk them costing you a sale.
The bathroom caulking and tile grout are also common inspection issues. These are easily overlooked as the homeowner, so make sure you take time to check them out.
One thing that many homeowners don't think about when it comes to home inspection issues is the lighting in the house. The home inspector will test every one of the wired lights in the house. They don't always test lamps, but they will check the outlets those lamps are plugged into. If there are any burned-out light bulbs, replace them before you list the home.
For more tips for selling single family homes, work with a local real estate agent.