Selling your home is no easy feat. It can take several months to do your research, find the right real estate agent, and get your house ready to be listed. Once you’ve finally secured a prospective buyer, the work doesn’t stop there. You then have to go through a home inspection.
Unfortunately, if you don’t do well on the home inspection, your buyer can back out of the sale – with no penalties. Or, you might have to make expensive repairs, which could cut into your profits. After all the hard work you’ve done, this is a daunting scenario.
You aren’t powerless, though. By properly preparing for your home inspection and utilizing the help of an experienced listing agent, you can ensure your inspection will go well.
Here’s what you can do to plan for your inspection.
Go over a home inspection checklist
The most important step is to make sure you’re completing everything on a home inspection checklist. You can find a total home inspection checklist online or ask your listing agent if they can provide one for you. Essentially, you’ll need to go through every place inside and outside of your home and ensure that everything is working and in good condition. Otherwise, you’ll need to make the necessary repairs before the inspection.
Some of the items on a typical home inspection checklist include:
- Getting rid of standing water outside of your home
- Making sure that driveways, patios, and sidewalks are in working order
- Windows and door frames appear square
- Paint is not flaking on the inside or outside of your home
- Joints around frames are caulked
- There is no decay or rust on the gutters
- There are no stains on the ceilings, floors, or walls
- The roof isn’t missing any pieces
- The lights and switches are working
- The kitchen has a working exhaust fan
- Your sinks, tubs, and showers drain correctly
- There is no evidence of moisture or insect damage
- There are no issues with the foundation or structure
This is just a short list. In addition to checking off these items, declutter your home so that the inspector can easily get around your house, and leave anything they will need to test your appliances and utilities. This could include items like a garage door opener or a remote for your ceiling fan, for instance.
Do a pre-inspection
Before your home inspection, you can pay for a pre-inspection. The typical cost for a pre-inspection is between $250 and $700, but it could be worth it. A pre-inspection will show you what you need to fix as well as ensure there aren’t any surprises when you do the regular inspection. Keep in mind that you will need to pay for a pre-inspection, while the buyer will pay for the regular inspection.
You can find a professional to do your pre-inspection through the Find an Inspector tool on the Louisiana State Board of Home Inspectors website. It allows you to search by an inspector’s name, your zip code, and a custom radius. The inspectors you and your buyers hire must be licensed by the State Board of Inspectors.
Find out about state-specific guidelines
A home inspection in Louisiana is not going to be exactly the same as a home inspection in another state.
A typical home inspection will need to follow the Standards of Practice approved by the Louisiana State Board of Home Inspectors. There is a minimum standard, which includes an inspection of the following systems:
- Electrical system
- Exterior system
- Interior system
- Heating and cooling system
- Plumbing system
- Roofing system
- Structural system
- Insulation and ventilation system
- Appliance system
Knowing this information, you will be more prepared on what to expect the day your home inspection in Louisiana happens.
Contact friends for advice
It’s always a good idea to get in touch with your friends who have experience with the home selling process. They can give you firsthand information about what to expect when you’re going through a home inspection and offer you tips on how to guarantee it’s as smooth as possible.
Reach out to your listing agent for help
Before your home inspection, your listing agent can walk through your house and do a visual inspection. They will let you know what red flags are popping up so you know what to fix. Additionally, your agent can tell you exactly how the home inspection process will go, which is especially important if you’ve never sold a home before.
You might be understandably nervous about the inspection. But with a listing agent on your side, you’ll learn the right information so you can prepare. Plus, they will attend the inspection for you. Since it takes a few hours, you’ll need to leave your house while your agent stays behind with the licensed home inspector.
Along with helping with the home inspection, your listing agent can give you tips on how to make your home more aesthetically pleasing and connect you with a professional home stager. A home staging can spruce up your property and increase the chances of making a sale.
What happens if you fail the home inspection?
If the home inspector finds issues, then the buyer can back out of the deal if there is a home inspection report contingency in the offer contract. In a more common scenario, a buyer could ask for a credit, also known as a concession, which will lower the profits you’ll receive on the sale. If you give them a credit, they will do the home repairs themselves. If you do not, you may have to make the repairs yourself. It all depends on what you and the buyer agree on. While you aren’t required to make the repairs, it’s in your best interest to do it so that your sale has a better chance of going through.
Keep in mind that if you’re in a very competitive market, where sellers are receiving multiple offers, a buyer may waive their right to an inspection. This could happen, but don’t count on it.
Ensuring you pass your home inspection
With the help of a real estate agent, you can learn everything you need to know about home inspections. It’s important to find an agent who is knowledgeable and has experience selling your area.
Whether you’re looking to buy or sell a home in the Shreveport-Bossier City area, connect with Tammi Montgomery Real Estate Experts for expert help. Fill out the form below to get started.
Need more tips for selling your home in Bossier City? Let's chat! Give us a call at 318-540-6108 to find out how we can help.