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Preparing for a property inspection

On Behalf of | Nov 27, 2023 | Real Estate Transactions |

Before selling a property, an inspection may be necessary. Oftentimes, potential buyers will use a contingency clause stipulating that they are not required to go through with the purchase unless the property passes inspection.

That inspection can also have an impact on the property’s value. Issues found during an inspection could potentially lower what someone is willing to pay. This is why owners need to work to prepare and put their best foot forward.

7 steps to take when an inspection is imminent

Property owners can take several steps to prepare for an inspection:

  1. Address Safety Concerns: Ensure that the property meets safety standards. This might involve checking batteries in carbon monoxide detectors, running tests on smoke detectors, examining fire extinguishers and ensuring proper functioning of standard safety features like handrails and staircases.
  2. Routine Maintenance: Conduct routine maintenance tasks such as fixing leaks, repairing broken fixtures, replacing damaged tiles, addressing electrical issues and ensuring all systems (plumbing, HVAC, etc.) are in working order.
  3. Cleanliness and Organization: Clean the property thoroughly, both inside and out. Declutter spaces, organize rooms and ensure a tidy appearance. Pay attention to curb appeal for external inspections. Keep pets out of the house, if possible.
  4. Documentation and Records: Gather relevant documentation, including permits, warranties, maintenance records and receipts for repairs or renovations. Having organized documentation ready can support the property’s condition and maintenance history.
  5. Utilities and Accessibility: Ensure that all utilities (electricity, water, gas) are working and accessible for inspection. Provide easy access to all areas, including attics, basements and crawl spaces.
  6. Exterior Maintenance: Trim trees and bushes, mow the lawn, clean gutters, repair damaged fences or sidewalks and paint if necessary. A well-maintained exterior has a big impact on the curb appeal of the property, it makes that property appear cared-for and it creates a positive first impression.
  7. Prepare Occupied Spaces: If the property is occupied, inform tenants about the upcoming inspection, schedule a convenient time and ensure the areas are accessible and presentable.

By adequately preparing for a property inspection, owners can present their property in the best possible condition, potentially preventing issues that could affect its valuation, sale or rental prospects. As the transactional process moves forward, all involved need to be well aware of the legal options they have at their disposal. Seeking legal guidance is generally the best way to ensure that the rights of all parties are adequately safeguarded as a transaction scenario evolves.