Let’s say you’ve accepted a great offer on your home. Everything appears to be moving forward toward a successful closing when suddenly you get a call from your realtor. The buyer’s home inspector has found some issues. The buyer wants them remedied or the deal is off.
It’s a nightmarish scenario, but it happens all the time. However, it’s also completely avoidable with a self-inspection. Whether you do it yourself or hire a professional, conducting a self-inspection before the buyer conducts theirs can save you time, money, and embarrassment. The following checklist will help you parse this potentially overwhelming task into a series of manageable, orderly steps.
SELF-INSPECTION CHECKLIST – Interior
- Plumbing: Make sure your drains are free of clogs and that your toilets flush properly. If you have a septic tank, you may want to have it professionally inspected to make sure it’s title-five compliant.
- Tubs/Showers: Check to see that there are no cracks in the grout. If there are, fixing them is a simple as a 7-dollar trip to the hardware store and a 15-minute re-grouting.
- Stairs: Stairs must be secure. If there are any loose steps, balusters or railings, you’ll want to have them repaired prior to inspection.
- Appliances: Your oven, range, dishwasher, fridge, etc. will all be put through their paces. Make sure they’re ready.
- Central Air: Consider getting an HVAC inspection to make sure your heating and cooling systems are in good working order.
- Outlets: A 10-dollar outlet tester can tell you whether or not your outlets will pass inspection.
- Detectors: Every home must have a carbon monoxide detector within 15 feet of each bedroom, at least one per floor, plus a smoke detector on every floor and in each bedroom and bedroom hallway. Test the batteries and replace them if necessary.
SELF-INSPECTION CHECKLIST – Exterior
- Gutters: Make sure they’re in good repair and free of debris.
- Roof: Have any leaks repaired and consider retiling or -shingling if they are old (50 years for tiles, 20 for shingles). You may also want to obtain a roof certification
- Decks: Inspect your deck(s) for loose boards, balusters or railings.
- Positive Drainage: Part of your home inspection will include making sure that any water within 3 feet of the house will flow away from it, and that downspouts and drip trays also deposit water no closer than 3 feet to the outer walls.
- Paint: Check the paint on the exterior of your home for cracks, bubbles, and chips. Florida’s climate can be especially hard on paint, so if it’s been more than 7 years, you may want to consider getting the home repainted.
- Garage Door: Your buyer’s inspector will test the garage door to make sure it opens and closes properly, and that the door reverses in response to contact and tripping the infrared sensors. Make sure you beat them to it.
- Weather Sealing: Ensure that sealing like caulk and weather-stripping on windows and doors is doing its job to keep out the elements. If not, these are easy repairs you can do yourself.
- Windows and Screens: Repair or replace any cracked windows or damaged or missing screens.
By taking these Self-Inspection Checklist steps before you list your home, you’ll spare yourself the time and cost of taking them during the selling process, or worse, the disappointment of a great offer falling through. And if you aren’t the handy type, don’t fear. The Authentic Real Estate Team exclusive and extensive network of Orlando vendors includes plenty of professional inspectors and contractors to help you get your home in great shape before we list it.