Congrats, You’re Out of Attorney Review … Now What????
You decided to list your home and interviewed several realtors. After hearing several realtor presentations, you made an informed decision and selected the best listing agent for the job. The listing agent provided you with a great selling strategy. You signed on the dotted line and listed your house with the agent.
The listing agent advised you what home maintenance needed to be completed prior to showing your home. You accepted your realtor’s advice and completed the tasks. Your house was then photographed and posted for sale on multiple websites. Maybe there were open houses and several showings? After nerve racking feedback from potential buyers that viewed your house and maybe some “low ball offers”, an acceptable offer was presented. You verbally agreed to the price!!!
A contract was drawn and both parties signed it. Attorneys became involved and both sides reviewed the contract. After several days of haggling back and forth, both parties accepted a final version of the contract. Attorney review ended.
The Home Inspection
My hand is cramping typing all this up and I haven’t even discussed the…… home inspection.
Selling a home is stressful! “The home inspection?”, you ask. Your mind starts to wander and the gurgling in your stomach reappears. You though you were out of the woods and in the home stretch. You forgot all about the Home Inspection! …. Questions start racing through your head….
“What is a home inspection?” , “What is the inspector going to look for?”, “Is my home going to pass the inspection?”, “What if it fails?” “Should I be home”, “What do I have to do”?
First the good news…. Relax! Fidelity Home Inspections has you covered. We want you to realize, no house is in perfect condition. The home inspection is not a “pass or fail inspection”. Everything can be fixed and can be negotiated (that’s why you hired a realtor).
In New Jersey, a home inspector is licensed by the State after completing an accredited home inspection course, receiving field training and passing a national home inspection exam. All home inspectors are required to be insured and have to adhere to New Jersey State Law.
The home inspection is a non invasive visual inspection of the home and provides the client with a snap shot of the condition of the home at the time of inspection. The exterior, interior, roofing, electrical, HVAC, plumbing, foundation, garage, and structure of residence will all be inspected. The house may be tested for radon levels, mold or even lead (if the house was built prior to 1978).
Here are some quick tips for sellers:
Have the Utilities Turned on
Have all the utilities turned on for the inspection (water, electric, gas). We will not turn utilities on at a home inspection. If a utility is not working, let your realtor know or leave us a note.
Check the Light Bulbs
Check the light bulbs in the fixtures in your house. An inspector will note a malfunctioning electrical fixture. In some cases, a burnt out light bulb is the only reason a light fixture is not working. Replacing a light bulb before the inspection is an easy way to keep that fixture off of the inspection report.
Ensure Electrical Panels and Equipment are Accessible
We all know that the world is ending. We have to stockpile toilet paper, paper towels, tissues, cases of bottled water, and other supplies for the zombie apocalypse. Here’s a simple tip that can save you headaches…
MOVE YOUR “END OF THE WORLD” STOCKPILE FROM THE EQUIPMENT THAT NEEDS INSPECTED
If we can’t access the equipment in the house, we can’t inspect it. It will be documented in the inspection report. The buyer may want these items accessible and re-inspected before the deal can proceed. We are not going to move anything to access the equipment.
Should I Stay or Should I Go?
Some sellers are worried about letting strangers in their house. The sellers agent and the home inspector both are required to have insurance in New Jersey. Should the sellers be home?
Some sellers insist on being present during the inspection. If so, stay out of the way. It’s not a good idea to follow the home inspector and clients creepily around the house like a main character in a horror movie.
Realtors are paid professionals who work hard for their commission. As a seller, you are under a lot of stress and emotions are running high. It’s not a good idea to follow the buyers around the house during the inspection. Not every found defect is asked to be corrected or credited after the inspection. If you argue with the inspector, the buyer’s realtor or the clients during the inspection, you may “kill the deal”. We suggest leaving your house until the inspection is over. Let the realtors negotiate the details of the sale after the inspection report is complete and reviewed by the buyer.
Please secure your dog in a crate during the inspection. If this is not possible take your dog with you until the inspection is over. Inspectors do not want to get bit and might not enter a room a dog is confined to if it is walking around freely.
If you have cats, please let us know. We do not want your house cat escaping during an inspection.
If you are purchasing a home in New Jersey, contact Fidelity Home Inspections for all your home inspection needs 609 337 6167.
About the Expert
Athena Deichman is the co-owner of and “face” of Fidelity Home Inspections. She is a rescue and now ruling member of the family. She enjoys eating food and numerous snacks throughout the day, napping, taking long walks by the beach, eating dirty socks and going to “Yappy Hour” with her fellow K9 friends. One of her favorite pastimes is lounging on the porch barking at people as they walk by.
Athena contributed to the “pets” portion of this article as our resident expert. She informed us if her home was being sold and inspected, she would rather be at “Yappy Hour” or day tripping with her family than in her crate during a home inspection.