6 Ways for Sellers to Prepare for a Building Inspection

Any responsibly written “Contract of Sale” will make a successful transaction contingent on the building report.

Detrimental findings in an inspector’s report have the potential to end the sale or encourage the buyer to return to the negotiation table to ask for a lower price so they can fix any issues that have been found.

This can be disappointing from a seller’s perspective, but it helps if you view it from the buyer’s perspective. They’d be crazy to purchase any property without seeking advice from professionals in construction and pest control.

As experienced local agents, we work with sellers every day to help them prepare their home for sale.

While many of many clients approach their preparation by focusing on cosmetic improvements on their property, it is always important to make a price decision based on the quality of the building first.

Any problems with the foundations, electrics or plumbing, or the home is prone to leaks during rain and storms, need to be dealt with as a priority when preparing for sale, or risk your home being advertised as a ‘renovate or detonate’ option.

Below are a few tips for preparing for a building inspection. The first tip is a little unusual, so let me explain: When we enter any home, we are all influenced by cleanliness. This includes building inspectors. So, make sure you treat an inspector as you would a prospective buyer. That way, you’ll give them the very best impression of your home.

  1. Have a spring clean – Open the windows and let the air through the home. Clean the ceiling fans and watch out for mould that might have accumulated on vents. Clean the windows, too. It’s incredible how grime reduces the light that comes into your home.
  2. Get plastered – If you have any cracks or gaps in your walls or floors, then it’s a simple task to use basic DIY filler and seal them up, sand and paint over.
  3. Be ready for inspections – Be prepared for your home to be scrutinised and retain your good humour and patience. Keep tabs on the deadlines of the contract and when the buyer is supposed to have each appointment scheduled. Ask your agent to persuade the buyer to undertake any inspections as soon as possible. If there’s a problem, the home can go back on the market quickly, and your sales campaign will maintain its momentum.
  4. It’s not personal – An inspection report assesses a home’s condition. It’s not a report card on how good a homeowner you’ve been, or a “pass or fail” test. You may be comfortably familiar with your home and its quirks, but a buyer and the inspector won’t be. So try not to take anything in the report personally—and remember, minor issues will always crop up.
  5. Sweeten deal – Inform your agent if some of the basics of your home, such as the electrical system, need attention. Perhaps you might suggest to them that you might discount the price to finance a rewire, if necessary. Sometimes, it’s a good idea to get a quote, even if you don’t want to oversee the work yourself. That way, you won’t be too generous with a price reduction.
  6. Keep receipts – If you have already undertaken upgrades to the property, be sure to keep your receipts and produce them as proof that you have addressed the issues that had previously existed with your home. This should give the prospective buyer some comfort.
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