The process of selling a house has a lot of parts that must be in place for everything to go smoothly, and a few of those parts cause more anxiety than all the rest. Among the anxiety-inducing steps in the process are the inspection and the appraisal. You can, however, reduce the stress and anxiety if you prepare properly – to avoid surprises and get the results you want. So let’s take a look at 5 important things to do before inspections and appraisals when selling your house in Chicago.
1. Work on Curb Appeal
First impressions are just as important for the inspector and the appraiser as they are for potential buyers. And the best way to create a great first impression is with curb appeal. So before inspections and appraisals when selling your house in Chicago, be sure to work on that critical curb appeal.
“Curb appeal is a major factor in a buyer’s. interest in your home. . . . [Because] first impressions are influential, they are a subconscious element and create either positive or negative feelings. The home inspector, while not the actual buyer, will also notice the condition of your home at first sight. If it looks well kept-up and clean this will give them a first impression that the home is well taken care of, which could benefit you on the home inspection report.”
Here, according to industry pros, are some to things you can do to improve curb appeal:
- Make the yard stand out by mowing, trimming trees and shrubs, planting flowers, and laying down new mulch in beds.
- Ensure that all doors and gates function properly, including knobs, latches, locks, and deadbolts.
- Touch up paint where needed.
- Power wash siding, porches, decks, and sidewalks.
2. Check the Gutters and Assess the Roof
After curb appeal, the roof of your home is what will most likely catch the eye of inspectors and appraisers, who will most certainly examine it. Be sure, then, to check the roof (and gutters) before inspections and appraisals when selling your house in Chicago.
Clean the gutters and make any needed roof repairs, ensuring that you don’t just take a band-aid approach to solve roof problems. “If there is any [roof] damage,” experts say – “especially things that you may have fixed temporarily – make sure to fix them before the inspection. DIY patches and other unfinished repairs will be noted as defects on the inspection report.”
3. Check EVERYTHING Inside
A common mistake Chicago sellers make before inspections and appraisals is concentrating on the outside of their house and neglecting the inside. That’s understandable, though, because the home’s exterior and curb appeal absolutely must be in tip-top shape to set the tone for the rest of the inspection or appraisal. Still, neglecting the interior to any degree is a mistake.
The interior is just as important as the exterior, so double and triple check everything. Industry pros recommend that, after decluttering and deep cleaning, you make sure that:
- There are no dark light bulbs
- Smoke detectors are working
- All of the appliances are plugged in
- The inspector has access to everything, i.e. there aren’t boxes blocking the water heater, the garage door opener works, etc.
- The filter in the HVAC has been changed recently
- Sinks aren’t leaking underneath
- All of the locks are working properly
4. Compile and Provide a List of Improvements and Upgrades
One of the really important (but often overlooked) things you should do before inspections and appraisals when selling your house inChicago. Is to compile a list of improvements and upgrades and then present it to the inspector and the appraiser. Don’t assume they’ll notice these things – make sure to point them out.
After spending thousands or tens of thousands of dollars on improvements and upgrades, you certainly don’t want to take the chance that they won’t be noticed or factored into the appraisal especially. So make it easy for them to be taken into account.
Here’s what industry experts recommend: “As you prepare for an appraisal . . . it’s extremely helpful to create a list of all upgrades and improvements that you’ve made in your home. Simply leaving the list of upgrades and improvements for the appraiser increases the chance they don’t overlook a feature in your home that could impact the appraiser’s valuation of your home.”
5. Consult Your Agent
A final – well, actually the first – thing Chicago sellers should do before inspections and appraisals are to consult their local real estate agent. Your local agent will most likely know or know of local inspectors and appraisers and, as a result, will know what kinds of things they look for. In addition, local markets vary and may have different emphases for inspections and appraisals. If you’re ready to get the best inspection and appraisal results, talk to one of our agents. Send us a message or give us a call today at 773.233.2301.