A home inspection is the inevitable next step once a contract on your house has been signed. Real estate professionals know that this process can make or break a transaction. For buyers, the inspection is a potential way to cancel a transaction that doesn't thrill them. For sellers, it's a stressful time of holding your breath and waiting for the bad news. It doesn't have to be this way, however. Read on for some helpful tips for getting through the home inspection phase unscathed.

Conduct Your Own Inspection Early On

When you list your home for sale (or even before), hire your own home inspector. This proactive step will provide a comprehensive list of what most buyers' inspectors will pick up on. If that's not feasible, conduct your own walk-through with your agent. Sellers can experience a negative emotional response when the first inspection report rolls in, because it's going to pick apart your own beloved home. Doing so will not only remove the element of surprise, it will give you a clear to-do list of necessary repairs. Tick off the ones that are quick and easy, then obtain contractor estimates on the rest. This will help you negotiate with the buyer when they ask for repairs or price adjustments.

Preparing for the Inspection

You wouldn't try to trade in your car caked with dirt and full of trash, right? Think about your home in the same way. Give your house a thorough cleaning before the scheduled inspection, paying close attention to appliances, air vents and the spaces under sinks. Ensure that all light bulbs are working and lighting fixtures are operable inside and out. Make sure access is clear for your attic, water heater, electrical panels or fuse boxes and storage rooms. Put fresh batteries in carbon monoxide and smoke detectors and install a new AC filter. Test all windows and doors to make sure they work properly. Outside, knock down cobwebs, clean out the gutters and trim overgrown vegetation from around the foundation. Finally, gather your maintenance records and receipts to help address any questions the inspector may have.

When the Inspector Arrives

Some agents recommend leaving your home while the inspection takes place; however, this may not be the best course of action. Home inspectors may have questions or not understand some specific conditions. If you are present to answer a question or demonstrate the operation of something the inspector isn't familiar with, this could mean one less problem noted on the report. Avoid following the inspector around looking over his shoulder, however. Introduce yourself and let the inspector know where you'll be, in case of questions.

The experienced professional Realtors® of the Edie Israel Team know how important your home sale is. They will work closely with you throughout the listing and contract process to ensure a successful transaction. With the Edie Israel Team, even the home inspection will be smooth sailing.