How To Prepare Your House For a Home Inspection

A home inspection may not seem like it has much to do with the seller (aside from the responsibility of making repairs afterward, that is). But the seller’s participation in preparing a listing beforehand can help make the inspection process easier on all involved parties. Here are a few quick and easy tips on how you, the seller, can help simplify the experience for everyone.

Don’t try to hide defects. If it’s obvious that something isn’t working, make a note of it for the inspector and buyer instead of leaving it as a surprise. Let them know if and how you’re planning to have it fixed. This will also show the buyer that you are willing to work with them to get the deal closed.

Make attics and crawlspaces easily accessible. The quicker the inspector can reach every area of your home, the quicker they’ll be out of your hair. Think about leaving a note that tells the inspector where to locate the crawlspace and attic access as well. Directions for septic system locations, if applicable, are also extremely helpful.

Clean up before the inspector arrives. Save yourself the embarrassment of having a complete stranger handle your underwear. Remove clothes from the washer and dryer beforehand. Also, make sure kitchen appliances are reasonably clean and clear of dishes. Inspectors are required to check that all appliances are in working order.

Replace any burned-out bulbs. If a lightbulb is not working, the inspector might have to check the entire fixture to find out whether or not it functions. Save everyone extra time and effort by making sure all your lightbulbs are in working order.

Make arrangements for pets. Even if you have the friendliest pet on the planet, he or she could get in the inspector’s way and slow things down. Inspectors need access to the entire home, so it’s not necessarily enough to restrain pets to one area of the house. Instead, take your pup to the dog park or book your cat’s grooming session to coincide with the inspection.

Are there any other tips you’ve come across as a buyer or seller that you think could help speed along the inspection process? Are there any odd hindrances you’ve run across during a home inspection? Tell us in the comments section below!



Friday Five // November 10th, 2017

Back by popular demand, it’s the Friday Five! Check out these five events happening around town this weekend. Get into the holiday spirit early, meet some amazing young adult authors, and shuck some oysters for a good cause. Whatever you choose to do this weekend, have fun and be safe!

Early holiday season enthusiasts will be thrilled to know that this weekend marks the opening of one of our favorite holiday traditions: the James Island Holiday Festival of Lights. The opening ceremony takes place this evening, Friday, November 10th, from 6:30pm until 9:00pm. Activities include a tree lighting, awards presentation, and live music from Lowcountry Powerbrass.

Voracious young readers will meet and greet some of their favorite authors this weekend at YALLFest, the largest young adult book festival in the South, and one of the biggest in the country. This yearly, two-day event is hosted by Blue Bicycle Books and features numerous book signings, panels, and special events. This year’s authors include Veronica Roth (author of the Divergent Series), Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl (authors of the Lowcountry-based Beautiful Creatures series), and the keynote speaker, actor and author Jason Segel (yes, that Jason Segel).

Break out your big ol’ hats and race day finery! The Steeplechase of Charleston takes place this Sunday, November 12th, at The Plantation at Stono Ferry Race Track. Gates open at 9am with opening ceremonies beginning at noon. The horses won’t be the only ones competing, either. Make sure to sign up for the Ladies’ Hat Contest, the Men’s Best Dressed Contest, and the Best Tailgate Contest.

Looking for a fun event that benefits a great cause? The Lowcountry Autism Foundation hosts its fourth annual Oysters for Autism event this Sunday, November 12th. The event takes place at Bowens Island Restaurant from 4-7pm and includes all-you-can-eat oysters, hot dogs and chili, live music, and a silent auction.

On Saturday, November 11th, Deep Water Vineyards hosts Boots, Bottles, & a Blessing, its annual Blessing of the Vines Festival. Witness the blessing of the muscadine grapevines, enjoy live music, and eat and drink to your heart’s content in the beautiful setting of Deep Water Vineyard on Wadmalaw Island.


Unintended Consequences: Negotiation Tactics To Avoid When Selling a Home

Even during a seller’s market, it’s important not to become overly confident when selling a home. In fact, some negotiation tactics can be detrimental if they seem too aggressive or greedy. Sellers might have the upper hand in the current market, but there are a few so-called strategies that could backfire and cause an entire deal to fall apart. Take the following no-no’s into consideration during contract negotiations.

Provoking a bidding war.

Did you receive multiple offers for your home? Great! Being able to basically choose your buyer is a fortunate situation to be in. However, problems can arise when multiple offers aren’t handled with care. Have each buyer’s agent advise their client to bring their highest and best offer, and choose the one that is most beneficial to you. Don’t keep going back and forth and extending negotiations. You may very well scare off potential buyers.

Not compromising about repairs.

We’ve all been there. A home inspection comes back, and the buyer asks for every little nitpicky thing to be fixed before they’ll agree to go forward with the purchase. While it’s perfectly okay to be choosy over small, inconsequential fixes, sellers should avoid turning down requests for legitimate repairs, especially if the buyer’s offer is a solid one. Trying to bargain your way out of making legit repairs could cause your buyer to walk.  

Insisting on a specific closing date.

Every now and then the stars and planets align, and the perfect closing date works for both the buyer and the seller. Most of the time, though, that’s just wishful thinking. The seller might have a moving date that’s later than the buyer’s deadline to move or vice versa. Be as flexible as possible when it comes to closing and consider the big picture. Having to rent a place or stay with family for a few weeks until you close on your own new home is a small sacrifice in the grand scheme of things.

Fighting over fixtures.

It happens. Miscommunication occurs over a light fixture or appliance, and a deal falls apart when neither side will budge. The thing is, it’s reasonable for a buyer to assume that any fixture that’s attached to the ceiling, wall, or floor will stay when the seller moves out. If there’s a light fixture, ceiling fan, or appliance that you don’t intend to leave behind, either remove it from the house before showings, have your agent make a note of it in the listing, or attach a tag that clearly states that the item does not convey.

Refusing to pay closing costs.

We beg you: please do not lose a deal over closing costs. When a buyer asks for closing costs, chances are they’ve added them into their offer, which pretty much nets the same price you would have gotten if you didn’t pay closing costs. A $200,000 offer with no contingencies is essentially the same as a $205,000 offer that asks you to pay $5,000 in closing costs.

Happy 4th of July

We want to wish all of our friends, family, and communities a fun and safe weekend!

In honor of the holiday, our offices will be closed on Monday, July 4th, and will resume normal business hours on Tuesday, July 5th.


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