As a seller of real estate in the Virgin Islands one of the most important steps to take is to prepare your house for a home inspection. Whether you are driven by obtaining top dollar or focused on preventing any unexpected costs and challenges during the transaction process, sellers that take the time to prepare for a home inspection benefit.
Here are several tips to complete when preparing for a home inspection in St. Croix.
– Utilities. Maintain power to the house. Leave all utility connections on and accounts current. Inspectors test every aspect of a house and document the performance of each item in their reports. If an item is not functioning it can impact the value of the property.
– Directions. Provide instructions, keys, and codes for everything. The most detail possible about where components are located and how they function is helpful. For example where the cistern, electrical panel, or water pump can be accessed. In addition providing instructions or manuals for electric locks, generators, and appliances also assists the inspector. Especially if the appliance is out of the ordinary or is a newer technology. Such as an induction cook surface ,where an induction ready pot or pan needs to be left out for the inspector to test the appliance.
– Machines. Start up and test the generator, making sure to have fresh fuel and oil. Again leave instructions on how to start the equipment. The same goes for propane appliances, such as dyers or ovens, make sure the propane tanks have enough propane for the inspector to turn everything on and test.
– Batteries. Check all your monitors and battery operated devices. Monitors such as fire or carbon monoxide detectors and battery powered items such as electronic locks or AC remotes.
– Cisterns and Pools. Open up cistern access points and leave any required key or handle laid out for the inspector. Make sure the access points are easy to open and have not been caulked or grouted shut. Measure cistern water levels and make sure you have enough water for the inspector to test the pressure at each faucet. This is a great time to change your water filters. Putting in new filters will help your water system run more efficiently and provide the best water pressure possible for the time of inspection. For the pool, roll-up the cover and display with the cover off and the water crystal clear. Remove any stains and repair or replace corroded or worn out parts. For example a cracked skimmer lid or a rusty handrail. Tidy up and organize the pool chemicals to present them in an easy way for both the inspector and the buyer to better understand. Lastly, make sure all pool gates, handrails, or fencing is in working order.
– Landscaping. Check to make sure that the earth slopes away from your foundation or any areas where the ground comes in contact with the house. This is to ensure water drains away from the structure. This is especially important in St. Croix’s tropical environment where it can rain often and in large volumes. This weather pattern encourages awesome growth in our vegetation. So much so, that at times it seems that the bush can take over any structure. Take a look at any overhanging trees or plants and trim any that may be on top of the roof or blocking walking paths and windows.
– Debris. Clear out trash, bugs, or unnecessary items and provide easy access to important components of your house. Make sure that the inspector can walk-through every room, hallway, closest, or garage. Consider making access to under the sink plumbing or hot water heater connections easier by removing personal items. This is a good time to mention that inspectors are humans too.. The property’s accessibility and appearance can play a role in the outcome of the inspection report. To get a better outcome, deep clean everything. Make the house shine and smell sweet. Conveying to the inspector that the house has been under great care is important.
– Day of Inspection. Unlock, open-up, and turn-on everything. Crank open all louver windows, unlock all doors, and take off any padlocks on storage spaces. Turn on light fixtures and ceiling fans. Once the house is ready for inspection, grab all the animals and head to the beach or the bar… Inspections on St. Croix may take 3 to 4 hours to complete. Make arrangements to be away from the house during that time to give the inspector and the buyer a private and positive experience.