How to Prepare for a Home Inspection

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How to Prepare for a Home Inspection2020-01-31T19:34:23-07:00

Home Sellers: How to Prepare for a Home Inspection

As a home seller, you want to make sure you’re putting your best foot forward during your home inspection. Rescheduling a home inspection can result in additional cost, delays in closing, and could potentially make or break a sale. You want your home inspection to go as smoothly as possible; the best way to ensure this is to take some time to prepare in advance.

Here are some tips to get your home ready for inspection:

Make Sure the House is Clean

This is an often-overlooked step by sellers that can be easily avoided. Prior to a home inspection, make sure your house is clean. A tidy living space implies that you take care of your home; having a home inspector show up to a filthy home is going to be an immediate red flag. If you haven’t bothered to clean dirty dishes out of the sink or vacuum the carpets, chances are that other parts of your home have not been maintained either.

Make Sure Utilities are Connected and Pilot Lights are Ignited

As part of their inspection, a home inspector will need to test the different appliances to make sure utilities are functioning. This means that the power must remain on. They will need to run the dishwasher, check the stove/oven, test the A/C unit, turn on the furnace, and assess the ventilation system. If the electricity is turned off, this will be impossible, and will result in the inspection needing to be rescheduled.

*NOTE – if your heating and stove units are gas powered, the pilot light cannot be ignited by the inspector due to liability concerns.

Clear Space Around Key Access Points and Utilities

This goes hand-in-hand with making sure your house is cleaned before the inspector arrives. A home inspector is going to be inspecting every major access point and utility during their inspection, but they generally won’t move any of your belongings to clear a path. For the sake of a successful inspection, make sure there is nothing impeding their ability to perform the inspection.

Be sure to remove any boxes or furniture that might be obstructing access to electrical panels, fireplaces, crawlspaces, attics, the basement, and underneath sinks. You also need to make sure there is a clear workspace around air conditioning units, furnaces, hot water heaters, and any other appliances that will be staying in the home. You should also make sure any exterior inspection points are accessible (drainage, electrical boxes, septic/plumbing, etc.).

Replace Light Bulbs and Batteries

Your inspector will also check any lighting and alarm fixtures throughout the home. To avoid being listed as inoperable, make sure that all lightbulbs and smoke detector batteries are replaced and functioning prior to inspection.

Prepare Documents

A home inspector is going to want to know the service history of the home they’re inspecting. Have any documents regarding maintenance, repairs, remodeling, or possible insurance claims organized and immediately available to the inspector. Documents can include (but are not limited to) invoices, proposals, and schematics/blueprints.

Be Ready Early

Most home inspectors are punctual; many will show up earlier than the inspection time. If you have a home inspection scheduled for 9:00 A.M., be prepared for your inspector to show up 30-45 minutes early. The last thing you want to have is a home inspector showing up while everyone is still in bed. Make sure you are awake, and the home is ready at least an hour before the inspector’s scheduled arrival.

Provide Keys for Any Locked Areas

Make sure that keys for any locked parts of the home (attic, basement, garage, etc.) are provided for the home inspector upon arrival.

Prepare to Be Away for the Duration of the Inspection

For the majority of home inspections, the buyer usually accompanies the home inspector. Though it is not required, it is highly recommended that the home owner not be present during the time of inspection; this is to help the buyer feels more comfortable asking questions during the inspection.

Try to schedule the home inspector at a time where you can be out of the house for the duration of the inspection. If you have pets but are unable to take them with you during the inspection, make sure they are kenneled.

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Buying a house is already expensive. Why do I need a home inspection?2018-08-01T05:54:47-07:00

Buying a house is one of the largest purchases you will ever make. While a home may look perfect on the outside, there could be a lot of potentially expensive issues hiding under the surface that you need to know about before closing. Don’t leave anything to chance; get your home inspected.

The home I’m interested in is new construction. Do I still need to have it inspected?2018-08-01T05:55:02-07:00

Yes. Just because a home is new doesn’t mean it won’t have problems; it just means that someone hasn’t lived in it yet to discover any of its potential defects.

I’m thinking about selling my home. Should I have my home inspected before putting it on the market?2018-08-01T05:55:23-07:00

While it is not a requirement for you to have your home inspected prior to putting it up for sale, a pre-listing home inspection can be beneficial. It reveals the true state of your home and allows you to identify and repair potential deal-breakers prior to being discovered by the home buyer inspection.

When do I contact a home inspector?2018-08-01T07:16:29-07:00

Normally you would contact a home inspector after a purchase agreement has been signed. To protect your best interests, we highly recommend that you make sure there is an inspection contingency clause in the agreement prior to signing, specifying buyer and seller obligations after the completion and findings of an inspection.

How long does an inspection take?2018-08-01T07:16:44-07:00

On average, you should expect the inspection of a typical single-family home to last between 2-3 hours. For larger properties, it may take longer, and require an additional inspector onsite.

Can I be there during the inspection?2018-08-01T07:17:03-07:00

Absolutely! In fact, we encourage you to be there. As a prospective home buyer, the purpose of our inspection is not just to inspect the home, but to also educate the buyer and make sure you are the most informed about a property prior to moving forward with a purchase.

What type of report does the inspector provide?2018-08-01T07:18:04-07:00

Our inspector provides a comprehensive report in line with the InterNACHI Standards of Practice that identifies material defects of the components and systems of a home along with our recommendations for repairs. Usually, the full report is ready for you within 24 hours of the inspection! For a sample of our reporting, click here.

What if the inspector finds problems with the home?2018-08-01T07:18:34-07:00

No home, new or old, is going to be free of problems. However, not all problems require major fixes. Having a home inspection helps you identify possible issues before they potentially become bigger and costlier.

Can my home fail a home inspection?2018-08-01T07:20:03-07:00

No. A home inspection is not the same as an appraisal or municipal inspection. A home inspector reports on the physical condition of the home, and any possible material defects in need of repair or replacement. It’s not pass/fail; it’s just the facts.

Will you offer to do repairs based off your inspection?2018-08-01T07:21:04-07:00

In compliance with the InterNACHI Code of Ethics Article I, Section 11, we, as InterNACHI certified inspectors, are prohibited from performing or offering any repairs or related services to any home for which we have prepared a home inspection report for a period of 12 months. For any suggested repairs, we recommend consulting a specialist.

NEW & RETURNING CLIENTS

If you have any questions or require immediate assistance, our contact information is listed below.

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1.253.888.6326

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8:00am – 6:00pm

OFFICE LINE

1.253.888.6326

OFFICE HOURS (M-F)

8:00am – 6:00pm