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Preparing for a Home Inspection

Submitted by SterlingBrown on Sun, 02/17/2019 - 14:55

Selling a house can be a very scary time. One has to worry about picking the best realtor, the season best for sale, the market as a whole for homes and having to move from a place that may have been your home for a number of years.


One of the scarier aspects after you’ve actually secured a purchaser who has shown a strong interest in buying your house is a home inspection. It need not be scary though because frankly the home inspector really has no interest in the sale or not sale of your home. The home inspector is simply there to make sure that your purchaser is aware of the physical condition of your home. No home is appropriate for ever purchaser and sometimes the decision about what is appropriate is influenced by things that most people would not consider terribly important.


What can you do as a seller to make your home present best to home inspector? Well for one thing you should realize that the home inspector almost never inspects a home where people aren’t moving. The home inspector expects a certain degree of mess as result of your preparations to move. So exerting tremendous amounts of effort in making everything neat and tidy is largely a waste of time and using room deodorizers actually is a bad thing because it will make the inspector suspected your covering up unpleasant odors.

There are things you can do, however, to make your home easier to inspect for the home inspector.

First, make sure all utilities are on and make sure all pilot lights are lit where appropriate.

Second, make certain that there is ready access to places inspector may need to inspect. If the attic access is in a closet you may want to remove your clothes both to ease the inspector's task but also to help insure that they won’t be soiled by falling insulation or anything else that might fall out of an attic. If a crawlspace access is not obvious you may want to make a note on the kitchen counter explaining where it is located and also clear it of any obstructions to access. The home inspector will also need to access your furnace and air conditioning equipment, any well equipment, the water heater, and of course the electrical service panel.

Thirdly, you should check to make sure that all of the things you use in the house actually function. All of us tend to work around a minor defect until we get a chance to correct it. Too often corrected means ignore it. Make sure all the windows open and close, flush the toilets, run all the faucets, try all your light switches, replacing any defective bulbs, and fan controls, open and close your garage vehicle doors, and ensure downspouts and discharge tubes are properly diverting water away from your foundation.

Fourth, cycle your heating system to make sure that the thermostat is operating properly and the heating system itself operates as it should. If your heating system involves auxiliary or emergency heat or other heating circumstances that the inspector may not be aware of it might help to leave a note detailing proper operation both so that the inspector can confirm operation and also reduce the risk he might do something that damages some component. If the weather allows, the outside temperature is above 65° and the nighttime temperature never drop below 60, you may want to cycle the air conditioning also to confirm that everything is operating as it should.

Fifth, catch up on all those minor repairs that you may have been putting off such as replacing defective light bulbs, replacing any torn screens or damaged window glass and check your roof for the obvious such as a missing or damaged shingles. On the outside of the home, visually examine your fascia, soffit and siding for any damaged or missing components and make corrections as warranted. It should cost no more to remedy defects prior to the inspection than in response to findings. It certainly makes a better impression on the buyer to have his report come back with minimal things of concern. Have all trees and shrubbery that can rub against the house siding or roof trimed back appropriately. Make sure the area around your air-conditioning unit is clear for lease a couple of feet to allow for proper ventilation. If you have gutters, make sure they’re clean and there are no indications of sagging or leaking.

Sixth. Last-minute preparations, leave remotes for garage doors, fans, fireplaces, or any other appliance controlled by a remote readily available perhaps on the kitchen counter with a note identifying each. It’s best if you can have any pets removed from the house for the duration of the inspection and to plan to be elsewhere 2 ½ to 3 ½ hours it might typically take for the inspection and review of the results with your potential purchaser.

Except in the case of a defect that might cause harm to persons or property, the home inspector does not have permission to share any information from the report with you or your agent. With written permission, the home inspector can release a copy to the buyer’s agent.

It’s important to remember that home inspection does not pass or fail a home. The home inspection simply visually observes a rather large number of items around the house looking for functionality and safety issues and occasionally for code issues. Most home inspectors do not inspect for code compliance. Simply put, verifying code compliance would require the home inspector be fully aware of when a particular action was taken to see if it was in compliance when it was installed. Concerns that one potential purchaser might consider of little consequence may be of major concern to another buyer. The home inspector is seldom aware of the resources and reasons the buyer brings to the transaction.

Submitted by SterlingBrown on Sun, 02/17/2019 - 14:55