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Presenting your Fargo/Moorhead home at its best for the home inspection

Submitted by SterlingBrown on Sat, 11/05/2016 - 12:09

Presenting your Fargo/Moorhead home at its best for the home inspection

To start you will probably want to know what the buyers Fargo/Moorhead home inspector is going to need to inspect.  A great place to start is with the standard of practices, SOP, they follow. Remember, the SOP doesn't limit what an inspector MAY inspect, it spells out the things they MUST inspect to be in compliance with their SOP.

ASHI, American Society of Home Inspectors, is the oldest certifying agency for home inspectors. Their SOP may be downloaded at

InterNACHI, International Association of Certified Home Inspectors, is reputed to be the largest association of home inspectors. Their SOP may be downloaded at

Between the two, there are far more similarities than differences and both will provide your buyer with information to help in their decision process. A home inspection does not pass nor fail a house, but different buyers will have different sets of resources and skills. A house that is appropriate for one buyer may present challenges for another beyond their abilities or comfort level.

Most Fargo/Moorhead homes being inspected have occupants that are moving, (and some even have children). Inspectors do not expect your home to be in "Show Room" condition.

It does go along way to speeding the inspection process if the inspector has ready access to the electrical service panel, the furnaces/heating plant, plumbing fixtures, attic and crawl space if there is one and all utilities are turned on. A three foot square clear space at each of these will help get the inspector out of your hair much more quickly. If any of these items are concealed, leave a note. If the attic access is over items you would rather not have showered with insulation, remove or cover them. An inspector can not be responsible for pets left in the house.

A home inspector is not required to move your personal items that might block access to anything required to be inspected. If anything is disclaimed because it was not readily accessible the buyer may demand a reinspection at additional cost.  Everyone would prefer to avoid that.

In general a Fargo/Moorhead home inspector will start on the outside of the home looking for damage, present or potential, defects, and safety issues with the landscaping, foundation, window, doors, siding, fascia, soffit, roof covering, and any protrusions through the roof covering. They will also test hose bibbs, exterior electrical outlets, and illumination and note any concerns about electrical power and gas service connections.

On the inside of your house they will inspect rooms, the basement/crawl space, attic, appliances, and utilities.

Rooms will have the floor covering walls and ceilings inspected for damage. The windows, doors, electrical outlets, light and fan fixtures will be checked for operation. The room's permanent heat/AC will be verified.

The basement/crawl space is typically considered to be the unfinished, below grade portion of the house. The visible parts of the foundation will be inspected as will the floor support system for the upper levels.

Utilities. In the majority of cases, but certainly not all, the basement is where the electrical service panel, the main heating and cooling systems, and main plumbing components are located. All will be inspected for damage, defects or safety concerns so all must be readily accessible at the time of the inspection. As a part of the electrical panel inspection, AFCI and GFCI breakers are required to be operated.  It's a good idea to verify all of your clocks and any other programmable items are reset if needed.

Appliances are not generally required to be inspected but many home inspectors will verify operation (not effectiveness) and that no safety concerns or leaks are visible by utilizing a short cycle.

Attics are accessed, and where deemed safe, entered to determine any signs of damage, defects or safety concerns. Typically the inspector will note these items and identify the type of structure and type and quantity of insulations.

If a Radon measurement has been ordered, the results will generally be available three days after the equipment is placed.

This is a quick overview of a process that will take from two to four hours on site for a single inspector to complete. Those inspectors who operate as a team can typically knock an hour off that time. We hope your inspection and move go well.


The Home Inspection Pros, Mid-America Inspection Services, serving Fargo and West Fargo, North Dakota, Moorhead, Alexandria, Fergus Falls, Detroit Lakes, Wadena and the Minnesota Lakes Region

 218-443-3555, 320-846-0004, 218-287-0877, 218-841-0444

Submitted by SterlingBrown on Sat, 11/05/2016 - 12:09