There are several items that need to be done before the inspection. In this article I am going to list and explain these items for a buyer, seller, and real estate agent. With this information you will be better prepared for your home inspection, thus helping the inspector perform a more thorough and complete home inspection.
Let’s start off with the sellers’ inspection. Many homeowners today are having their homes inspected before they are put on the market. This is a very effective marketing tool to help your home sell quicker and more profitably. For your home inspector to do the best job possible, he or she will need several things to be done before they arrive to inspect the home.
- If it happens to be winter and you are in a cold climate zone, please make sure the driveway is clear of ice and snow. An inspector cannot see through this stuff, thereby limiting the inspection.
- Please make sure that all utilities to the home are operational. Inspectors do not light pilot lights, turn on water mains, or main panel breakers. If these are not in regular operating mode, the inspection will be limited and less beneficial to you.
- Make sure the attic access is not obstructed in any way. You inspector will need to access this area to check insulation, roof sheathing, trusses, HVAC equipment, etc.
- I realize that if you are selling, you will be packing. However, please make sure the inspector will be able access windows, doors, electrical outlets, etc., and be able to see the walls and foundation.
Now, if you are a buyer, your list will be a little shorter. But, it is still just as important to do your homework. You are paying for the inspection, so stay on top of everything.
- Once you call the inspector and set a date and time, call your real estate agent and verify this time. Some inspectors do this for you and some don’t. If this is a vacant foreclosure or bank owned property, find out who you need to contact in order to get ALL utilities turned on and into normal operating mode. Again, inspectors will not turn these items on for you at the time of the inspection. As per most SOP’s, if they are not on, they will be disclaimed as not inspected.
- If you are having any specialty testing like lead, mold, water, septic, or pool done try to do these on the same day if the house is occupied. Sellers will thank you for not making too many trips and inconveniencing them.
Real Estate Agents
Now let’s focus on what the real estate agent needs to do before each home inspection. Some buyers may not realize what these people do for you.
- If the inspector has not verified the inspection appointment before 3:00pm the day before the inspection, call to verify.
- Help the buyer with getting utilities and the like into normal operating mode. This will allow a more thorough inspection and speed up the sale. It will work out better for you as the agent.
- If you will not be attending the inspection, please let the inspector know how to gain access.
- If there are going to be items not operating please call the client and explain this to them, so they may decide whether or not to reschedule the inspection. Most inspectors do not come back a second time for no additional fee. Your buyer will be liable for this return fee, and probably will be upset about it.
I hope everyone can take something from this list and find it useful. I really do feel bad when sometimes the inspection is limited due to a lack of communication between all parties involved. If you have items that you feel should be on this list, please feel free to let me know. I am always more than willing to listen and learn from others.