Anything related to the housing market has the capability to cause stress. A home inspection is no exception. As a homeowner trying to sell, I’ve had the pleasure of having gone through a home inspection myself. Here is what I learned along the way.
Preparing your house for the inspection is the best thing you can do to improve the home inspection results. Walk around the premises as if you were a potential buyer and note everything that would cause you to be hesitant or anything that seems unsafe. You can choose to fix whatever you like, but only a handful of buyers will purchase a house with known defects. If you are already in contract, any issues on the home inspection report will become a negotiation between you and the buyer unless previously specified in the contract. In that case, you must fix anything that you have already agreed to. If you are in contract with a buyer receiving government funds (such as an elderly or disabled person), you will most likely be obligated to fix all or most issues regardless of buyer specification. Either way, it is up to you what is repaired before the first home inspection.
Home Inspection Checklist
Everywhere that the inspector investigates, he or she will be searching for water damage, mold or mildew, signs of extreme wear, instability, improper installation or use, and safety hazards.
-Exterior: Driveway and paths; exterior walls (must have no bulges)and siding; weep holes (must be clear); patios and porches (check for lose or damaged boards, rails, or steps); fences and stone walls; gutter system; chimney; roof; foundation (must have no cracks or bulging); surrounding trees and bushes; swimming pool; detached garage and/or shed; well and septic.
-Plumbing: Exposed pipes and the pipes’ point of wall entry (checking for corrosion or water damage); toilets, tubs, and showers; water heater; water pressure; drains (including the speed of drainage); faucets; bathroom vent fans; washer and dryer.
-Electrical: Electrical panel and breakers; outlets.
-Crawlspace and/or Basement: Crawlspace vapor barrier; ground (must not have water damage); foundation; depth of crawlspace; lighting.
-Attic: Roof; insulation; joists and rafters; vents and fan motors.
-Kitchen: Cabinets; sink, drain, and faucet; garbage disposal; cooktop and oven; dishwasher.
-Other Interior Features: Furnace; radiators; fireplace; air conditioning; doors; windows (must have no cracked glass or fogging); flooring; ceiling; stairways; CO2 and smoke detectors; garage.
To view a more detailed checklist, check out thisHome Inspection Checklist. Neither of these checklists are intended for professional home inspection replacement.
Staging is the act of preparing a house to be put up for sale, such as deep cleaning, decluttering, and limiting personal touches. Many people think staging a house should be for showings and appraisals only and that an inspection requires no clean-up. Although staging for an inspection doesn’t need to be as intense as a showing, it is still a good idea to do some minor staging. If the inspector is comfortable in your house, he or she may be more willing to negotiate on problems that do not pose a safety threat. Be sure to clean, declutter and remove items that hinder access in areas the inspector will need to enter. If you need decluttering advice, visit here for some tips.
The inspector will typically give you an on-site rundown of the issues he or she found. This enables you to ask questions about the issues and how to fix them. After the inspector leaves, he or she will finalize the inspection report and turn it in. Once you receive a copy, you will have the chance to negotiate with the buyer what items you will fix.
If you are required to fix any problems, you will have a second home inspection once the problems have been taken care of. This is to ensure the issues have indeed been resolved and resolved correctly.