Home Inspections – What To Expect & How To Prepare
by Jamie Conley
on Monday, September 21st, 2020 at 3:49pm.
You’ve accepted an offer on your property and most likely, one of the buyer's terms will be a the opportunity to have a professional home inspection done. It is helpful to this phase of the process to understand exactly what a Professional Home Inspector’s role is; what they cannot do and what items they look at during the inspection. At the end of the article, we've also included a helpful Pre-Inspection Preparation Check List to assist you in being proactive and well prepared on inspection day.
WHAT AN INSPECTOR DOES?
The property inspector’s role in the sales transaction is to provide a, visualinspection of the components a property that they can see or access easily.
The items they check for include HVAC (heating and air condition systems), electrical, roof, attic, windows, doors, walls, ceilings, floors, foundation, and other structural components. Inspectors will also check the functionality of a home’s installed systems, such as garbage disposals, carbon monoxide detectors, light switches, dishwashers, garage door openers and pilot lights to name a few. They will also check for any leaks, mold, mildew, and other signs of water damage in the property.
Following the inspection, a detailed narrative report is provided, noting problem areas or deficiencies they observed as being present at the time of the inspection. Many times, an inspector will include photos with the report to further document problem areas that were noted in their narrative report.
WHAT A PROPERTY INSPECTOR DOESN’T (or CAN’T) DO:
According to the “National Association of Home Inspectors” website: “Home Inspectors are Generalists: Home inspectors are not experts in every home system but are generalists trained to recognize evidence of potential problems in the different home systems and their major components. Inspectors need to know when a problem is serious enough to recommend a specialist inspection. Recommendations are often made for a qualified contractor, such as a plumber or electrician, and sometimes for a structural engineer.”
ROOFS: Many property inspectors will climb a ladder and physically check the condition of the roof and gutters, but it is good to know that they are not required to so. Especially if the building is higher than two stories or the home has a steep roof. If they have not physically gone onto the roof as part of their inspection it should be noted as part of their report.
EASILY SEEN & ACCESSIBLE: Another thing to be aware of is that a property inspector can only check for items in the home that they can see or are easily accessible. They will not move furniture to access outlets. A hot-water heater or air mover in a cluttered closet surrounded by storage items will prevent them from completing any tests on those components.
A little planning and preparation in advance of your home inspection can help ensure things go more smoothly. If you are an out-of-town owner for a second home or investment property and are not physically present to manage things from a distance, there are reliable maintenance companies you can hire to take handle these tasks for you. We will also work with Home Inspection Company to facilitate scheduling and coordinate access to your property on inspection day
Check Batteries & Light Bulbs
Make sure all light bulbs are in working order
Change batteries for anything that conveys. (i.e. remote controls for fans or blinds.)
Change Air Filters
Ensure that dishwasher is empty on the day of the inspection
Eliminate obstructions preventing the inspector’s ability to access the attic, water heater, windows, doors, heating/ac equipment, exterior spaces
Unlock electrical box, gates, storage areas
Turn off security system day of the inspection
Make sure toilets are functioning properly
All pilot lights are on.
Check for leaks or water damage and have repaired ahead of time.
Test locks, exterior doors and cabinetry for proper, smooth functioning.
If you are thinking of selling or would like an updated report on the local market, please reach out, we would love the opportunity to earn your business. Contact us: