How to Prepare for an Inspection
No home is perfect. Anything from major damage to minor maintenance issues are often found. Even new homes are not immune – they could have problems with the plumbing, electrical system, heating and cooling system, or the roofing system just to name a few.

For homeowners, it’s important to be aware of any issues your home may have prior to putting it on the market. Getting a pre-listing home inspection will ensure that you’re aware of any problems and can take care of them on your terms – or present them as-is and adjust your selling price proportionally.  The alternative leaves you open to costly surprises and delays, and even potential deal-breakers once you’ve entered negotiations with the buyer.

For buyers, an inspection is vital to uncovering issues a home may have but are invisible to the untrained eye.  Even if the inspection finds more problems than you’re comfortable with and you move on to a different home to start the process all over again, it’s money well spent.  An inspection will give you the opportunity to ask the seller to make the repairs before you buy, or to back out of the contract.  So be sure to ask for the “inspection contingency” when you begin to enter negotiations with the seller.  This allows you to set a limit on the cost of repairs to the home.  If the inspection reveals unexpected items requiring repair and/or replacement then you will have the opportunity to either renegotiate the purchase price or demand that the seller have the item/s repaired by a licensed contractor. If these negotiations are not successful then the contract is voided.  It is a good way to protect yourself from ending up with a home that requires repairs that you are unable or unwilling to pay for.

Prior to Inspection Day, please take the opportunity to thoroughly review my Standards of Practice. This will allow you to fully understand exactly what will be inspected as well as what will not be inspected. There are also a few things that should be taken care of by the current occupants, owners, and/or the listing agent of the property. 

Here are some suggestions for the current occupants, owners, and/or the listing agents:

  • Accessibility: Make sure that all areas of the property are accessible, especially to the attic and crawl space.  It’s also a good idea to trim any trees and shrubs that may make an inspection of the exterior of the property difficult.
  • Housekeeping: I will be taking digital photographs of the property for the inspection report, so clearing the clutter and moving vehicles from the front of the home will help the inspection go smoother.
  • Maintenance: Repair minor things like leaky faucets, missing door handles and trim.
  • Weither or not the property is vacant make sure the utilities are on.  (Gas, Water, & Electric)
  • If the property is serviced by Natural Gas, make sure the pilots have been lit on all gas appliances. The gas company usually provides this as a free service!
  • Make sure all the functional circuit breakers are in the on position.

When I arrive, it is recommended that you accompany me on the inspection of the property. This is so you can become familiar with the home and its systems as well as exactly what repairs I recommend and why. You might also want to prepare a list of items that you’ve seen in the home that you feel are cause for concern as well as any questions you may have. It would also be beneficial if I was provided with a copy of the Seller's "Property Disclosure Statement". The inspection is a great time to find out where the property's water and gas shutoffs are and where the electrical panels are located.