Selling a home is as much as difficult as buying one. Simply listing it for sale won’t drive homebuyers. Shaking hands with a real estate agent will also not work if the home has major faults. Buyers are now becoming smart and request for a home inspection report to know the structural health of the property. Even most of the real estate agents find it easier to have a home inspection report in advance before showing the property to prospective buyers. It eliminates the need for future repairs and ensures a fair and transparent home buying process.
A professional pre-listing home inspection or seller’s inspection benefits sellers as they get to know the real picture of the property, can make adequate repairs and ask for the desired property value. Moreover, it saves the time of all the parties involved in the home selling process, i.e., the seller, buyer and real estate agent. So, it’s wise to hire a certified and licensed home inspector to know the details of the property.
But, before that, sellers need to fix a few things before a home inspection so that inspectors have clear access to the property elements. A home inspector is not supposed to move things like carpet, plyboards, sockets. A pre-listing inspection is the visual and non-invasive examination of the property, and it’s the seller’s responsibility to make the property ready for inspection.
How to Prepare for a Home Inspection?
Many sellers and property owners wonder what to do before home inspection? Well, as the inspector is coming to examine the property, you must keep it ready for the job. Some of the things you should take care of:
Keep The Property Clean
The first thing is to maintain a clean, hygienic space free from any odors. A clean property might not be a parameter of a home inspection checklist, but it creates a good impression on the inspector. A poorly-maintained or messy home sends a warning signal to the inspector that other things might not be good, and it may reflect in the home inspection report.
Ensure Proper Lighting
Ensure all the lights of the property are working well because, without them, you cannot expect a thorough inspection. A properly illuminated room allows the inspector to thoroughly examine the elements.
Create Easy Access to Inspection Areas
Make sure there is nothing blocking the way to areas that need to be checked. It includes the attics, basements, roof and under sinks. Remove the items blocking the way to these entrances. Ensure you have a ladder to access difficult-to-reach areas.
Your readiness will ensure a detailed inspection of all the areas.
What do Home Inspectors Check?
Well, a comprehensive inspection includes a thorough assessment of all the elements of a property. A home inspector generally examines the roof, HVAC, structural components, foundation, electrical and plumbing systems. From the foundation to the roof, a home inspector looks for everything in between and provides a detailed inspection report. Some common areas home inspection examine are
Foundation: The foundation is the core structural component on which the home stands. A home inspector assesses the area and notes down the findings in the report.
HVAC: Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, abbreviated as HVAC, is another aspect of the property a home inspector examines. As heating and cooling systems are operational only for a particular time of year, they need an inspection to ensure they are in working order. HVAC inspection is also recommended for homeowners.
Roof: Roof is often the most neglected part of the home. A home inspector checks for the cracks that may develop due to expansion and contraction because of temperature changes. He also looks for sturdiness and durability.
Plumbing and Electricals: These are also some elements home inspectors examine to ensure the safety and functionality of the property.
These are some common things home inspectors look for. Depending on the property size and elements present, the home inspection checklist may vary.
Checklist of General Items a Home Inspector Looks Over
In general, home inspectors examine the basic elements, but some come prepared with a home inspection checklist in order to ensure a detailed inspection. They examine the items mentioned in the list and checkmark the inspected items during the process.
- A home inspector dives deep down to accessible areas of the foundation and looks for the leaks, cracks and other flaws. Home inspectors also conduct an assessment of the septic tank, drainage, railings, patios, decks and other ground areas.
- The next thing inspectors probably look for are doors and windows, roof sidings, fascias. Are the windows or doors properly secured? Are they glazed? Does the property require storm windows?
- Interior inspection of the property includes floors, walls and ceilings. What kind of flooring is present? Are the doors making any squeaking noises? They check the temperature inside the walls using an infrared meter. Some inspectors go above and beyond and also conduct air quality testing, radon testing or mold testing as per requirements of the seller or buyer.
- Home inspectors also examine the electrical systems. Are there any loose wires in the control panel? Are the lights, sockets, switchboards working as expected?
- Home inspectors also check for plumbing issues. Are the taps working properly? Are there any signs of leakage? Is the water flow optimal?
- Most home inspectors carefully examine the roof and look for issues. Is there any build-up of lichens and mosses? Is the roof properly waterproof? They also inspect the gutters and pipes.
So, a home inspection includes examination of everything that can be easily accessed by the home inspector. They look for the defects and write them down in the home inspection report.
Common Defects Found in Home Inspections
No home is perfect, and during a home inspection, an inspector can unmask a number of defects. And, it is their responsibility because that’s why you hire them. Some home inspections may reveal cosmetic defects that are easy to repair, but some require immediate attention. Some of the common defects found in a home inspection are:
Water Damage: Many inspectors complain that most of the homes they have inspected are prone to water damage. It may be due to poor waterproofing or leaky pipes in the property.
Poor Drainage: Another common defect home inspector detects is the poor drainage and gutter system in homes. This may be caused due to clogged drains and gutter pipes.
Pest Infestation: Most of the home inspectors also complain of pest infestation. Many home buyers and sellers hire inspectors specializing in termite and wood-destroying inspection to address the issue.
HVAC Issues: Many inspectors have observed several HVAC issues that include poor ventilation and heating system in the property.
Electrical Problems: Loose wires, unfunctional switches, discarded sockets are some of the common electrical problems found in older homes.
Plumbing Faults: Common problems include clogged sink pipes, inadequate water flow, leaking taps and exposed plumbing.
Other problems inspectors discover are roofing issues, foundation flaws and poorly maintained homes. The list can vary as per the age, size and items in the property.
As a seller, we can fix these common issues to make a fair real estate transaction.
What To Do Before, During, And After A Home Inspection
We have discussed the things sellers can do before a home inspection, making the property accessible for the inspector. The other concern involves what to do during an inspection. It is strongly advised to attend the inspection so you can get information about what caused the issue. The inspector will answer all the questions, and it becomes informative for you to know all the causes of defects and how they can be prevented and corrected.
After a home inspection, a seller can make the adjustments as per the findings in the inspection report and make the property ready for the buyer, ensuring a quick, hassle-free property transaction.