Getting ready for a home inspection is a crucial step before selling your property. As a homeowner, you might not be sure how to exactly prepare for the inspection day. The same holds true for buyers. At least sellers know that they have to ready their home for scrutiny. But is there anything useful that buyers could do prior to inspections as well?
Schambs Property Management explores the topic of what really matters in a home inspection. You’ll learn about the inspectors’ major points of interest, how sellers can prepare for an inspection and what buyers should know about home inspections.
Home inspectors focus on certain key areas of a home that could affect the sale. While inspectors differ in their methods and work ethics, there is still not a lot of disparity in the basic principles.
Here are the areas of your home that really matter in a home inspection:
1. The HVAC System
Damaged or broken HVAC systems are always highlighted in a home inspector’s report. This is an important component of any home because rapid cooling or heating may pose a danger to people and pets living on the premises.
2. Windows & Doors
The home inspector will check all your windows and doors for any signs of damage. The main issues here are rot, damaged caulking, and worrisome cracks. Keep in mind that seemingly small issues could significantly affect the efficiency of your heating and cooling systems.
Plumbing is a crucial system in every home. You need to make sure that your piping and related components are in good working order. Otherwise, the property is at high risk of experiencing water leaks, flooding, and mold growth.
A foundation is a structure that carries the integrity of your entire home. An important part of any home inspection is checking that there are no foundation issues. For buyers, there is a high risk of facing considerable repair expenses whenever a transaction involves foundation trouble.
Roofing protects your home from outdoor elements. No home inspector will skip this step as any roof issues could result in serious repairs down the line. It’s important to ensure that there are no leaks, mold growth, or rot on your roof before the inspection.
Safety is a major concern for buyers. Your home inspector will check the home for overall safety. They will report any safety hazards, including exposed or damaged wiring and badly damaged domestic appliances.
Sellers: how to get ready for a home inspection?
1. Leave on your utilities
Don’t switch off your utilities before the home inspector arrives. An important part of the inspection involves testing your HVAC system and home appliances. Many inspections include the receptacle check for reverse polarity and grounding. Without power, it’s impossible to carry out these essential tasks.
2. Ensure effortless access
Many owners have arrangements in their homes that make some areas hard or impossible to access. For instance, stacking boxes against the walls or parking your car in a way that blocks the attic entrance. Remove all physical barriers that could otherwise lead to a need for re-inspection.
3. Present any paperwork and documents
Have you conducted renovation or remodeling projects in your home? In this case, find and present the associated documents to your home inspector. Some buyers specifically ask the inspector to check whether recent installations or some DIY projects are safe and sustainable.
Home inspection tips for buyers.
1. Set the inspection as a contract contingency
Contract contingency is a clause that establishes when the purchase agreement turns into a legally binding document. This is an important step to take because your interests as a buyer will be protected under this clause.
In other words, you can get the property inspected in the coming weeks after signing a purchase offer. Should there be serious issues and you won’t reach an agreement with the seller, you can legally back out from the purchase.
2. Negotiate to get a better deal
Did the home inspection find significant problems affecting your dream home? You don’t have to walk away. It’s always an option to negotiate with the seller. These are the main approaches for results-driven negotiation:
- Ask for the repair of any problems that were found during the inspection.
- Propose the seller to give you cash-back credit for repairing the home.
- Negotiate for a discount on the property’s closing price that is proportional to the repair costs.
3. Show up for the home inspection
As a buyer, you are better off attending the home inspection. You can get feedback and answers to any of your questions on the go. This is a much better approach compared to only receiving a written report after the inspection.
In a nutshell: What Really Matters in a Home Inspection
Home inspections concern buyers and sellers alike. It’s a primary procedure before buying or selling any home. And both sides of the deal can take prior action to make the most out of the inspection day.
Thanks to Richard Roberts for this article contribution.