Home Inspection Tips for Sellers

When it comes to selling your home one of the last major hurdles is the home inspection. Once you have an interested buyer, they will have a home inspector come take a look at the property. 

A basic home inspection includes an evaluation of 10 different areas of the home: structure, exterior, roofing system, plumbing system including the water heater, electrical system, heating system, air conditioning system (HVAC system), interior, insulation and ventilation, and fireplaces.

This process can be a little daunting for the homeowner so here are a few tips to make sure you are prepared and ensure the process moves smoothly.

 

Step One:

Prepare the interior of your home. The home inspector will check everything inside your home. Ensure that the home inspector can access everything in your home. Check to see if there are any large pieces of furniture, boxes or other clutter blocking access to things like the water heater. Inspect your light bulbs make sure none of them have gone out. Make sure your smoke detectors are working properly. Plug in all of your appliances. Make sure your HVAC filter has been recently replaced. Check for leaky or dripping faucets. It’s also helpful to do a general cleaning of your home, dust surfaces, vacuum the floors and put away any extraneous clutter. 

 

Step Two:

Go ahead and check the gutters and the roof before the inspector comes. It’s a good idea to clean debris from gutters and check for any roof damage. Make sure to fix things you may have temporarily repaired and check for any obvious, visible damage. It’s also a good idea to do a general walkthrough of your home to spot any water damage.

 

Step Three: 

Prepare the exterior of your home for the inspector. Make sure there is around a foot of clearance between the siding and shrubs, bushes, or vegetation. Visually inspect your home’s siding and trim and repair any damage you spot. Check the operation of any exterior doors, locks and deadbolts and double check that your garage is functioning as normal. If there are any holes or gaps on the exterior have them fixed. Also check for any exposed nails or other exterior hardware. Remove any stored items that are kept against the side of the house, as with the interior, make sure the home inspector will be able to access and inspect everything they need to. 

 

Step Four:

Be on time. The inspector will be there on time and so should you. It’s best to not create any delays because you aren’t prepared for their arrival. Also, don’t stick around. The homeowner should not be present during the inspection. It’s best if you leave the potential buyer and inspector to themselves so that they are able to point out potential defects and the buyer can ask any questions. Also be sure to bring your furry friends with you so they aren’t in the way!

 

With these tips you can make your home selling process move smoothly! The inspection can be a nerve-wracking time, but if you know what to expect, and take these tips to heart it will help put you at ease. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and be sure to make the process easy for everyone involved!

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Benefits of a Home Inspection

You may be wondering, why do I need a home inspection? Home inspections are used to provide an opportunity for a buyer to identify any major issues with a home prior to closing. It is essential for the buyer to uncover any problematic issues.

Homes inspections can be used as a contingency in your contract with the person selling the home. A home inspection contingency is an addendum to the offer contract that allows the buyer to conduct an inspection and then back out of the deal if they are unsatisfied with the findings. In a competitive sellers’ market, buyers can waive their right to an inspection to make their deal more appealing.

It’s good practice to always get a home inspection.

Home inspections will cost a little time and a little money, but can save you from many other problems down the line. Home inspections also afford you the opportunity to learn more about the home you are purchasing as many inspectors will allow you to accompany them as they inspect your home.

For problems large or small, you can ask the seller to fix them, reduce the purchase price, or to give you a cash credit at closing to fix the problems yourself. In this way, home inspection often can pay for themselves. Most every inspection will uncover a few issues, even new builds will have small problems that need to be remedied.

Inspections typically cover:

  • Exterior (including grading drainage and vegetation impacting the dwelling}.
  • Roof and gutter system (including the attic)
  • Kitchen (All appliances will be inspected and operated where applicable)
  • Bathrooms
  • All interior rooms
  • Basements and/or crawlspaces
  • Plumbing system
  • Electrical system
  • Heating and Air conditioning systems
  • Structural and foundation system
  • Ventilation and exhaust systems

Why do impending home sales fall through?

If a home inspection doesn’t go well, can a home still sell? A home inspection isn’t pass/fail and the seller is not obligated to fix any issues uncovered. However, if the inspection uncovers issues that the buyer feels are too extensive — such as mold, foundational issues or roof damage — they might use a home inspection contingency to back out of the deal.

It’s good practice to consider making big updates prior to listing your home for sale. You can also increase your chances of closing if you disclose major issues upfront.

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 7 Tips for Choosing A Home Inspector

Finding the right home inspector for you can be a difficult decision. Below are seven tips to make the process easier and less overwhelming.

 

1. Get a reference

 

It is always worthwhile to ask for references when you are hiring a service, and home inspectors are no exception. First, you can go to friends and family for recommendations. Ask them who they went to for home inspection and what their experience was like. Another great resource for choosing  a home inspector should be your Realtor. Do you know your real estate agent well and trust them? If so, realtors can be a great asset for recommendations. Chances are they have seen many people go through the home buying process and may have great advice when it comes to selecting a home inspector.

Next, you can ask for references from your home inspection candidates’ prior clients. Ideally, you want to get new references from at least a few different clients. You can ask each customer about his or her experience with the inspection company. Did the inspector seem knowledgeable? Did he or she turn up on time? Was the report comprehensive and relatively easy to understand?

 

2 . Verify that the inspection company only does inspections – not home repairs and renovations.

 

Hiring someone that just does inspections is an important tip for finding the right home inspector. It is important to try an avoid any conflicts of interest. If your home inspector also sells repair and renovation services means they may have motive to invent problems where there are none. 

Your home inspection should be an objective process. You should expect your home inspector to provide their opinion on the state of the house, not a soft sell on renovation or repair services. 

 

3. Verify that you can accompany the inspector while he or she goes through the home.

 

While you are not required to go along for the inspection, it is in your interest to do so. A good inspector will want prospective owners to be present at the inspection. They can explain your house’s systems and how they work. This will be helpful once you receive the inspection report. Tagging along will also offer you an opportunity to ask questions and get clarifications.

 

4. Ask about  overall experience. 

 

Enquire how long the home inspector has been in the inspection business. Also ask for a ballpark on how many homes they have inspected. Experienced home inspectors won’t be offhand or blasé about their knowledge and you want to make sure that they are informed and well-versed in their subject. It can also be valuable to ask about their experience with different types of homes. If you are looking at historic homes or any type of specialty home, try to find an inspector with some experience in the type of home you are buying. 

 

5. Check to see if they are certified by professional organizations.

Hiring someone who’s certified by a professional organization can give you a bit more assurance that the inspector is knowledgeable. 

Certifications are just a small part of being a good inspector. But you should ask if the inspector is a member of ASHI, NAHI, InterNACHI or any other professional inspectors group. Among the requirements for certification from ASHI, for instance, candidates must pass an in-person National Home Inspector Examination and document that they’ve done at least 250 paid home inspections. 

At Sound Structure Home Inspection, we have numerous licenses and certifications related to inspection and construction.

 

6. Verify what will not be included in the inspection and how to find the condition of those items 

 

Different home inspectors have different policies and items that they guarentee to inspect. Make sure you ask what won’t be included and how to find out the condition of those items. The worst can happen if you were under the impression that something was inspected and find out down the line that it was not. Problems that arise after the fact can be costly and time consuming.

Also, a great home inspector will also go over general maintenance of the major components in the home. While their primary function is discovering significant structural and mechanical defects, a home inspector can be a fantastic resource for educating you on how a home should work properly.

 

7. Research

Do your research and don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions of prospective inspectors. A great home inspector will take the time to explain their policies and process to you.

 

At Sound Structure we feel that a home inspector should have extensive construction and trade background before moving into inspections. Twenty years of construction, maintenance management and HVAC before opening in Florida in 2000. After 5000 inspections, we are now located in Georgia. The time it takes to perform a thorough inspection varies by size, age and type of home. We take our time in performing the inspection, explaining our findings to the customer and preparing the report.

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Common Problems Found During Home Inspections

Buying a home can be a stressful and exciting time. Once you have gone through the process of near endless house hunting you may be tempted to skip the home inspection. However, many homes that look aesthetic on the surface could be hiding a whole host of problems underneath. Whether it’s a brand new build or a fixer-upper, getting a home inspection is one of the most important processes a new homeowner will undergo. Below we’ve detailed some of the most common issues uncovered during a home inspection.
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Welcome & Introduction
Welcome & Introduction
Welcome & Introduction

Welcome & Introduction

As an inspector that had construction and trade experience before I opened my inspection company, I have paid attention to this argument over the years. In a perfect world the potential buyer would bring a Mechanical Engineer, General Contractor with structural experience, Master electrician, Master plumber, WDO (Termite) inspector, Pool contractor, Roofer, Air quality inspector and most importantly a highly skilled Administrative Assistant to take the information from all these and place in one easy to comprehend report.
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