I will be inspecting your home for the new buyer(s). I thought I’d take a moment to answer some frequently asked questions about the inspection to help you be best prepared. If any of your questions are not answered, feel free to check my website or give my office a call.
What Will I Be Doing?
I’ll be looking at several hundred items relative to systems and components from the roof down to the foundation. I will likely enter the attic, mount the roof, run your dishwasher (might as well save some dirty dishes—we run a full cycle!), look inside the electric panel, operate windows, fill bathtubs, check outlets and take a good hard look with a flashlight around the whole house. I will run the furnace and the air conditioner (weather-permitting). I know it’s an obtrusive process, but we’ll treat the home with the same respect I’d treat my own. Other than a clock radio that might need resetting, you hopefully won’t see any signs I was there. I will not do any destructive testing.
How Can I Prepare For the Inspection?
First off, leave me a note if there is something I should not test, such as a leaking dishwasher. If you’ve had any recent structural or appliance repairs performed, it’s a good idea to leave the receipts out in case there’s any question about the work performed. It’s also helpful to have warranty paperwork on hand for review. Was the furnace just cleaned and safety checked? Leave me some paperwork.
Because I need to get into the attic, you should clear personal belongings; especially clothes that block access or that might get dirty or covered with insulation when the attic hatch cover is removed.
I will also need access provided to the furnace, electric panel, water meter, and other appliances/areas in the home. All pilot lights should be lit, including fireplaces. If there is a crawlspace, I need ready access and 24″ minimum headroom space. Finally, be sure to leave keys for all areas of the house; this helps me to get the job done in one visit and without having to charge the buyer(s) a return trip fee.
How Long Will It Take?
Most inspections take at least three hours to complete but occasionally they run longer—once in a while by a fair bit. Factors such as the condition of the home, age, and size will make a difference. Figure longer if you have a crawlspace or more than one attic. Finished basements often take up extra time, as do homes with lots of belongings. Finally, some buyers simply need more time than others to discuss issues one-on-one with the inspector and obtain advice interpreting their findings. So you are not inconvenienced, plan to be away from your home for at least four hours.
Should I Be There?
That’s a poor idea. In most cases, sellers are not present so that prospective buyers can be as comfortable as possible in getting to know their prospective new home a little better. Keep in mind that as nervous as you are about the whole process, the buyer is probably even more nervous. Give them a chance to ask uninhibited questions as well as to think about how nice their furniture is going to look in their next home.
The buyer(s) and inspector need free unrestricted access to the entire home for the inspection.
If you plan to stick around anyway, please DO NOT follow the inspector and purchasers around, or expect conversation about ―how things are going in the inspection. I work for the buyers, and will not discuss the inspection with anyone else. Additionally, distracting or crowding the inspector may interfere with his ability to perform his job properly; please allow the inspector his space for looking and recording.
What are your credentials?
Each inspector undergoes rigorous initial training and is required to have on-going training once certified. Inspections are performed to the FABI standards. Read more about me here.
PRE-INSPECTION CHECKLIST FOR HOME SELLERS
- Clear access to each attic space and remove all clothes and belongings surrounding
attic access panels. Insulation and dirt WILL fall from the attic when the hatch is opened.
Covering with a sheet is usually not sufficient.
- Clear spacious access to furnaces, electric panels, water meters, sump pumps, fireplaces,
- None of the appliances or important systems should be blocked by belongings.
- Have pilots lit for fireplaces, furnaces and water heaters etc.
- Remove valuables/breakables from windows, to avoid damage. Consider leaving shades
and blinds open—these are sometimes fragile or loose, and we do check window operation.
- Leave a note if anything should not be tested or any plumbing should not be run. I fill tubs
- Leave out receipts for recent repairs and service calls.
- Leave copies of warranties and instruction manuals.
- Leave keys.
- Replace batteries in smoke detectors before the inspection. Replace burned out light bulbs.
- Be sure the batteries in clock radios, VCR’s, etc. are good. That way, if a cord is
unplugged or a GFCI is tripped, you don’t lose programming.
- Remove parked vehicles from garages.
- If you know something might be hard to find, like a hidden GFCI outlet, leave a note.
- I run built-in dishwashers, so feel free to leave dirty dishes and soap in the appliance!
- Clear belongings from ovens/ranges and out of sinks/tubs so these items can be checked.
- Take your pets, if possible. Dogs and cats sometimes try and sneak outside – I love them
and don’t want to risk any escapes! Remember: buyers and often their families are at the
home inspection – things can get hectic and one of your guests may not see a pet flee. (You
want them to remember your house – not the chase!)
Understand that the inspection is a private opportunity for the buyer and inspector to spend
time alone going through the home.
I recognize that selling your home can be a stressful event. Your kind cooperation is appreciated by all concerned.
I really appreciate your understanding!