BEING PREPARED FOR INSPECTION DAY
Most inspectors will find items that are considered deficient. The inspector is applying a set of standards to that house on that day. In most cases, these standards have been established by State Governments or by one or more reputable home inspection associations. The inspector’s job is to provide information that the buyer or seller did not previously have about the home. He/she will compare the standards to the structure’s condition and report those findings. Realtors and home owners can help reduce the number of reportable items. Here are some tips to help:
How can your listing agent help?
• Make sure all utilities are ON inside the home.
• Insure that all pilot lights are lit.
• Clear the areas around the electric panel, water heater, furnace and air conditioner to give the Inspector full access.
• Unlock gates.
• Clear attic access and landing areas.
• Clear out closets to access crawlspace (under floor area).
• Leave the fireplace gas key on the mantle.
• Empty the dishwasher and oven.
• Make arrangements to secure or remove pets.
• Remove pet waste from the yard.
• Clean the swimming pool.
• Be prepared to leave the house for the duration of the inspection.
It is unlikely that any home will be completely free of a reportable item. Interestingly, the age of the home does not necessarily dictate the number of items that will appear on a report. The historic home that has been well maintained and renovated or remodeled, correctly, could have fewer reportable items than a home that was built last week. One of the key to minimizing the number of items on the inspection report is to insure those items of regular home maintenance are completed before the inspection. As a seller, there are a few simple tasks that you can do to reduce the number of reportable items. Here are a few:
REDUCING ITEMS ON AN INSPECTION REPORT
• Replace batteries in smoke detectors and/or install smoke detectors in each bedroom, hall and on each floor level.
• Replace missing or broken switch and outlet cover plates.
• Repair leaky faucets.
• Tighten loose doorknobs.
• Repair or replace exterior door weather stripping.
• Caulk doors and windows at the exterior brick/siding.
• Replace damaged or missing screens.
• Replace broken panes of glass in doors and windows.
• Replace burned-out light bulbs.
• Secure loose hand and stair railings.
• Patch holes and cracks in walls and ceilings, then repaint.
• Replace heating and air conditioning filters.
Fixing the items above will help with the inspection process and may eliminate some items from the inspection report. Reducing the number of inspection items is good for both the seller and the buyer. For the seller, it can reduce last minute repair costs and may minimize the price negotiations. The inspection report can be a bit overwhelming. The technical details as well as the sheer number of reportable items can be daunting. If the simple things are fixed, the buyer may have greater confidence that this home is a good choice.