Are you tired of playing the waiting game?
Waiting to find the right house, or waiting to receive a fair offer, can take months, and even years. After finding your ideal situation, you’ll only find yourself having to wait once again, as the closing process to take place.
A standard home closing will take anywhere from 30-45 days. If you don’t want it to take longer, you’ll need to make sure you do everything right for the home inspection.
How does a home inspection work, and how can you use it to your advantage?
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Read on to find out
How Does a Home Inspection Work?
Whether you’re looking to buy a home, or sell your house, you should be aware that home inspections are not a pass or fail test. Instead, a thorough home inspection is an efficient way to open the door for renegotiation.
As the seller, you’re not legally obligated to fix a single thing. However, keep in mind that the buyer has the right to walk away if they’re not happy with the inspection.
Whether you’re a buyer or a seller, you should never skip a home inspection. Instead, it’s always a good idea to have a thorough inspection of the home’s interior and exterior. When the seller orders an inspection before listing the house, it’s called a pre-listing inspection.
The second type of inspection is a buyer’s inspection because it’s typically the buyer who orders and pays for the inspection. After making an offer on a home, and before the sale closes, the buyer will order the house inspection. In some cases, sellers will offer to pay for the inspection themselves as part of the negotiation process.
Inspecting the House
Now, we’re ready to jump into answering, “how does a home inspection work?”. Once on-site, the home inspector will do a visual observation according to your state standards.
It’ll be up to the home inspector to identify any major mechanical problems, safety issues, or health hazards. However, before you can have an inspection take place, you’ll first need to find the right home inspector for you.
Find the Right Home Inspector
Hiring the wrong home inspector can cause a world of problems. Luckily, they’re clear steps you can take to make sure that the inspectors you hire are capable of doing the job.
Here are a few tips for hiring the best home inspectors:
- Ask for credentials
- Review a sample inspection
- Avoid high-pressure sales
First, the inspector you choose needs to be fully certified. You can either ask your friends and family members for a referral or go to your real estate agent for their recommendation.
Next, ask for a sample inspection report. A quality inspector should have no problem sending you a sample report that contains a comprehensive inspection. By comprehensive inspection, we mean that it should be a full report.
If the inspector you’re considering hiring only sends you a few pages as their sample, they’re not the right person for you. Instead, a comprehensive sample inspection report needs to be lengthy, and complete. In addition to being the right length, the sample inspection report also needs to contain photographs.
Finally, avoid hiring any inspectors that try to push you to hire contractors who perform repairs. Instead, your home inspector only care about providing you with an accurate and thorough inspection report.
What Inspectors Look For
After hiring a professional inspector, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with the areas of the home they’ll be inspecting. Here’s a shortlist of what the inspector will be looking at:
- Garages or carports
- All exterior doors
- Outdoor wall coverings
- Outdoor flashing
- Driveway and walkway
- Decks, steps, and patios
- Gutters and downspouts
- Inside doors and windows
- Kitchen appliances
- Stoves and fireplaces
The list above contains the majority of the interior and exterior items the inspector will be looking at. However, keep in mind that they will also be inspecting your plumbing and electrical.
While checking out your plumbing you can expect the inspector to want to look at your water heater, sump pumps, as well as any fixtures and faucets. As far as electrical goes, the inspector will want to check out all of your service cables.
The inspector will also look at any light fixtures inside or outside of your home, along with their power switches. Finally, the home inspector will be checking out your HVAC system. This includes thermostats, distribution systems, insulation, vapor retarders, and access panels.
Tips for Sellers
If you’re selling the house, you’ll want to do a bit of preparing before inspection day. Here are a few ways you can prepare your house for a detailed home inspection:
- Leave utilities connected
- Clean house
- Provide space around the water heater
- Keep pilot lights ignited
- Provide easy access to the attic and garage
- Leave keys for electrical boxes
- Move brush away from exterior inspection spots
- Gather repair documents
Cleaning your house is a great way to give the inspector the right impression of how you care for your home. Next, make sure you leave all of the utilities connected. The inspector will need to run the dishwasher, turn on the stove, and even test out your air conditioning.
Failing to leave the utilities on could cause the inspector to have to make a return trip, and there will be an additional charge. After leaving the utilities on, make sure there’s adequate workspace around the water heaters and furnace.
In many cases, inspectors won’t be able to light pilot lights. Instead, it’ll be up to you to have your pilot lights lit so the inspector can check out your water heater, furnace, and gas stove.
Remember, your goal should be to make it possible for the inspector to complete the inspection in 1 visit. Anything that forces them to make a return trip, can slow down the closing process.
Prepared Buyers and Sellers
How does a home inspection work? Now, you know the truth about what to expect. We hope our article was able to highlight at least 1 new thing to make the inspection process easier for you.
As a homeowner, you already know how crucial it is to be on top of things. For more ways to prepare yourself, go ahead and check out the rest of this site!