1. When searching for an inspector, choose one independent of your real estate agent. Not saying your real estate agent would lead you astray, but some out there who are less than professional are more concerned about making the sell than they are about your best interests; therefore, they make suggest an inspector they’ve worked with over the years who can wrap up the sell quickly and fail to thoroughly inspect the home.
2. Ask how long it takes to inspect a home. If the inspector doesn’t plan on being there at least three hours (the time it takes to complete most inspection jobs), this could be a warning sign that certain areas of your home will go without inspection. A professional inspector won’t be afraid to take his or her time inspecting all areas of your home – including the roof.
3. We are not supposed to provide real estate advice. That decision is left up to you; however, pay close attention to the findings of the inspector. While we can’t encourage you to buy the home, what we find and the severity of the issues should be enough to help you determine whether you want to buy.
4. Ask to see a sample report before the inspection. This gives you an idea of what we will be looking for, if we take pictures, how we estimate repair costs, etc.
5. If you’re selling your home, make sure it’s clean beforehand. Yes, this is important for Open House showings, but the same applies to a home inspection. The home should be clutter free.
6. Brand new homes should also be inspected. So much can go wrong in the construction of a new home, such as leaks, faulty electrical work, poorly installed appliances, clogged pipes, etc.
7. Read the full inspection report. Don’t skim over it because you may miss a major issue. Take time to read the report in its entirety so you know what you’re facing.
8. Schedule an inspection before placing your home on the market. This could save you time as you will be able to have the repairs made before the home is listed, making the sell an easier, quicker process once it’s ready.
9. Ask questions, but not during the inspection. This is distracting. Also, don’t feel the need to follow the inspector around. Let us handle the job and we will meet up with you at the end to answer all questions and go over the results. Try to keep pets outside and consider getting a sitter for your children.
10. If you hide defects in the walls, there’s a chance they won’t be found. No one has X-ray vision and inspectors, while thorough, are sometimes limited in what they are able to find as far as what’s in the wall work. Be honest, especially if you know for certain there’s an issue that may not be easily spotted with the naked eye.
11. Refrain from DIY projects. According to many professionals, some of the worst homes that have been inspected belong to those who partake in DIY home improvement. Leave the work to the professionals.
12. Two issues guaranteed to stop the selling process are with the roof and foundation. Have a professional inspect them before listing.
13. We inspect more than just homes. Inspectors also look at apartments, condos, and co-ops. You will be living there, after all, and deserve to live in a safe abode.
14. If you’re buying, be present for the inspection. Buyers should be present so inspectors can physically show them what was found and how to address the issue. They can also share how to change your furnace filter, where to find your plumbing trap, how to shut off your water valve, etc.
15. Don’t leave any rooms/areas locked. Inspectors need complete access to all areas of the home, including the garage. If you don’t want to leave it open until the inspector arrives, hide the keys in a secret place they know of so they can get in.
16. Be cautious with house flippers. If you’re buying a house that’s been flipped, there’s a chance more problems than expected will be found. This is due to many unprofessional house flippers choosing to cover up major problems in order to make a quick sell.
17. Don’t be afraid to do your own inspection. As long as it’s safe and reasonable, of course. This may include checking light fixtures to make sure they have working bulbs, testing electrical outlets, repairing holes and cracks in the drywall, cleaning your carpets and air ducts, testing your smoke detector, servicing your HVAC system, etc.
18. When building a house, schedule an inspection as soon as the drywall is up. This way, the inspector can look at the “anatomy” of the home, the plumbing, and the electrical work.
19. Don’t assume the seller will pay for the repairs or lower the selling price. Some may not wish to be bothered with this, so it is up to you whether you want to buy a home depending on the cost of and amount of repairs.
20. If you’re a seller, make other plans during the inspection. This is advised as some sellers may feel the need to try and persuade inspectors to overlook certain issues. Just as having a buyer follow us around is distracting, so is the same with a seller. Stand back and let us do our job. Once it is completed, we will meet with you about what was found.