Home Inspection Tips for Buyers and Sellers

Many will think that home inspection is not essential while buying a house but it is not so. A home inspection is important for your family’s safety as all the components, systems, structure, appliances & installations are inspected thoroughly to ascertain they are working properly. By having a home inspection you will make sure that the house is safe your family to live in and you are paying the right price for the house.

Pre-requisites for Home Inspection

At the time a NACHI certified home inspector goes to the house for a home inspection you need to make sure that the seller provides him proper access from where he can inspect every area of the house. You need to ask the seller to remove storage containers away from wall to make it easy for the home inspector to check. In case he is not able to view any particular section of the house then he should indicate it in his report.

Broad Categorization of House Defects

Most of the problems that are looked at during a home inspection can be broadly categorized into following:

  1. Tracing major defects such as some type of structural failure.
  2. Things which can cause major problems in future such as minor roof flashing leakage.
  3. Problems in the house which can create hindrance in financing the house, insure or occupy it.
  4. Safety related problems like electric panel with buss bar which is exposed.

Home Inspection Tips for Sellers

A seller can expedite the home inspection process if he follows the under mentioned tips. If these suggestions are followed then it will result in smoother inspection and less number of concerns to solve before the closing.

  1. Check that electric, gas & water services are running. Additionally, make sure that gas pilot lights are properly burning.
  2. Avoid getting light inoperable report by changing burned out electrical items such as bulbs.
  3. Get rid of dead batteries so that they do not create problems during smoke tests and carbon monoxide detection.
  4. Check that air filters (HVAC) fit in properly.
  5. Clean out wood, stored items & debris kept near the foundation as home inspector may term it as ideal location for growth of termites.
  6. Clear the path leading to water heaters, HVAC equipment, electrical panels, crawl spaces, closets & attics so that these can be inspected properly.
  7. Check and repair broken things such as latches, door knobs, screens, window panes, chimney caps & downspouts.

As mentioned above the major defects categorization & tips for sellers on how they can make the house ready before the inspector comes to the house will greatly assist buyers and sellers in evaluating problems in the house and take remedial steps to solve these problems.

Home Inspection: Confirming Accessibility Requirements

Dear Home Seller,

Crawl spaces, attics, furnaces, electric panels… these are a few of the many places where a conscientious home inspector needs to venture, in order to perform a complete and accurate assessment of your house.

Please have your stairwell tidy and free of debris and obstructions, and leave plenty of clearance around the garage door, electrical panel and furnace. If your attic hatch is in a closet, we need to have clothing and other articles removed from the upper shelves, to afford access using a step ladder.

If you have a crawlspace under the house, and the hatch is not readily accessible, we ask that you move any furniture or other items away from this area, and if necessary, roll back the floor coverings to expose the hatch, just prior to the inspection.

No house is perfect, and a home inspection is not intended to identify every little blemish or minute imperfection – however, the conscientious home inspector tries to discover if there are major defects in a home that the purchaser, and perhaps no one else, is aware of – and should also point out the positive aspects of the house.

In the vast majority of cases, we find nothing remarkable, or nothing to criticize, in crawl spaces; however If there is no access to your crawl space, we may not be able to provide your Purchaser with any relevant information about important components, such as foundation walls, floor structure, electrical wiring and the main plumbing system.

Try to understand the purchaser’s point of view… “inaccessible” can mean “unassessable” and therefore may leave a big question mark in the purchaser’s mind.

How would you feel if you were about to make the greatest purchase of your life, and were not given the opportunity to view one of the largest, most important component parts of that purchase?

And remember, you ARE marketing your house – you probably wouldn’t try to sell your car without letting prospective buyers look under the hood. It just makes good sense, to have all areas accessible, so that your purchaser can feel comfortable in the knowledge that there won’t be any unwelcome surprises later on.

Sincerely,

The Home Inspector

To give your home a competitive edge when it’s time to sell, make sure it is in good physical condition. This not only makes your house more attractive and desirable, it also simplifies or eliminates the negotiation process when the time comes for the buyer’s pre-purchase inspection.

To identify which components are most in need of repair, many sellers now enlist the services of a professional home inspector before putting up the FOR SALE sign.

4 Time Saving Tips When Creating an Electronic Home Inspection Report

This article is going to discuss four tips that home inspectors can use to save time and become more efficient while creating their home inspection reports. The time saved can be used elsewhere such as working on their company website, marketing campaigns, or more time with their family.

Tip 1 – Use Software in the Field
Using home inspection software on a portable device in the field allows an inspector to create the report as they inspect. Depending on the software, this can be done on a laptop, tablet, or handheld device. Once the inspector finishes their inspection, the report is complete. The inspector can choose to go back to the office and make any final changes before delivering it, such as adding pictures and adding final comments, or deliver it to the client in the field. Many home inspectors are still using paper to do their inspections and not taking advantage of field reporting software. Using software on-site saves the inspector time by eliminating the need to create the inspection report a second time back at the office.

Tip 2 – Use Customized Forms
Another tip for inspectors is to use a customized home inspection form or template that suits them and their inspection style. Using a customized form that the inspector is comfortable with will save them time while filling out their inspection report on-site. They can choose the order in which the sections of the home appear in their software to match the order in which they inspect. Inspectors can also make one time changes for a specific property or make permanent changes to their template. For example, an inspector in Florida could delete the ‘Basement’ section in their report, since most of the properties they will be inspecting will not have basements. Using a form that is suited for an inspector will save them time and allow their inspection process to be more efficient.

Tip 3 – Use Dropdown Lists
The third tip for saving time is to select common answers from the software’s dropdown lists. Most inspection software programs already come with preloaded narratives. It is important that an inspector continues to build their library of narratives with their own comments to eliminate the amount of typing they have to do. Over time an inspector’s library will grow and give them the ability to choose very quickly from several different choices. This will eliminate the need to type out each narrative and will save a great deal of time each inspection. Typing takes a lot of time in the field and any chance an inspector has to eliminate it, is a benefit to them and their inspection process.

Tip 4 – Preload Data into Report
The last time saving tip for home inspectors is to fill out any information they may have about the home before they arrive on-site for the inspection. A home inspector should be able to fill out most of the general information about the home beforehand. Inspectors can use their knowledge of the area to fill out common information ahead of time as well. For example, if a specific subdivision has all asphalt driveways or hardwood floors, they can go ahead and put that information into their report. Filling out information ahead of time will not only save them time when creating their report, but it will also be one less thing they have to worry about in the field.

Using the tips listed above, an inspector will be able to save time and become more efficient while creating their home inspection report. Saving time will allow an inspector to schedule more inspections and also have more time to spend on other areas of their business.