Preparing for your Home
pertinent information about the home that may be useful to the Inspector, when
you meet him for the Inspection. These items could include the MLS (Multiple
Listing Service) Data sheet, which gives the square footage of the house, the
year it was built, and other important information; a copy of the Seller’s
Disclosure Statement, which can be helpful when trying to establish historical
continuity; copies of any previous Home Inspections; and any other useful
information you may have. The more information that your Home Inspector has
about the property he is inspecting, the better he is able to do his job.
Make a list of any
questions or concerns you have about the house, based upon your initial visit.
If you are not familiar with the workings of a particular type of system or
appliance in the house, note this as well. Are you planning to remodel after
you move in? Maybe enlarge a room and move some walls but are not sure whether
or not you can? Make note of this, too. Share your questions and concerns with
your Inspector, when you meet at the property. Remember, this is your
Inspection! The purpose of the Inspection is not only to identify potential
significant defects, but also to answer questions you may have about the
operation and maintenance of the components in the house.
Be sure to bring
something to take notes with. Your inspector will likely share valuable
insights into the workings of your home, that may be worth noting. You may
also wish to record measurement of room sizes, floor layout, lot layout, etc.
Some Sellers’ will not permit pictures to be taken of the inside of the home,
unless prior permission is granted. If you want to take pictures, you should
have your Realtor contact the Seller for permission, prior to the inspection.
In addition to a
general Home Inspection, you should be aware that optional testing in certain
specific areas, is often desirable. Pest Inspections, Lead
Paint Testing, Asbestos Testing, etc., are several of the more commonly
requested additional tests. Under regular circumstances we should be able to
coordinate any additional testing for you. These optional tests are not
included in our standard fee, so be sure to ask about the extra costs
Be sure to contact us in advance so we can prepare and coordinate the
additional tests for you. If you plan on having any of these tests performed
as a part of the general Home Inspection, often times they must be agreed upon
ahead of time, and written into your Purchase Agreement with the Seller. You
should contact your Realtor or your Attorney, to be sure that the specific
additional test(s) you want performed is specified in your Purchase Agreement.
Obviously, being able
to walk through the house and talk face-to-face with the Inspector is the best
option. However, there are many times, due to various circumstances, where a
buyer cannot be physically present for the Home Inspection. This is a frequent
occurrence, and there are several steps you can take to help ensure that the
information you need is conveyed to you in an accurate and timely manner.
If you can’t personally be present at the Home Inspection then:
Have a friend or
relative join the Inspector at the home. Convey to them any specific
questions or concerns you have, so they can relay this information to the
Inspector. Have them take notes for you. Always try to talk to your
Inspector by telephone after the Home Inspection!
Talk to your
Inspector by telephone after the Home Inspection. It is important to connect
with your Inspector verbally, as soon after the Inspection as possible. He
will be able to review his notes with you, and summarize what the major
issues are (if any), and what areas are in need of near term maintenance.
This first-hand information is invaluable in giving you a clear picture of
the condition of your home. You need to be made aware of any potentially
significant defects, as soon as possible.
Your Realtor can
assist by accompanying the Home Inspector, taking notes for you.
Always try to talk
to your Inspector by telephone as soon as possible, after the Home
Generally, no. There are some things that work, and then
there are some things that don’t work. Having the Seller present during an
Inspection is something that often does not work! A professional Home
Inspection, by its very design, is intended to be thorough and complete.
Often times a Seller can become defensive because he feels the privacy of
his home is being invaded. Sometimes a Seller can even become angry, if
defects are found, or areas of "do-it-yourself" renovations are noted.
Remember, this is your inspection. This is the time for you and the
Inspector to look at the house, and be able to freely discuss what you are
seeing without fear of hurting someone’s (the Seller’s) feelings. When a
Home Inspection is scheduled, it is important to emphasize this to your
If you happen to be purchasing a home without the services of a Realtor,
then the responsibility of interacting directly with the Seller, will be
totally up to you. It can sometimes be difficult asking a Seller not to be
present, during the Inspection. After all, this is still his home. We have
found, however, that if at all possible, it is the best route to take.
During the Inspection...
Be sure and try to personally attend the
Inspection. A typical Home Inspection takes between 1½ to three hours. It is
well worth being able to learn first hand, about the home and its systems.
The Home Inspector will be fully equipped
with all the necessary tools and testing equipment needed to perform a full
inspection (ladder, flashlight, electronic testing equipment for carbon
monoxide, electrical circuit analyzer, moisture meter, level, etc.).
Follow the Inspector and ask questions.
Remember, this is your Inspection! No question is unimportant, or foolish.
Learn as much as you can.
Be sure that all the major components are
evaluated. All of the accessible components in the house should be
evaluated, unless specifically stipulated by your Inspector. You should not
expect the Inspector to test certain specialty items such as water treatment
systems, central alarm systems, lawn sprinkling systems, swimming pools and
hot tubs, etc. If any such exist in the home, contact us to see if an
outside specialist should be called in to evaluate them.
Obtain a Repair Items List. At the
conclusion of the Inspection you or your Realtor, will receive a verbal list
of any major defects. This way you have the information you need to make an
informed decision about your purchase, as soon as the Inspection is
completed. The full written copy of the Inspection Report should follow
After the Inspection...
The condition of the home you are purchasing (including
positive and negative aspects).
What repairs are needed, as well as the relative urgency
of the repairs. You should know a proper course of corrective action to take
if repairs are needed.
If there are any unsafe conditions that have the
potential to affect you.
A clearly written, easy to understand Home Inspection
Report. First, the Report should clearly identify any potential significant
defects that will affect your buying decision. Second, it should clearly
identify any areas in need of near term repairs, or any components that are
reaching the end of their useful life span.
The Home Inspector to answer any questions you have about
The Home Inspector to be a resource as to future
questions you may have.
The Home Inspector to offer to repair or replace, for a
fee, any defects noted in the inspection. This would be a definite conflict
of interest, which would then tend to cast doubt on the Home Inspectors
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