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How to Prepare for an Inspection
No home is perfect. Anything from major damage to minor maintenance issues are often found. Even new homes are not immune – they could have problems with the plumbing, electrical system, heating and cooling system, or the roofing system just to name a few.

For homeowners, it’s important to be aware of any issues your home may have prior to putting it on the market. Getting a pre-listing home inspection will ensure that you’re aware of any problems and can take care of them on your terms – or present them as-is and adjust your selling price proportionally.  The alternative leaves you open to costly surprises and delays, and even potential deal-breakers once you’ve entered negotiations with the buyer.

For buyers, an inspection is vital to uncovering issues a home may have but are invisible to the untrained eye.  Even if the inspection finds more problems than you’re comfortable with and you move on to a different home to start the process all over again, it’s money well spent.  An inspection will give you the opportunity to ask the seller to make the repairs before you buy, or to back out of the contract.  So be sure to ask for the “inspection contingency” when you begin to enter negotiations with the seller.  This allows you to set a limit on the cost of repairs to the home.  If the inspector estimates that repairs will cost more than the limit, the contract is voided.  It is a good way to protect yourself from ending up with a home that requires repairs that you are unable or unwilling to pay for.

It is recommended that you be present during the inspection so you can see the any items of concern and ask any questions that you may have.  The inspection is a great time to find out where the home’s water and gas shutoffs are and where the fuse box is.

Here are some other suggestions for homeowners:

  • Accessibility: Make sure that all areas of the home are accessible, especially to the attic and crawl space.  It’s also a good idea to trim any trees and shrubs that may make an inspection of the exterior of the property difficult.
  • Housekeeping: The inspector may photograph your home for the inspection report, so clearing the clutter and moving vehicles from the front of the home will help the inspection go smoother.
  • Maintenance: Repair minor things like leaky faucets, missing door handles and trim.