Why Would I Get A Home Inspection?
Having a home inspection is your chance to avoid concerns with buying a new home—or, at least, use the results to either negotiate the price with the seller or have them pay for the repairs. A home inspection would occur because of a contingency on a deal that the home must receive a satisfactory rating from a home inspector. It is mandatory by law, due to liability issues, that an agent must be present during the inspection (this can be either the buyer or seller’s agent). However, during the majority of inspections, both parties are present. The seller can join to answer any questions and because inspections are generally at the buyer’s expense, the buyer is usually present to express any questions or concerns about the home.
If the seller wanted to be proactive, they could have an inspection done before they list the house, called a ‘pre-listing inspection’. The reason a seller would have an inspection performed is that even they may question the safety of their home. This is usually only the case for houses that are over 40 years old. Another reason is to not scare off buyers. By having an inspection completed before listing and having that information available, the seller can expect the buyer to not drastically lower their offer, or pull out of the deal because of the inspection results.
In order to make the inspection process go as smoothly as possible, there are some tasks that the seller should make sure are complete prior to the appointment:
- All utilities are on – this includes hydro, water, and gas.
- Locks are removed from the outside gates to allow access to the exterior of the home.
- All crawlspace entrances are not blocked or nailed closed.
- Ensure the electrical panel is accessible.
- Ensure the water meter and main water line are accessible.
- Ensure the water heater is accessible.
- Ensure the furnace is accessible.
- Ensure the air conditioning is accessible.
- Ensure the attic hatch is accessible with a stepladder (note: the location of the hatch may be in a hallway, garage, bedroom, or closet – if in a closet, be sure to remove all clothing, stored items, and shelves prior to inspection).
Other Things to Note:
- A complete and thorough home inspection will vary depending on the size and complexity of the home, but a ‘typical’ home inspection will take approximately 3 hours.
- Professional home inspectors will generally arrive 15-30 minutes prior to the scheduled appointment time. This allows them to inspect the exterior of the home while waiting for the buyer and realtor to arrive.
- The inspector will need about 2-3 feet of clearance to safely access the electrical panel, water meter, water heater, furnace, sump pump, etc.
- Be sure to remove all debris or stored items restricting these areas prior to inspection as that will add more time to the inspection process.