Buying a home? The process can be stressful. A home inspection is supposed to give you peace of mind, but sometimes it does the opposite. You are asked to absorb a lot of information in a short amount of time. This often includes a written report, photographs, and what the inspector says during the inspection. All this of this makes the experience even more overwhelming. What should you do?
RELAX! Most of your inspection will be maintenance recommendations, life expectancies for various components, and minor imperfections. These are useful to know about, however, the issues that really matter fall into four categories:
1. Major defects- Such as a structural failure
2. Things that lead to major defects- Such as a small roof flashing leak for example
3. Things that may hinder your ability to finance, legally occupy, or insure the home (mold, termites)
4. Safety hazards- Such as exposed, live wires in the attic
Anything in these categories should be addressed. Often, serious problems can be corrected inexpensively (especially in categories 2 and 4)
No home is perfect. Keep things in perspective. Do not kill your deal over things that don't matter!
Selling your home? For sellers, an inspection of your home can be a reminder of all those issues you've been conveniently been forgetting about all those years. An inspection can be just as terrifying for the sellers too. However, there are a few things you can do to make it go much smoother.
1. Pets- Make sure your pets won't hinder the inspection. Inspectors are going in and out multiple times during the inspection and we would hate for Fluffy to accidentally sneak out. Putting your dog in the back yard isn't a good idea either. Even if the inspector likes pets, having to worry about them during the inspection can be a hindrance.
2. General Maintenance- This should almost go without saying. After all, you are trying to sell your house right?! A few ideas would be to replace any burned out or missing light bulbs, and to change out your furnace filter (the inspector will most certainly know if you didn't).
3. Clear the Path- Remove items blocking access to HVAC equipment, electrical service panels, the water heater, attic and crawlspace. If these components are blocked or inaccessible, the inspector might have to disclaim these components and the buyer won't have any idea if they are safe, working right, or installed properly if they can't be inspected.
4. Trim Tree Limbs- They should be trimmed so that they're at least 10 feet away from the roof. Trim any shrubs that are too close to the house and can hides pests or hold moisture against the exterior.
Checking these areas before your home inspection is an investment in selling your property. Better yet, have your InterNACHI inspector ensure that your home is Move-In Certified (ask me how!). Your real estate agent will also thank you!