Every year, millions of homes are sold in the United States. Are you getting ready to sell your home? Is it already on the market?
If you’re selling your home or have recently received an offer on it, you’re likely going to need to receive a visit from a house inspector at some point.
The idea of having your home inspected can definitely be a little nerve-wracking. There’s no need to panic, though.
If you’re not sure what to expect, read on to learn five important things you ought to know about a home inspection.
1. Why are Home Inspections Necessary?
A home inspection is an important part of the home sale process. Failing to have one done can end up being very expensive and can lead to a variety of problems for yourself and the potential buyer of your home.
Buying a home is one of the largest investments a person can make. Before they decide to purchase your house, a buyer deserves to know exactly what they’re getting.
Home inspections identify potential builder oversights and the need for significant repairs. They ensure the buyer knows as much as they can about the house so they can confidently decide whether or not they want to purchase it.
A home inspection also gives you, the seller, an opportunity to make repairs that will put it in better selling condition. These kinds of repairs may also give you more negotiating power.
2. Inspections Cover Several Areas
During a home inspection, an inspector will look at a variety of different aspects of your home. The goal of an inspection is to make sure your house is in generally good condition and doesn’t need any major repairs.
Some areas that a house inspector will address during their inspection include:
- The foundation and basement
- Smoke detectors
- Plumbing systems
- Electrical systems
- Heating and cooling systems
- Window condition
- Door and door frame condition
- Foor, wall, and ceiling condition
- The condition of the attic and visible insulation
Every house inspector is different, as is every house, so they might spend more or less time on certain areas of the house. In general, though, you can expect them to take a look at these areas.
3. But They Don’t Cover Everything
At the same time, there are some areas of your house that an inspector isn’t going to pay much — if any — attention to.
These areas include:
- Inside the walls of the home
- The roof and/or chimney
- Septic tanks
- Separate structures like sheds and wells
This doesn’t mean that you don’t need to worry about these aspects of your home when you’re getting ready to sell. They just won’t be included in the formal inspection.
4. Buyers Can Attend an Inspection
The person who is considering buying your home is allowed to be present during the inspection. In fact, it’s often encouraged for them to do so.
This gives them an opportunity to ask questions about the condition of the property. They can also learn how to maintain the property once it’s been purchased.
5. Repairs are Negotiable
Once an inspection is complete, an inspector will provide a report detailing what — if anything — is wrong with the house and what kind of repairs need to be made.
There’s room for negotiation when it comes to deciding who is going to pay for these repairs.
Sometimes, the seller will agree to perform and pay for the repairs before the settlement. The seller can also credit the buyer money for the repairs, or the repairs may become the responsibility of the buyer.
If a home is being marketed “as is,” then the seller is not responsible for any repairs. They are likely selling their house at a lower price, and the buyer agrees to cover the cost of any repairs in exchange for this lower price.
How to Prepare for a Home Inspection
Now that you know more about what to expect from a home inspection, you’re probably wondering what steps you ought to take to make sure you pass.
Here are some tips that will increase your chances of passing a home inspection:
Check Your Smoke Detectors
One of the easiest things you can do to get your home ready for inspection is to test your smoke detectors and replace the batteries (or the whole device) if they are not working properly. This doesn’t take very long, but it can have a significant impact on the results of the inspection.
Seal the Exterior
Take some time to seal up any drafts in your home, too. Use caulking along the exterior of your home to make sure there aren’t any cracks or holes that are letting air in or out of the house.
Common areas that need caulking include the space around light fixtures, electrical panels, windows, and plumbing pipes.
Fix Plumbing Leaks
Plumbing leaks, whether they’re from dripping faucets or pipes under the sink, are often easy and inexpensive to fix. They can be a huge turn-off to a buyer, though. It’s a good idea to take time to fix them before the inspection.
Clean and Service the HVAC System
The inspector will definitely check your HVAC system while going through your house. Make sure it’s clean and in good working order prior to the inspection.
Finally, make sure you’re honest with the inspector about any major issues you’re already aware of with your house.
They’re likely going to find them whether you disclose them or not, so it’s better to be honest and paint yourself in a good light with the inspector and the buyer.
Hire a House Inspector Today
Now that you know about what a house inspector does and how to prepare for a home inspection, are you ready to go ahead and hire one to come and take a look at your home?
If you live in or around the Northeast Ohio area, contact us at Class Home Inspection.
We make it easy for you to schedule an inspection online.
Reach out to us today and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible to confirm your inspection date and time.