Are you trying to sell your home? If so, you should be aware that most potential homebuyers hire a professional inspector to look for any problems they need to know about before closing. Because the condition of your home based on the inspector’s report could significantly impact the selling price.
That is why it’s so important for the homeowner to understand what kinds of items are on a professional home inspection checklist. Being armed with this knowledge allows you to take care of problems that could otherwise lower the price or keep your home from selling.
Let’s take a look at a list of important things to be on the lookout for.
Professional Home Inspection Checklist: What Inspectors Look For
If you’re having a home inspection you may be wondering what they look for. We take a look at a typical professional home inspection checklist.
The plumbing in your home is one of the first things an inspector will take a look at. Be sure to fix any leaks yourself or hire a plumber. They will inspect everything: the septic system, flush all the toilets, run all the faucets, check the water pressure, and use dyes to test for drainage problems.
Keep in mind that small leaks can be evidence of bigger issues, so pay close attention to your pipes for anything that seems suspicious, because an inspector will notice such things quickly.
Electrical System Issues
An inspector will look very closely at the electrical system, from the breaker box to circuit interrupters in the kitchen and bathrooms. The age of your home will likely say a lot about the condition of your wiring. Older homes often have wiring that no longer meets code and might need to be updated before a potential buyer will agree to close.
Inspectors can be merciless when it comes to inferior or inadequate electrical systems, so look for any outlets, light switches, or fixtures that can be replaced on the cheap.
Damp Crawlspaces and Basements
Believe it or not, moisture can cause major problems that eventually require costly repairs. For this reason, an inspector will look closely at floors and walls for any signs of dampness, because exposure to moisture over a long period of time can attract insects and lead to the deterioration of building materials.
Take the time to clean your gutters so that water flows properly to the downspouts rather than spilling over onto the foundation. And make sure the downspouts are pointed away from the house.
If you notice foundation problems, you will likely need to lower the price or offer the buyer an allowance so they can make the repair themselves after closing.
Mold and Mildew Problems
Toxic black mold is something you need to learn to identify and take very seriously. If an inspector spots it in your home, the potential buyer will likely walk away or demand a professional mold remediation that can cost you thousands of dollars.
Mold and mildew have become a hot topic in recent years. It’s a problem no buyer wants to deal with. So if you discover mold in your home, even if it’s the normal variety, treat it quickly and address the source of the problem.
Roof and Chimney Problems
An inspector will also want to take a look at the condition of your roof. They will check for rotten or missing shingles, as well as the condition of the metal flashing at the base of your chimney. Make sure that the flashing is watertight and that the bricks and mortar of the chimney are in good condition.
Some states will require a separate roof inspection, so check the requirements in your area and be prepared for the extra expense.
Door, Windows, & Trim
You can expect the inspector to check the frames around doors and windows to make sure there’s no rot, the caulking is solid, and that the glass is securely in place and undamaged.
These areas need to be in good condition to keep the cold out and the heat in. So take the time to inspect your doors and windows yourself and make repairs as needed.
The primary concerns in interior rooms will be things like ceiling stains that can be evidence of water problems, inadequate wall insulation, leaning walls, holes in the drywall, and air vents that don’t seem to be allowing proper air flow.
There’s a lot to look at in the kitchen. Issues such as leaks under and around sinks, cabinet doors that don’t open properly, electrical problems, and range hood fans that don’t vent sufficiently.
Heating or Cooling System Issues
An inspector will test the HVAC system to check that it both heats and cools properly. They will look to see if the filters are clean and listen for any irregularities in the way the unit runs. If your home has an outdated HVAC unit, this might be taken into consideration when determining the value of the house.
Keep in mind that being able to heat and cool a house is extremely important, and a prospective buyer will have to factor in the cost of a new unit before making an offer.
Pest infestations such as roaches or mice can be a huge turnoff for buyers. Thus an inspector will look carefully for any signs of pests such as droppings, holes eaten through walls, or chewed wiring.
Take the time to look for yourself. And if you notice any signs that your home might have an infestation of any kind, hire a pest control company immediately to take care of the problem prior to the inspection.
Getting the Best Price for Your Home
As the old saying goes, the devil is in the details. And a professional home inspection checklist is full of important details.
As a homeowner hoping to sell as soon as possible for the highest possible price, the more you understand about what’s included in a home inspection, the greater chance you have of taking care of minor issues that can significantly impact the value of your home.
Click here to learn some reasonable requests for making following a home inspection.