Home inspections not only provide buyers peace of mind about a sound buying decision but also inform sellers of the repairs required to present the most saleable asset. Both sides can benefit from learning how to prepare for a home inspection.

Benefits for homebuyers

Congratulations! You’ve finally found your dream home. Now, before you pull the trigger, you should prioritize a pre-purchase home inspection. An inspection is key if you want to ensure that you aren’t walking into any major issues. No matter if the home you’re interested in is 5 or 50 years old, investing in a home inspection as a buyer will save you major headaches in the future.

Waiving a house inspection can be dangerous. Without one, you’ll happily get your house, but you may also find a plethora of unhappy problems that come with it. Relying on the seller to inform you of anything wrong in the home is risky because they may not disclose every issue to avoid having to lower their asking price. Instead, having an unbiased home inspector evaluate the house is the best way to get an expert opinion.

Benefits for home sellers

Just as important for the homebuyer, a home inspection is invaluable to a home seller.  A pre-listing home inspection allows the seller to identify any areas of concern before listing. This not only helps the seller find an appropriate market value price for their home, but also a chance to fix any issues to increase that initial value.  When a seller knows every detail about their property, it makes the negotiating process with a buyer, who may also perform an inspection, much smoother.

What to expect during a home inspection

Home inspections are relatively simple for both homebuyers and home sellers. The average inspection will take 3-4 hours and the inspector will evaluate both the interior and exterior of the property. Buyers and sellers should expect to be on site with the inspector, taking notes and asking any pertinent questions.

Preparing for home inspections is also essential. The sellers are in charge of preparing for the inspector during both their own inspection and the buyer’s inspection. They must ensure that there is easy access to all mechanicals, such as the furnace, air conditioner, water heater, and plumbing. Any attic openings must be clear, ensuring the inspector can easily open attic hatches. Since many attic openings are in a closet, empty the closet as much as possible so that the inspector can get through. Inspectors are not permitted to move furniture or do anything that may cause damage to a home, so the seller must make areas accessible for a smooth inspection.

Here are some things the inspector will look at during their time in the home:

  • Check all windows, walls, doors, and ceilings for defects
  • Check all electrical outlets, switches, and sources
  • Inspect the HVAC systems
  • Inspect the chimney, flues, roof, and eavestroughs
  • Check both the interior and exterior for water leakage and weather damage
  • Check for any pest infestations
  • Assess insulation in attics and crawl spaces
  • Flush all toilets and turn on the taps to look at the water pressure status
  • Inspect the foundation for cracks
  • Look at the grading surrounding the foundation

After the inspection, the inspector will present a thorough report of their findings. They’ll flag any issues they see that are of concern or can be improved before you buy or sell the home. If you have concerns or need clarification, no matter how minor the issue may seem, never hesitate to call your home inspector to find out more.

It’s rare to see a blemish-free report, but a home inspection will help both buyers and sellers easily detect issues and fix them as quickly as possible.

Questions to ask a home inspector

As a buyer, you can never ask too many questions. Since you’ll see the process firsthand, here are some helpful questions to ask your inspector during his or her evaluation:

Have any modifications or renovations been made?

Asking about previous work done to the house can give you a better idea of the true value of the property. This will also give you an idea about any local or provincial restrictions or limitations that could affect your decision of renovating yourself in the future.

Was there anything you saw during your tour of the home that you think might be a major problem?

Fixing a house can be expensive. Asking your inspector about some of the issues they’ve seen helps you decide whether buying the house, as well as putting money into fixing major issues, is worth it.

What does that mean?

Keep it simple! Inspectors can throw a lot of information your way during your 3-4 hours together. If you don’t understand something, simply ask. Whether it’s terminology or what a potential issue means for the house, it’s better to know than to leave your inspection more confused than you started.

What should I repair first?

Some flagged issues may be urgent, but inexpensive and easy to fix. Ask your inspector what the most alarming issues on your property were and start from there. The sooner you get the more important issues out of the way, the better for the value of your home.

Can you look at this as well?

You may be concerned about a certain point in your house that the inspector didn’t flag. If you don’t see it on the report but would like a second opinion, just ask. An inspector would be more than happy to look at it again for you.

Now you know how to prepare for a home inspection, book yours today

When it’s time to get a professional home inspection, trust AmeriSpec for all your needs. We offer home inspections to both buyers and sellers nationwide. Even better, while you prepare to move into or from a property, you can use AmeriSpec’s moving checklist to help you plan. All AmeriSpec customers are entitled to a FREE account with MoveSnap. This first-class concierge service helps manage every aspect of moving on one handy digital platform. With MoveSnap, you can organize and transfer utilities, hire movers, update addresses on important documents, and ensure that no task is overlooked. Take advantage of our resources and book an inspection with us today!