Adult male inspects siding

A home inspection is a valuable part of buying and selling a home. These tips will help streamline the process.

Buyers

As a buyer, a home inspection by a qualified and certified home inspector service will point out deficiencies and problem areas that will need to be addressed once you become the new owner. If these are big-ticket items, they can be used to negotiate the price of the property to cover the cost of repairs.

As part of your offer, insist that the attic and furnace area be fully accessible to the inspector. Inspectors are not permitted to move furniture to do anything that may cause damage to a home, so the Seller must make areas accessible for easy inspection.

Expect a thorough home inspection to take 3–4 hours for an average home and plan to be there. Take notes, ask questions and clarify anything you don’t understand. Remember that this will be your home and it’s an opportunity to learn about the inner workings of the property.

Once you receive the inspector’s report, read it carefully and be prepared to take action on any items flagged by the inspector.

Note that inspectors can’t see through walls, so there may be some issues with a home that are not caught by even the most diligent of inspectors.

Sellers

If a home inspection is a condition of sale for your property, you want to ensure that the sale proceeds smoothly.

Ensure that there is easy access to all mechanicals, such as the furnace, air conditioner, water heater, etc. Clear the way to the attic as well, ensuring the inspector can easily open attic hatches. Many attic openings are in a closet, so empty the closet as much as possible. Remove snow or debris from the air conditioner unit and clear clutter from under sinks so the plumbing is easily accessible.

At the time of the scheduled inspection, you will want to leave the property for the agreed amount of time, about 3–4 hours. Your agent will be present to ensure the security of your belongings. If you have pets, either relocate them for the duration of the inspection, or keep them in a bedroom, with a sign on the door.

Follow these tips and, whether you’re a buyer or seller, the home inspection will be a breeze.