How to Prepare for a Home Inspection

How to Prepare for a Home Inspection
  • Written on November 15, 2021 By Stanley Martin

You’ve found your dream home. The curb appeal is charming, the layout is open and the features fit your lifestyle. It’s time to move in, right? Not so fast. Before making a final decision, you’ll need to schedule a home inspection. In fact, this is one of the most important deciding factors when purchasing a home. However enticing a fresh coat of paint and new flower beds in the yard might be, the home inspection process is what reveals the true state of the home. Think of it as a thorough health exam of your future space.

What is a home inspection?

A home inspection reports the condition of a real estate property and is an examination of the property’s current condition and safety. It can tell a buyer a lot about an existing or newly constructed home. It’s usually done after a sales contract between a buyer and seller has been signed. A home inspection is not to be confused with a home appraisal, which is what determines the fair market value of a home.

5 Tips to Prepare for a Home Inspection

  1. Ask your real estate agent for guidance.Your real estate agent is likely well connected to professionals in the industry and can recommend names of home inspectors. Visit the inspectors’ websites and check out their online reviews. Turn to resources like Yelp and Angie’s List to gain honest feedback. You may also want to consult friends or neighbors who have recently purchased a home to get a personal referral.
  1. Hire your inspector. This is an important step, since this person will be helping you decide if it’s smart to move forward with the purchase. Once you find a reputable inspector, ask a few questions like: Are you certified and licensed? Are you insured and bonded? How long will the inspection take? Are you a member of a professional home inspector association?
  1. Don’t bring kids or pets. The home inspection process will serve as one of the most important deciding factors in buying a home. You’ll want to be able to focus on what the inspector is saying and follow along without looking out for your little ones. Also, you may be following the home inspector into the yard or downstairs to a basement to check for water damage, which might not be safe for kids.
  1. Understand what your home inspection will cover. When buying a home, it’s best not to assume anything. Before your home inspector visits, you can read guidelines of what to expect in the Standard of Practice or the Code of Ethics by American Society of Home Inspectors. A few items that your home inspection will cover are cooling systems, central heating, plumbing and electrical, roof, and walls. The inspection may not cover warped floors, septic tank systems and landscape.
  1. Take notes during the inspection. Many home inspectors will provide you with a detailed document of their inspection, but it’s still good to take notes of your own. Write down anything the inspector says that spark a question or follow up task. During the inspection, you may learn of some areas of concern. Take pictures of these areas as a helpful reference for needed repairs or as examples to use when negotiating prior to closing.

Preparing for a home inspection is a vital step in the home buying process. But once you have the inspector’s report in your hands, you can breathe a sigh of relief that you’ve checked off one of the most detailed parts of the homebuying process! You’ll soon be on your way to unpacking boxes in your dream home.