Home Inspections :: Sellers Please Read!

Sellers Guide

The American Society of Home Inspectors defines a home inspection as “An objective visual examination of the physical structure and systems of a house from the roof to the foundation. Approximately four out of five homes sold in the United States are evaluated by a professional home inspector before they are sold.

Home inspections are designed to protect the buyers from investing in a home that turns out to have dangerous or costly repairs needed. The National Association of Realtors reports that realtor recommend that home buyers get a home inspection nearly 99% of the time. Most buyers heed that advice, requesting home inspections in 84% of all transactions, even for new homes.

For sellers, understanding the home inspection process and preparing your home for the inspection not only helps to ensure that the transaction goes through, but can often translate into getting a top-dollar selling price as well.

Once an offer has been made and the contract has been signed, the inspections begin quickly. An appointment is made with the home seller and the inspector arrives usually with the buyer and their agent in tow to go through the entire house.  Typically, a home inspection will take two to three hours and include a check of the home’s structural and mechanical condition. But besides the structural and mechanical inspection, home inspectors may also do tests for radon gas, check for termites and other wood destroying insects, or perform other services requested by the prospective buyer. An inspection includes: Central HVAC, Plumbing, Electrical systems, Roof, Attic, Visible Insulation, Walls, Ceilings, Floors, Windows, Doors, Foundation, Basement, Pest Infestations, Structural components.

When the home inspection is complete, the inspector will issue a report to the home buyer detailing what was found. Inspectors will report on problems needing immediate attention, as well as conditions that can lead to more serious defects down the road. Keep in mind that the inspector works for the person who hired him or her. Inspectors will only discuss their findings with their own customer.

Preparation for the inspection process should begin before your home is listed.  A fresh coat of paint and some new landscaping may seem like obvious first steps in prepping your home for sale, but when it comes to the home inspection, there’s more that you can do.

Start outside repairing minor things like loose steps, disconnected gutters and rotted trim. Look, with a critical eye, for anything that’s been neglected and needs repair, like a rotted windowsill or missing roof shingle. A pair of binoculars is a good tool to use for the roof review.  Besides missing shingles, look for loose metal flashing around chimneys and plumbing vents, a common cause of leaks.

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