Are You Prepared for Your Home Inspection?
A home inspection is a crucial step whether you’re buying or selling. Understanding how to prepare for it can make all the difference in ensuring a smooth and successful transaction. Here at Zoom, we‘re delighted to share our learnings from years of experience and to offer recommendations for an excellent home inspection, no matter which side of the door you’re standing on.
If you’re a buyer, inspections provide peace of mind by uncovering hidden issues before you make a significant, life-changing investment. For sellers, potential concerns can be revealed and addressed before your home hits the market, increasing the likelihood of a quick and trouble-free sale.
This blog walks you through eight steps that will help you prepare for a home inspection. Let’s get started!
Step 1: Hire a Qualified Home Inspector
When seeking a qualified home inspector, start by looking for referrals from reputable sources, such as real estate professionals or your friends and colleagues. Once you’ve identified and vetted a trusted inspector, schedule an inspection appointment to ensure a thorough evaluation of your existing or potential new home.
Unlike many home inspectors in western Washington, our team is licensed to provide structural pest inspections, which we provide for all standard home inspections with no additional cost.
Our professional inspectors also use infrared cameras to uncover underlying problems, so you can rest assured you’re receiving a comprehensive assessment of the property.
Step 2: Gather Important Documents and Notes
Similar to selling your car, gather key documents, including maintenance records, contractor information and warranties, to hand over to potential buyers.
Remember to organize your notes or questions about the property and discuss them with your inspector. These steps will help facilitate a smooth transaction.
Step 3: Address Minor Repairs
It’s advisable to take proactive steps, before the inspection, to identify and address minor repairs that will improve the outcome of your home inspection. You should have your furnace professionally serviced, and water heater flushed and seismically strapped as part of your pre-inspection preparation. Additionally, simple tasks like changing air filters, which HVAC professionals may overlook, can go a long way in ensuring that your home is in tip-top shape for the inspection. For additional pointers on simple repairs and maintenance, check out our home maintenance checklist.
Step 4: Ensure Accessibility
When considering how to prepare for a home inspection, it is paramount that sellers ensure accessibility throughout the home. You can facilitate this process by clearing access areas to the attic, electric panel, furnace, water heater, and crawl space. We understand you may be in the midst of a move, and have boxes lining the walls, but make sure they aren’t blocking something that needs to be inspected, e.g. heating vents or appliances.
It can be risky for inspectors to examine areas of the home they can not easily access. Removing obstacles allows the inspector to quickly inspect areas, ensuring a thorough assessment of your property.
Step 5: Verify Proper Functioning
Prior to a home inspection, sellers should meticulously verify the functionality of safety features like smoke detectors, and extend this diligence to include gas fireplaces, furnaces, hot water systems, kitchen appliances, and even laundry machines.
You should install carbon monoxide alarms on each level of the home, locating them just outside the bedrooms, as this is now a requirement whenever a property is sold in Washington state.
Ensuring everything in the home is ready for a functional test is essential, as inspectors generally do not turn on gas valves, water valves, nor electric breakers in order to avoid potential hazards.
Step 6: Attend the Inspection
Attending the home inspection offers several benefits, including the ability to ask questions and gain clarity on the property’s condition. However, it’s generally advisable to communicate your questions and concerns at the start of the inspection, and avoid interrupting the inspector too often during the inspection, so they can maintain focus on delivering the highest quality inspection. To prioritize safety, buyers and sellers should refrain from joining the inspector in certain areas, like the attic or roof.
Talk with the inspector about the written report, and how to read it. Often, inspectors can share a sample report with you, so you can get a feel for how the report prioritizes inspection findings.
Step 7: Review the Inspection Report
It’s time to put it all together! At Zoom, our reports describe the areas of the home that were inspected, call out potential safety hazards, detail areas of deferred maintenance, highlight major concerns, and recommend the appropriate professionals to address identified issues, ensuring you fully understand the improvements needed to upgrade the property’s condition.
Furthermore, our digital reports are designed to be simple yet comprehensive, so every detail is noted with clearly stated suggestions.
To view a sample report for reference, click here.
Step 8: Address Major Repairs
Following the home inspection, you may want to make repairs or price your home accordingly.
You’ll want to address any significant issues identified in the report, which may involve negotiating repairs, requesting price adjustments, or simply budgeting to take care of any needed repairs in the future.
Zoom Makes Home Inspections Easy
At Zoom Home Inspections, we aim to make your inspection process as smooth and worry-free as possible. By following these proactive steps, you can ensure your property is inspection-ready, helping facilitate a thorough and efficient inspection.
Whether you’re a buyer seeking peace of mind or a seller wanting a transparent transaction, we’re dedicated to helping you every step of the way. To schedule your inspection with us, click here.