Prepare for Inspection
Most buyers request a home inspection as a condition of their offer. While a home inspector will dig more deeply into your home than a buyer, the preparation you made before your first showing should help you get ready for the inspection. Your real estate agent can give you personalized advice, too.
What is a home inspection?
A home inspection is a thorough review of your home’s structure and systems by a professional home inspector. Buyers can use the inspection report to decide to rescind their offer if a major issue is uncovered or to request repairs if the contract is contingent on a satisfactory report. In some cases, a home inspection is solely for the buyers’ information and can’t be used to negotiate.
What is looked at during a home inspection?
The inspector will check:
- Structural conditions such as the foundation, beams and floors
- Roof condition
- Mechanical systems such as heat and air conditioning
- Appliances – to make sure they’re working, although some inspectors skip appliances that are not built-in
- Plumbing – for leaks, rust and water pressure
- Electrical systems such as grounded outlets and code violations
- Safety issues such as stairs, handrails, mold or chimney maintenance
What’s not looked at during a home inspection?
The inspector won’t check some items that are unusual or inaccessible, such as:
- Septic systems
- Underground pipes and sprinkler systems
- Swimming pools and spas
- Playground equipment
How should I prepare for an inspection?
Before the home inspector arrives, you should:
- Clean your house.
- Remove or crate your pets.
- Make sure all your light bulbs work.
- Empty your washing machine, dryer, oven, and dishwasher – in case they are inspected.
- Make sure everything is accessible, including your attic, a crawlspace, your garage and any sheds.
- Leave a note if anything doesn’t work and explain that you’re getting it fixed.
- Provide documents about maintenance and repairs.
- Leave your cell phone number for the inspector.
- Leave the house.
What happens now?
Once the inspection report has been generated, you and your real estate agent can discuss how to handle any possible issues the buyers mention. You can negotiate with the buyers, decide to fix an item, provide money for the buyers to fix it themselves or provide documentation that the problem has already been addressed. Your real estate agent can help you handle any inspection issues.
Selling a home is a big decision and requires a lot of work. From getting the house ready to reviewing the escrow papers, our helpful guide will walk you through the process of selling your home. Our real estate professionals can help you maximize your opportunity.
Real Estate Glossary
Use this glossary to make yourself more prepared for the professionals and documents you'll encounter in your real estate experiences.