Welcome back to part 3 of our blog series. In this post we will talk about the home inspection. So here is the normal process when selling your home the traditional way: you list it with an agent, you get an offer accepted, you have a home and termite inspection , you agree on any repairs that need to be made, if they are getting a loan you have an appraisal, and if the appraisal is good and the loan is cleared to close, you finally get the house sold and get your money, easy, right? Well, there are lots of moving parts in this process. We are going to specifically talk about the home inspection. A home inspection is typically done by a certified and licensed home inspector. This means they meet certain standards on a national and state level. I can tell you as with any profession there are good and bad inspectors out there.
After going through 50+ home inspections as the Seller and getting through all but a few here are the common themes we see over and over that should be paid attention to:
1. Attic, crawl space, and basement- Make sure you pay attention to the places that you can't see such as the attic, crawl space, and basement. This is where some may totally miss the mark but these spaces are just as important if not MORE important than the inside of the home. Common themes to look for: water intrusion in the crawl space/basement, visible mold in the crawl space/basement/attic, wiring that is no longer functional must be removed or put in a junction box, old framing in the attic/crawl space that may not be up to par, termite damage, cracks in the foundation, insulation that needs to be removed/tacked up/ or added, leaky plumbing or plumbing that is not up to par, absence of a vapor barrier, leaky roof that has led to water damage. Sounds overwhelming, well, it is. I would recommend if you are going to sell your home to have a "pre inspection" so an inspector can tell you what to repair.
2. Windows- always make sure all windows open, close, and latch properly. If they are older and have been painted shut, go ahead and get our your razor blade and pry bar and get to work. If they are newer, make sure the seals aren't busted which will fog the glass, and also that they stay open on their own.
3. Grounded/ungrounded plugs- if you have grounded plugs installed, make sure the grounds work. If you have GFI's in the wet areas, make sure they trip. If you have an older home that does not have grounds just have ungrounded plugs installed, then they can't ding you for that.
4. Smaller punch list items- we could go on for days with this list but we won't bore you, here are a few examples: kitchen cabinets and drawers need to open/close properly, doors need to open close properly with no sticking, exterior doors need weatherstripping to not allow air to move in/out easily, exterior negative grade around the house, clogged gutters, etc.
This is just a very brief overview of what a home inspector is going to be looking at. We didn't even go into some of the major systems such as electrical, roof, plumbing, HVAC, but these all need to be operational and working as they should.
Just know, they are going to find something, that is what they get paid to do. Hopefully you and the other party can agree on the repairs to keep the process moving along.
We hope this gives you some insight into the home inspection process. If you have any suggestions/comments feel free to leave them below.
Stay tuned for part 4 of our Blog Series where we will talk about another step in the home selling process... the appraisal!