Whether selling or buying a home, it’s always a wise choice to hire a professional home inspector to give the property a once-over. Having a home inspection done can make the transaction go smoother. But what about ways to make the home inspection itself a smoother process? Here are a few tips from realtor.com contributor Jamie Wiebe and home inspector Alan Singer that you can pass along to clients before you arrive at their home.
How sellers can help:
1. Put your pets away — A lot goes on during a home inspection. Not only will dogs and cats be in the way, but the opening and closing of doors may provide opportunity for them to scamper away. If animals are out of the way “every time I walk in or out, I don’t have to worry about losing a cat or a dog,” Alan Singer of Sterling Home Inspections, of Armonk, N.Y., said in the article.
2. Clean and de-clutter — De-cluttering prior to the home inspector’s visit offers a two-fold benefit. It makes the inspector’s job easier and it may reinforce the buyer’s decision to purchase.
“If it doesn’t feel like how it did before — if we’re trying to dig through items — it can sour their experience,” Singer said in the article.
How buyers can help:
3. Know the home you’re buying won’t be problem-free — Even newly built homes can have issues. Buyers should understand that the home inspector is likely to find an issue or two,”but not every issue is mission-critical, and your inspector will know which problems you should tackle first,” Wiebe wrote.
4. Not everything is a deal-breaker — Mold, radon, asbestos. These are scary but they can be taken care of, according to Singer. “Everything is upgradable, fixable, or replaceable,” he said in the article. “You just need to have a list of what those things are.”
5. Water is scarier — Evidence of water damage is a concern, but remember water intrusion in a basement is typically corrected by improving grading, extending downspouts and keeping gutters clean. Although some of the inspector’s findings can be put off, “it’s important to address any water-related issues before the deal closes—or at least immediately afterward,” Wiebe wrote.
6. There is no crystal ball in home inspection — Some buyers would like to think home inspectors have the same ability as a “crystal ball,” but that’s just not the case. Even the most experienced home inspector can’t predict exactly when the water heater in their new home will fail. “We can’t tell you how long it will last. We can just tell you if it’s in good shape,” Singer said in the article.
7. Find the balance between your heart and brain — Although the home inspector’s findings can vary from the major to the minor, buyers should try to remain level-headed upon hearing the results. Unless a major renovation is needed, not everything needs to fixed right away, according to Wiebe.
“It’s easy to forget your love for the home when you’re counting the dollar signs and hours you might have to spend on repairs,” Wiebe wrote. “But just remember to take a deep breath, think rationally, and consider whether it’s a smart investment in your future.”
What other requests do you make of homeowners prior to the home inspection? Let us know in the comments below!
Source: “7 Things Your Home Inspector Wishes You Knew,” realtor.com (July 30, 2015)