As the real estate agent representing the home buyer or seller, there are specific things you can do to prepare for the home inspection that will help your client have a smooth experience.
Listing Preparation – As a listing agent, you can provide a list of repairs that must or should be completed prior to the inspection. Some things that may be on that repair list since they will always raise questions for buyers:
- Remove all ceiling stains. Regardless of origin, ceiling stains make people think of water damage, even if the cause has been fixed.
- Check the attic for mold. Improper venting for bath or exhaust fans can create a breeding ground in the attic if not properly vented to the outside.
- If the seller has done any electrical work on their own, hire an electrician to ensure all electrical work is up to code and includes the appropriate GFI outlets in the kitchen and bathrooms.
- Repair leaky faucets, slow drains and running toilets.
- Locate, repair and paint any rotting exterior wood. Even if it isn’t a structural defect, it may give the appearance of one.
Utilities – It is important that the house have water, electricity and gas/oil present at the time of the inspection. Without these utilities being turned on there is a limit as to what the inspection will uncover, which may mean the need for a re-inspection.
Access – you will obviously want to make sure the home inspector has access to the home, and you will also want to make sure that includes access to all of the areas of the home including attics, basements and crawl spaces. Also insure that there is a clear path with access to mechanical systems such as HVAC, electrical panel and the water heater.
Providing access to exterior walls by moving furniture away from the walls so they can be assessed is also important, as is clearing clutter inside any closets so that they can be examined as well.
Animals – pets can be a distraction during a home inspection. Not only do some pets not react well to having strangers – and perhaps multiple strangers – in the home, but the inspector may also need to enter and exit multiple times, which can increase the risk of the pet escaping.
Have all pets secured somewhere safe, and remember if they are inside the home, the inspector will still need access to all areas, so having them in a crate or temporarily boarding elsewhere may be the best option. If the pets have not been secured prior to the inspection, the real estate agent may need to herd the animals.
Attending Inspection – whether or not the listing agent, buying agent, home seller or home buyer attend inspection is really up to each party involved. None of these parties are actually required to attend, and the more people attending can make quite a full house during an inspection. Yet it can also be helpful for the buyer or seller, or the agent representing either of them them, be present to get questions answered while the home inspection is actually occurring.
For a real estate agent, attending the home inspection can help them serve their buyer by asking for clarifications on issues. The agent may be more aware of red flags than the buyer and can point these items out. Seeing things mentioned in the home inspection report firsthand can also help the agent discuss them with the buyer later.
Also, by attending more home inspections, the real estate agent can add to their own knowledge base.
Review the inspection report – you will want to review the home inspection report as soon as it is provided. The report is provided to the party that hired the home inspector (and their agent as appropriate). If this is a pre-listing inspection, the report will be provided to the seller, while a buyer’s home inspection is obviously provided to the home buyer.
At Semper Fi Home Inspections, we email the home inspection report to you the same day, as a full PDF including color photos, videos when appropriate, and a summary of all comments.
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