Preparing for a Home Inspection

Whether You’re Buying or Selling a House You Need Good Information

Making sure that you know what you’re buying or selling is one of the most important considerations when contemplating any transaction involving a house, and understanding the home inspection process, regardless of what end of the sale you’re on, will help you be certain that what you see is what you get.

Home Inspectors – Is Certification Important?

The licensing of home inspectors by passing the National Home Inspector Examination does not require the rigorous educational and ethical training that is typically included in the certification process. Certified home inspectors fill more than just the minimum requirement for performing the job.

When evaluating a possible inspector, consider certification with a professional association like the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), or the National Institute of Building Inspectors (NIBI) a minimum requirement. During certification, candidates are tested for technical competence as well as for their understanding of ethical issues like objectivity and integrity. Also, as a part if certification they must fulfill requirements for continuing education.

Your Relationship With Your Inspector – Clues to Look For

Even with certified inspectors, there are some questions you should ask in order to get a level of comfort with their commitment and professionalism. Is your home inspector insured and bonded? Ask about professional liability insurance as well as general liability insurance. Will he provide you with an on-the-spot report? Does he offer a guarantee? How many inspections does he perform in a year?

Preparing for the Inspector’s Visit to Your Home

When getting your house ready for sale, there are some things you can do to anticipate a likely home inspection. Inspectors typically evaluate the major systems of a house for signs of trouble. This includes plumbing, electrical, foundation, roof problems, insulation, as well as general maintenance items like water damage, and safety features like locks and smoke detectors.

Help yourself get prepared by doing your own walk through. Watch for things like leaky plumbing, water damage resulting in a powdery residue near baseboards, or the odor of mildew; broken or missing roof shingles, rusty water coming from your pipes, gutter leaks that allow water to run down exterior walls, overburdened electrical outlets, broken door or window locks, and missing smoke detectors.

Important Tips for Inspection Day

home inspection

Of possible, always participate in the inspection itself, and take notes. Take a list of questions of your own, and use the inspector’s expertise to help educate you on the specifics of the property.

Wear comfortable clothes and sturdy shoes. You want to be able to see as much of the property as possible. Pay attention to the inspector, and ask questions about the items he’s noting or spending time evaluating. Ask him to explain anything you don’t understand, and keep asking until you feel comfortable with his response. Water damage, electrical problems, plumbing inadequacies, roof wear and foundation considerations are all things you should be alert to. If you observe anything out of the ordinary, this is the time to ask, and if you feel that an evaluation is unfair, this is the time to remark on it.

The best way to make full use of the inspection process is to do your homework. Whether buying or selling, home inspections are important. The more understanding you bring to the process, the more useful the inspection will be in helping you achieve your goals.

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