I get a lot of questions about home inspections from both home buyers and home sellers.
For sellers, impending home inspections can be a reminder of all those small issues with the home that they haven’t taken care of over the years. And many buyers are concerned that home inspections might uncover some serious issues with their dream home.
Here are 6 tips that can make home inspections go smoother for all involved.
- Move your pets. Inspections often require opening exterior doors again and again, offering pets far too many opportunities to dash to freedom. When you leave the premises for the inspection—and many inspectors ask sellers to do so—take your pets with you. Please.
- Your potential home will have problems. Your home inspector will likely come up with a list of issues after the walk-through. But don’t panic yet! There are times when you should worry, but not every issue is mission-critical. Your inspector will know which problems you should tackle first.
- Almost anything can be fixed. There are a few scary home inspection terms that seem to be in everyone’s vocabulary: mold, radon, and asbestos. But the reality is they are no scarier than a roof that needs replacing, home inspectors say.
- One thing you should worry about is water. No, it’s not a deal breaker, but it’s important to address any water-related issues before the deal closes—or at least immediately afterward. Make a note of issues such as puddles and leaky ceilings. And give special attention to the basement.
- Inspectors can’t predict the future. You might want to know how many more years the roof will hold up—and while your inspector might be able to give you a rough estimate, he can’t give you a precise timeline.
- Find the balance between your heart and your brain. 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. But just remember to take a deep breath, think rationally, and consider whether it’s a smart investment in your future.
Barring any major renovations needed—such as a new roof or mold removal—your inspector’s visit will simply provide a to-do list.
But not everything needs fixing immediately, so don’t let a long list dampen your love for the home. Just take things one at a time.
If you have questions about buying or selling your house, contact me. I’ll be happy to help.