Getting Ready for the Home Inspection

By: Eric Badgely

A home inspection can have a major impact on whether a real estate deal is completed or not. Therefore, it is in the best interest of realtors to understand the inspection process and to do what they can to make sure the inspection goes smoothly.

There are advantages to being an experienced realtor. Often new realtors, early in their careers, are very nervous about an upcoming home inspection. They are afraid that the home inspection might kill, or delay closing of the anticipated sale. I always advise these individuals that instead of being overly worried, they should try to take positive steps that will assure that the home inspection goes as smoothly as possible. My advice in this regard applies equally to the buyer's agent or the seller's agent and it is summarized in the convenient seven-point list (designed while working with a professional home inspector) that is provided below.

Crawl space access: Find out where the opening is located, sometimes it can be hard to find. Make sure it is easily accessible at the time of the inspection and that it can be located by the home inspector.
Attic access: Find out where the hatch is located -- in the attached garage, in a bedroom, etc. Make sure it is accessible. If a shelf or similar obstacle is built under it and an inspector cannot access it, then that obstacle should be removed.

Electric panels: Find the location of all panels, including any distribution/sub-panels in garages or basements. Sometimes they are hidden behind pictures or cabinets are built over them. Make sure all panels can be safely accessed from the front so the inspector can remove the covers.
Water heater: Find out where it is located. Sometimes they are in tiny spaces -- behind refrigerators, in attics, etc. Make sure the tank is accessible.

Furnace: Find out where it is located. Usually the furnace is readily accessible but it can be located in crawl spaces or cluttered attics. The inspector must be able to remove the access doors and view components in the housing.

Sinks: If cupboards or vanities that under sinks in bathrooms and kitchens are reasonably clear of supplies and belongings, the inspector can view these areas without having to move personal hygiene items.
Gas, electricity, and water: If the buyer expects a full inspection of gas or electric appliances and the plumbing system, the gas, electricity and water must be functional.

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