Originally Posted By: kmcmahon
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.
Many times a week, I enter someone's house to perform what's become an expected part of most real estate deals -- a home inspection.
As an inspector, I go over the house thoroughly, concentrating on the working condition of its major
systems. Then, I present a written and photographic report to the buyer that describes the house and its
systems, the good, bad and, occasionally, the ugly.
I usually work for buyers; they want to know that they're spending their money wisely. But everyone
involved in the process -- seller as well as buyer and their agent -- wants the inspection to go smoothly. I know I do.
Yet, often I find that while a seller may have gone to great lengths to make their home ready for a real
estate agent to show, it's usually not ready to inspect. From my observations, I've determined that there are
a few minor repair and maintenance chores that sellers can do to reduce the number of defects that will
show up on the inspection report.
Here's a checklist that can help a house inspect as well as it shows:
1. Remove everything from the cabinets beneath your sinks and lavatories. This will allow the inspector to
check the plumbing more easily.
2. If you have records or receipts of HVAC service, septic system service, roof repairs, water heater repair
/replacement, well pumping system service, or additions and modifications to your home, make them
available for viewing by ( or better still make copies for) the inspector.
3. Make sure all interior and exterior light fixtures work. If a fixture bulb is burned out, the inspector has to
note that the fixture does not correctly operate.
4. Provide access to the furnace, air handler (the inside unit), water heater and electrical panel. Please remember that the inspector must be able to remove the electrical panel cover, so be sure that there aren?t any obstructions preventing access to it.
5. Install a new air filter. It will be examined during the inspection and be considered as part of the overall
condition of the furnace.
6. Make sure that windows open and close smoothly. If some are stuck or painted shut, the impression will be that many windows cannot open.
7. Replace or repair all damaged window screens.
8. Tighten all doorknobs and tighten or repair all handrails. Also check to be sure that all interior doors will
9. Clear the way to the attic access panel or pull-down, especially in a closet. The inspector will enter every
10. Be sure that there is a minimum of one working smoke detector per floor. Replace the batteries.
11. Pull all vehicles out of the garage and move any items obstructing any outlets, or attic spaces.
12. Adjust the closing pressure of the automatic garage door opener. It should reverse when it encounters light pressure from your outstretched arms. If it pushes your arms down, the pressure needs to be reduced.
13. If possible, move furniture away from the walls. This will allow for a more thorough inspection.
14. Arrange to occupy yourself with something else during the inspection process. The inspection will go much easier and quicker if the inspector is left alone to perform his work.
The inspection will go faster, and fewer problems will arise if sellers follow these 14 basic steps.
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