The Home Inspection: Before and After

Schaefer Inspection Service has 40+ years of experience in providing a wide variety of inspection services.

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The Home Inspection: Before and After

Before: How to Prepare

If you are a home buyer, the process of finding and purchasing a house can be stressful. You’ve found the perfect home, great location, amazing kitchen, you make an offer and it’s accepted. Now you can schedule your inspection. We try to make the inspection part of the purchase process as worry-free as possible by offering you good information and testing and being mindful of your deadlines. While there’s no “wrong” way to prepare for an inspection, here are a few things you can do to make the process a little smoother.

First, know your inspection period in your contract and plan accordingly. Often 7-10 days, the inspection period is quite short considering all the things you may have to get done. A home inspection is completed in a few hours, but it is important to have time to review the findings with your agent. Prioritize the recommendations made by your inspector and make a list of things to address with the seller. Doing this early allows the seller time to respond before the inspection contingency deadline. Other kinds of testing can take multiple days, such as water testing (up to 4 days) and radon testing (minimum 2 days) which is important to note in order to comfortably meet an inspection deadline. Some tests are not included in a basic inspection fee, like a radon test or a water quality test, which can be added upon request.

Plan to be at the inspection for several hours, if you are able. Leave time to ask questions. If you have kids, relatives, or pets, it’s best that they have somewhere else to go during the inspection. You want to make sure the inspector has the space they need to do their job without distraction. Your inspector can only inspect and report upon can be seen and accessed. If possible, ask in advance for any crowded or tight spaces to be made accessible, including underneath sinks, crawl spaces, basement, garage, and attic access.

At scheduling our staff likes to educate you about the the inspection process and scope. We like to make sure that you know what to expect of the inspector and the report.. If you have specific concerns you are particularly worried about, come to the inspection armed with a list to ask your inspector. Ask the inspector to instruct you on how to operate or maintain systems and where to find shut-offs etc.

After: How to Use Your Inspection Report

You’ve just received your inspection report and it is long and detailed. It seems like another task you have to add to your list, but it isn’t so daunting if you take some time and follow these steps.

The first thing to do is read over your report very carefully. There will be notes and suggestions within it that are important. Inside the report will be a section for each system that was inspected. Some sections may suggest you seek help from a specialist. It is important to remember that a home inspector is a generalist and at times may suggest that you seek further information from a qualified contractor for repair and pricing. Read the sections regarding your roof, foundation, HVAC, electrical, and plumbing systems very carefully, as those are integral aspects of the home. Any recommendations noted in your report are important to follow up on, especially during your inspection period. This step is just as important than the inspection itself. After your inspection period, you can also use a pre-closing checklist to make sure that everything is as it was during the inspection. Things can, and sometimes do change in the time between inspection and closing. You also want to make sure any repairs that were agreed to be completed are done prior to closing. Use this list to review the state of the home before you close.

Your home inspector is tasked with looking at systems regarding safety, structure, and mechanicals. It is also important to understand that your home inspection is not a code compliant inspection. This is because home inspectors report according the State Standards of Practice. Code can differ between towns and counties and is updated on a regular basis.