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Smooth Inspections

Home Inspector with HomePro Inspections

Q: I would to advise my customers (sellers) on what they should do to make the home inspection process go smoothly. Also what are the main reasons for a home failing an inspection?


 A: Let's get this out of the way upfront. There are no pass or fail home inspections, at least not with our company. A home inspection should be an unbiased opinion of the condition of a home at the time of the inspection. Also a home inspection should be an educational experience for the home buyer. The buyer should accompany the inspector and the inspector should help educate the buyer about the systems installed in the home.


The top 10 concerns or problems found in the homes I inspect in order of their frequency of appearing in inspection reports are:


  1. Improper grade and poor drainage surrounding the home.
  2. Clogged gutters and downspouts
  3. Roofing and flashing problems.
  4. Moisture seepage and high moisture conditions in below grade areas of the home.
  5. Exposed electrical wiring, open electric junction boxes and missing receptacle covers.
  6. Missing GFCI protection in all areas needed.
  7. Poorly serviced heating and HVAC systems
  8. Leaking faucets, toilets, showers and plumbing fittings, etc.
  9. Interior defects consisting of wall and ceiling repairs, flooring and carpeting repairs.
  10. Last is structural. Cracks in foundations, rotted wood structural members, cut or broken joists and rafters, etc.

 The top 10 things sellers can do to make the inspection go smoothly are:

 Make sure all utilities are on. Electric, water and gas.

  1. Make sure all electrical panels, HVAC systems and plumbing equipment are accessible by removing stored items
  2. Make sure all keys to garages, basements, crawl spaces, etc. are available.
  3. Make sure all lighting is working. Replace light bulbs and plug lamps into switched receptacles.
  4. Have all documentation for HVAC system servicing, septic servicing, etc. available at the inspection.
  5. Make sure all safety equipment is functioning. Smoke detectors, CO gas detectors, garage door reversers, etc.
  6. Ask the seller to remove their pets from the property for the duration of the inspection.
  7. Clean the gutters! Install proper leaders on down spouts and repair minor grade issues.
  8. Trim bushes and trees away from house.
  9. Eliminate as many of the minor concerns as possible. Repair broken glass and screens. Fix holes and defects in walls and ceilings.
  10. I know I said the top 10 - But I have to add one more - Remove all clutter from the house - The inspector as well as the buyers will have a much better experience in a home clear of clutter.

 Keep the questions coming.


Comments (1)

Ernie & Barb Suto
Century 21 Preferred Realty - Pompton Lakes, NJ

Yes, these things all show up.  In NJ,  they will say alot of things, like having a GFI...was not code when the home was built, but something the new owner should fix.  Unfortunately, most of our problems come from septic tanks.  That is so major, especially because you have to deal with the DEP, even electrical problems don't phase the buyer, they all seem minor.  Septic systems is one issue, the NJDEP is another, and in our area, we are in the NJ Highlands, so it compounds the problems.

Jul 08, 2008 09:04 AM