Preparing for a Home Inspection

home inspection

One of the most underappreciated, but extremely important steps in a real estate transaction is the inspection period.  Many real estate deals fall apart during this time.  Second only to the seller having challenges with their mortgage, the home inspection is the most common reason that real estate deals fall apart.  We recommend correcting most issues while the home is listed for sale so when you get to the inspection period…all goes smooth.


Preparing For a Home Inspection


Many home buyers get scared with even the smallest list of deficiencies in a home inspection report.  During the inspection period (which is laid out in the purchase agreement) the buyer can usually walk away from the sale with no recourse.  For this reason, its imperative that you (the home seller) prepare for the home inspection.

Since it is the job of the professional home inspector to list deficiencies of the home for sale, our goal here is to minimize that list by tackling some of the most common issues ahead of time.


Check Lighting


During the home inspection, all of the light fixtures in your home will be checked.  The issue can be something as simple as replacing a light bulb or a cracked fixture casing.  Since these simple things make the list longer, it is recommended that you make sure all lighting fixtures work flawlessly.


Change Your Air Conditioner


In the heat of NOLA, one of the biggest things inspectors look at is the air conditioning.  Prior to the home inspector looking, you will want to replace the air filter.  A dirty air filter can lead people to believe that the A/C may not have been properly maintained.  Most home inspectors will check the difference in temperature from where the air enters your A/C to the first vent in which it comes out.  As a general rule, the difference in temperature should be between 12 and 18 degrees.  If you can check this prior, by purchasing an inexpensive laser thermometer, it can save a tremendous amount of headaches.  If you find that your temperature difference is outside of normal parameters you may want to call out a professional to service the unit.   It is all but guaranteed if your A/C is not performing properly, it will be an issue, so get in front of it.  Keep the receipt to show the buyer (only if requested) if they have any questions about the air conditioners performance.


Check Your Homes Exterior


When you live in a home for a while, it’s easy to get used to seeing some deficiencies, ultimately becoming blind to them.  You will want to walk around your home, looking very closely at all aspects of the home’s exterior from top to bottom.  You may notice a crack in vinyl siding that can be easily replaced. Look for clogged gutters as well as the condition of the downspouts.  Look for any grading issues that may cause water to pool in the yard. You will also want to make sure that no plants or shrubs come into any contact with the home itself.   Inspect the fascia and soffits for anything that can be easily remedied.  Other things to check would be:

  • Garage Door
  • Condition of the Driveway or Carport
  • Doorbell


Check The Home’s Mechanics


Some of the aspects of this list will be beyond making a quick repair, but since you know they will be inspected, its best to check them out prior to correct any small issues that you may notice.  Some aspects of your homes mechanics include:

  • Roof
  • Furnace
  • Water Heater
  • Electrical Paneling and Wiring

Needless to say, if you see something beyond your competence level on any of these, you should call a professional. 


Check Your Windows

The condition of your home’s windows can be very important to your buyer.  At a minimum, if not well maintained can lengthen the list of deficiencies on your home.  You will want to make sure that all of the windows open and close properly.  Inspect them from both the inside of the home and the outside.  Make sure that all windows have screens.  If you are missing some screens or they are torn or ripped, you will want to replace those prior to a home inspection.  In some instances (such as a VA loan) having proper window screens are required.  With some window screens needing to be ordered, its best if done early so they are installed by the time the inspection takes place.


Check Your Plumbing

Water leaks in a home can be a minor irritation or a disaster.  When written on a property inspection, it can be hard to tell the difference.  Make sure to check all pluming, including faucets, under all sinks, water pressure and make sure that all toilets flush properly and that the toilet is secure and doesn’t rock.


Check Your Detectors

Although smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are relatively inexpensive, you will want to make sure that they are in full working order.  When your detectors are non-functional or even lacking a battery, it can be a sign of deferred maintenance.  It will make the list of deficiencies more extensive and something that you will ultimately have to correct anyway.  So may as well have those working up front.

Check Your Appliances

If there are issues with your everyday, built in appliances, you are usually well aware of that.  That being said, most home-buyers anticipate when they view a home, for any build in appliances such as a dishwasher or ice maker to work properly.  Once again, these are things that you would end up having to fix or replace, so it is highly recommended that any deficiencies to your home’s appliances be fixed or the appliance replaced prior to the purchaser seeing via an inspection report that they don’t work. 


In Conclusion

A home inspection is where the buyer is reassured that the home they are buying is what they expect it to be.  Even in the most perfect of homes, you will see a list of property deficiencies on an inspection report.  To insure you real estate sale goes as smooth as possible, we recommend checking everything and making sure as little as possible makes it on the list.




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