by Sara Ifert
on Monday, June 22nd, 2020 at 10:51am.
The home inspection is an important step in the process of buying and selling a home. It can also seem like a stressful event for buyers and sellers alike. Read below for tips from Al Gindt of BPG Inspections on having a smooth inspection. Al also shares how inspections have changed during the pandemic to keep both buyers and sellers safe.
What can buyers and sellers expect from an inspection?
A home inspection's first priority is to determine if there are any safety-related issues with a property. The second priority is to educate buyers on their new investment. “I try to emphasize to buyers that we’re not looking for specific issues as much as we're looking for what is going on in this home,” said Al. “Our goal with the inspection is to educate buyers so they can have an informed discussion with their realtor about moving forward.”
During a home inspection, Al talks with buyers about the differences between cosmetic, consideration, and action items in a home. “Many buyers struggle to determine the difference between defects and safety issues from common maintenance issues,” said Al. The home inspection process can help the buyer understand what may need to be addressed in the future. It also helps buyers learn how to maintain their new home and protect their investment.
Who should attend the home inspection?
Buyers should attend inspection if at all possible. If buyers are unable to attend, they should schedule a phone call to discuss the findings of the inspection before seeing it in the report. “Inspectors can be a resource for realtors and buyers after an inspection on various questions,” said Al.
For sellers on inspection day, it is best to not be at the home during the inspection. Read a recent article about this here. Vacating the home makes it easier for both the sellers and the buyers.
What can sellers do to prepare for an inspection of their home?
To facilitate the inspection, the seller should clear access to all key areas of home ahead of time. That means clearing the area near the furnace, water heater, electric panel, and the attic access. Before the inspection, make sure these areas are clean and accessible. The seller should leave the home in open house condition, since this is typically the last chance for the buyers to see the property before closing. “Leaving the home in show-ready condition for the inspection helps limit concerns from buyers,” Al said.
Should sellers do a pre-listing inspection?
“A pre-listing inspection can be a great tool for a perfect or near-perfect listing. It can be a useful way to show the move-in ready condition of a home to prospective buyers,” said Al. He added, “Pre-listing inspections can be troubling for a home at the other end of the spectrum. There is an option to a pre-listing ‘walk and talk’ inspection that can be more helpful to the seller and realtor. This type of inspection helps sellers to come to terms with and address outstanding issues before listing. It also lessens the possibility of surprises holding up the sale later in the process.” Check with your Realtor about whether a pre-listing inspection or walk and talk inspection would be beneficial for your home.
How has the inspection process changed due to the pandemic?
Inspectors are focused on safety-first, and the pandemic has been no exception! Al notes that safety and cleanliness has always been a part of their process, but they have upped their game to include face masks and gloves. “We’re encouraging fewer people to attend on inspection day to limit exposure. The buyer and buyer's agent are okay to attend, but we ask others who would typically attend to stay home,” said Al. “We also pay close attention to the current health of anyone attending the inspection and those living in the home. If someone living in home is sick or quarantined, or if the home inspector is sick, the inspection is rescheduled. And, anyone attending the inspection cannot be sick.”
Are you thinking about buying or selling a home soon? Our team of full-time real estate consultants is on hand for all of your questions. We would love to help you with your real estate goals! Contact us for a virtual consultation.