February 19th, 2020

Prepping for Your Next Home Inspection: A Realtor’s Take

As a real estate professional who regularly endures the home inspection process, one of HAR’s seasoned agents, Regis Murphy, confirms home inspections can be stressful in any light. As a buyer, the unexpected quirks of a home may leak out during inspections, which can often be discouraging. As a seller, these unexpected finds may catch you off-guard after putting forth the work (and money) of prepping your home for a seamless buyer inspection. In any case, here are some helpful tips to alleviate some of your pre-inspection worries. 

 

Self-checking outlets.

Ensuring all GFCI outlets are in working condition is an easy, cost efficient way to prep for a home inspection. You can have an electrician or handyman test these or as Regis explains, “Homeowners can self check outlets with a simple tester, available at hardware stores for $6 – $10.” The tester can tell you whether the outlet is wired correctly and can also identify several wiring problems, including open ground, reversed polarity, an open hot or neutral, and a reversed hot and ground.

 

Keeping an eye out for wood rot. 

“Wood rot around exterior doors is also something frequently identified, and also easy to correct,” Regis mentions. When it comes to wood rotting, there are two types of rot to keep in mind – dry and wet. In its early stages, dry rot will appear off-white, cottony and potentially yellowish if exposed to direct sun. If fungus has formed, deep cracks in the wood will be evident, and over time, will result in wood crumbling under pressure. Wet rot, on the other hand, is intrinsically prone to high humidity environments. Gently placing a knife blade against the wood is an easy way to self-check – if the knife penetrates beyond the surface, wet rot is likely. 

 

Bring on the exterminator. 

In any case, bug problems are no fun – ensuring your home or future home is free of pesky critters is something you (or an exterminator) can tackle pre-inspection. If prepping to sell the home, an overlooked bug infestation could reduce the home value and pool of prospective buyers.

 

Triple checking all things water..especially bathrooms! 

If you haven’t heard, water is the home’s worst enemy. During a home inspection, the inspector will be checking for signs of mildew, pipe leakage, shower/bathtub caulking, water pressure, etc. Most homeowners opt to hire their own plumber to pre-inspect the home in hopes they will catch any mishaps before the home inspector has the opportunity. 

 

As Regis puts it, “Enough little things can add up to give buyers a perception that there’s more wrong with a house than there is,” which is why self-inspecting will ultimately spare you the stress (and money) come  inspection time. Hopefully these tips will help better prepare you for your next home inspection or offer a checklist to work off of when preparing your home for market. Remember to be patient, attempt to alleviate some problems beforehand, and know that it’s inevitable to run into some issues during the inspection. Lean on your trusted real estate advisor during the process and let them guide you through repairs, inspections, and negotiations, all the way to the closing table.