You’ve found your dream home and scheduled your home inspection (good for you!) Here are 5 things that you should be mindful to prepare for a home inspection.

Prepare for a home inspection, make sure utilities are on.The utilities have been turned off.

As you prepare for a home inspection, keep in mind the inspector will need to operate all of the systems and appliances that pass on with the house. This includes everything from the dishwasher, to the HVAC systems, and even the irrigation system. If the home inspector cannot evaluate a system because the utility service is off, these will be identified as systems which could not be properly inspected.

Prepare for a home inspection, make sure inspector can access important areas.

The inspector is unable to access important areas.

In order to perform a proper home inspection, the inspector must be able to access almost every part of the house. This includes opening and inspecting inside electrical panels, attic spaces, crawl spaces, etc. The seller will need to remove boxes, bookcases, furniture and anything else blocking access to the furnace, air conditioner, panels, and water heater. The inspector will need three to four feet of working space to inspect these items.

Both situations above will likely result in unnecessary time delays in the transaction. They will likely also result in the additional cost of a return trip by the inspector to complete the inspection. These two issues can be avoided by proper planning and preparation on the parts of the buyer, seller and their agents.

The buyers lose sight of the purpose of the inspection.

The purpose of a home inspection is to find out if there are severe structural or mechanical defects. For those that don’t buy and sell homes every day, it is important to understand that the issues should be large enough that they could have a significant impact on the use and enjoyment of the home now and in the future. A home inspection should not be to itemize every minor defect with the home you expect the seller to fix. A stain on the carpet or a smudge on a painted wall are not structural or mechanical defects. And as such, are not noted as “deficiencies” during a home inspection. An excellent buyer’s agent should be able to provide counsel on what is worth focusing on and what should be considered trivial.

Prepare for a home inspection, buyers should be present.The buyers are not present for the inspection.

When it comes time for the home inspection, the would-be home buyer should plan to be there. Again, buying a home is a huge investment, and the buyer has a right to be there. Not only that, but the buyer can likely to learn a lot about the house. This may include where gas, water and electric shut-off valves are located and age/lifespan of appliances and systems. If you aren’t able to be on-site for the entire inspection, try to carve out at least 30 minutes near the end of the inspection. Plan to visit the home so the inspector can go over his or her findings with you, face-to-face.

Prepare for a home inspection, sign agreement and make payment before inspection.

The buyers do not return the service agreement.

This will not “ruin” your inspection, per se. However, many inspectors will not release their written report to you until this document is signed and returned. Why? Home inspectors are service providers, and when an inspector agrees to perform services for a client, they are entering into a legal contract. The inspector promises to do the work, and the client promises to pay for it. The agreement spells out the terms of the contract and should be read, signed, and returned to the inspector by the buyer BEFORE the inspection is performed. If not, it may cause a delay in the delivery of the report.

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Home inspections, although not required, have become a critical step during the home buying process. You’re not just buying that amazing chef’s kitchen or perfect master bath. “You will be buying any problem issues that you likely would never have found during your tour of the home,” says Texas home inspector, Micah Stephens of SafeShield Inspections, LLC. The inspection is your opportunity to gain insight into the current condition of the home and use the material to make an informed decision.

Your future deserves the attention of a professional. If you have questions or would like more information on a home inspection, please contact Micah Stephens with SafeShield Inspections, LLC at (832) 953-6992 or email Micah@SafeShieldInspections.com.

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Alli Stephens is a marketing and communications professional who works to ensure the highest level of service for clients. Alli believes that a wise customer is an informed customer, and she knows that a home inspection provides clients with important details about the current condition of a home.