Purchasing a new home is exciting. However, there are many exhausting and stressful steps before you have the keys in your hand. A critical step in the process is the home inspection. While not always the most fun step, it is essential to ensuring buyers know exactly what they are purchasing before signing on the dotted line.
Dwayne Boggs of Boggs Inspection Services has been inspecting homes and businesses throughout the region for over 13 years. He and his team have completed hundreds of inspections and seen just about everything you could imagine. From this experience, they have compiled a list of things home buyers and sellers should know before inspection day.
What Sellers Should Know Before an Inspection:
Declutter your home. Sellers may have done this before listing their home, but after that offer is made, things sometimes slide back to “normal” and the clutter can pile up. Large amounts of clutter on counters and floors can prevent inspectors from accessing outlets, electrical panels and appliances as they are not allowed to move personal items. Clear the clutter to ensure access to essential areas. “When we can’t access something, we can’t inspect it,” says Dwayne. And, a question mark on an inspection report can lead to doubt in a buyer’s mind.
Remove pets. Nothing makes an inspection more tense than unfriendly, barking dogs or terrified cats. Sellers should remove pets prior to an inspection. Having to deal with a pet during an inspection can be challenging for the inspectors and discouraging for buyers. “This is the buyer’s opportunity to really go through the house with a fine-toothed comb,” says Dwayne. “If they are not able to access a room because a pet is in it or the barking dog prevents an inspection of the backyard, it could cause issues with the sale.”
Clean up. Dirty dishes in the sink and dingy bathrooms don’t make a good impression. The sale of your home isn’t final until closing. Your home should be presented as nicely as it was on the first showing. “Plus,” says Dwayne, “a dirty home can make buyers doubt your attention to maintenance and upkeep on the home.”
What Buyers Should Know Before an Inspection:
Every home has problems. “Every home has something we note on the inspection report,” says Dwayne. Even new construction homes have things that need addressing he says. When the inspector finds issues during the inspection, don’t get worried. This is normal and to be expected. Be thankful that issues, big or small, are discovered before the house is officially yours, giving you time to understand and address them yourself or with the seller.
Home inspectors can’t predict the future. “We are tasked with assessing the home as it is on the day of the inspection,” says Dwayne. “We can’t tell you if an appliance might fail or if the roof might leak in the future – we aren’t fortune tellers.” What the team from Boggs Inspection Services can do is share background information and knowledge from their years of experience. “We are happy to answer questions for buyers and encourage them to follow us throughout the inspection so we can explain things as we go. We just can’t tell them what might happen in six months or a year from now,” explains Dwayne.
Nearly anything can be fixed. “Even the most challenging issues we find – wiring problems, failing roofs, foundation issues – can be fixed,” says Dwayne. “It’s just a matter of how much the seller is willing to fix and what the buyer is willing to assume responsibility for.” So, don’t get stressed if something unexpected comes up. It’s not always a deal breaker. If you love the home, negotiate to have the issue fixed by the seller or the price reduced.
Water is kind of a big deal. Water and damp is a way of life in the Pacific Northwest. However, we don’t want it seeping into our homes. If water damage is noted in the inspection, it’s typically something to take seriously says Dwayne. Investigate further to discover if the damage on the surface indicates a bigger problem underneath. Check with a professional if you have any concerns about water damage after an inspection.
Take an inspection report with a grain of salt. “A home is more than just a structure,” says Dwayne. “It’s where you build a life.” Balance the information in your inspection report with the emotional connection that you have with the home. While you should be informed, Dwayne reminds buyers that, “The inspection is just one piece of the home buying puzzle. We want buyers to remember why they made that initial offer when looking at our reports and take all aspects into consideration.”
To learn more about Boggs Inspection Services, visit them online or give them a call at 360-480-9602.