Find Your Inspector -- Make sure you choose an InterNACHI®-Certified Home Inspector to inspect your home. Buying a home is the biggest purchase you’ll ever make. For Your Protection, Get An Inspection!
Read the Fine Print -- Be sure to read the complete pre-inspection contract. Know exactly what your home inspection will, and will not, cover.
Set the Stage -- It is important to note that the inspector can only inspect elements of the home that are accessible. After making your choice and booking the inspection, be sure to request that the seller unlock any inaccessible areas, and make sure that the components of the home, such as gas, electricity and water are turned on so that the house can receive a full inspection. While this may not guarantee accessibility, it will greatly increase your chances of a thorough and complete home inspection.
Take the Time -- A typical standard home inspection usually lasts a couple of hours, depending on the size and condition of the home. Arranging for someone to watch your pets and children is a good idea. If you must bring your children with you, try to bring along another adult to help you focus on the inspection.
Come Prepared -- Wear comfortable clothing and shoes. Your inspector will likely be inspecting some small, dark or dirty spaces, so ensuring that you’re dressed appropriately will allow you to follow along and obtain some helpful information or explanations along the way. Plan for inclement weather as well, and be sure to have weather appropriate attire to accompany the inspector around the exterior of the home. Consider bringing a flashlight of your own to help illuminate dark corners.
Be Considerate -- If by chance the owner of the home is on site during the inspection, avoid making negative remarks about the home, its décor or furnishings. Avoid moving or shifting items in the home that could break or damage the owner’s possessions. Be courteous and respectful of the homeowners and their property.
Be Realistic -- Remember that no home is perfect, and that a home inspection will always find defects throughout the home. A home inspection aims to help you understand the current condition of the home and how to care for the property going forward. There is no pass or fail.
Take Notes -- If there are items which concern you during the inspection, consider jotting down a few quick notes, so that you can formulate any follow-up questions for the inspector. Asking questions will help you understand the context around any defects which are noted in the report.
Review the Report -- Take ample time to review the report prior to initiating the next steps in the purchase process. Ensure you understand any dates or estimated repair schedules and familiarize yourself with any technical terms located within the report.
Prioritize the Findings -- Don’t allow yourself to get overwhelmed by the results. Try prioritizing any issues as noted by the inspector into a separate list of immediate concerns or safety issues, items that can be deferred to a later date and items that are minor in nature. Further breakdown each category by estimated cost to determine if there are any significant defects that could impact your negotiations.