Written by ForSaleByOwner staff
A competent, thorough home inspector can help both buyers and sellers with a smooth sale. Choosing a good home inspector can make a sale go much smoother. Here are some tips on how to differentiate them...
- Solicit recommendations from friends, colleagues and family members.
- Check an inspector's credentials: A qualified home inspector must be licensed by the state. Many also maintain membership in the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), or the National Association of Home Inspectors (NAHI).
- Opt for experience: Both NAHI and ASHI require a minimum of 250 inspections for membership. Choose an inspector who has personally completed at least 500 inspections in your area.You want an inspector who has 'seen it all.'
- Insured Only. Hire only an inspector with general liability and errors and omissions (E&O) insurance.
- Confirm the style and format of the report so it is relevant for your sale. There is no point having a video report if you and the buyer prefer a paper report.
- Decide if extra tests are warranted and choose the inspector who offers what you're after. Ultrasound oil tank tests and thermal imaging are not standard components of an inspection.
Preparing Your Home
- Identify major house conditions in need of repair and fix whatever you are able to prior to listing your property.
- Be prepared to present documentation on repairs, upgrades and routine servicing.
- Unclutter. The inspector shouldn't have to step around boxes to access the attic, furnace or electrical panel.
- Trim shrubs away from the foundation.
- If the chimney hasn't been professionally cleaned in the recent past, have it done.
- If the heating and air conditioning systems haven't been serviced of late, have them checked.
- Have all utilities (electricity, gas, water and pilot lights) on so the inspector need not return to complete the job.
- Remove pets from the premises.
- Have key documentation on hand of permits, contractors' proposals and receipts, and appliance instruction manuals and warranties. These will be invaluable if you have to negotiate repairs or replacements with the buyers.
Adapted from the Hartford Courant
Syndicated with permission.