Hugh Cairns: Home inspection survival

A home inspection is a great way for homeowners and homebuyers to better their confidence with home ownership. Knowing what to expect from a home inspection makes the process easier. (Photo: Hugh Cairns)

Hugh Cairns: Home inspection survival

Having your home inspected is likely to be one more stressful event on top of a long list of things you need to go through to sell your home. That triggering event, from that point in time that you decide to sell your home, after the repairs and efforts towards achieving curb appeal, after all the paperwork and showings, the end is almost near with a successful home inspection.

It’s an abnormal feeling having a stranger come in to your home to evaluate it. After all, you’ve probably lived there for some time and know it well, but there is bound to be some uncertainty with a professional home inspector looking through your home. Good home inspectors will tell you that home inspections aren’t all about nitpicking and finding all the bad things. Many homeowners have great pride in their homes and it often shows. Home inspections often lend themselves to making sure things are done right.

Professional home inspectors approach homes with a mechanical mindset. They try their best to leave each home as they found it, and treat the home and occupants with respect. Home inspectors know that they are guests in your home and we know you do not need any additional stress. Good home inspections start with setting expectations with the buyers, and sellers if present, to point out that every item on the list isn’t necessarily a major point of concern, however there are several things a seller can do to help make the process palatable:

What to expect when having your home inspected

Sure it’s the inspector’s job to inspect the home for functionality, but it’s also our job to suggest the cause of the condition and ways to correct or monitor a deficiency. If your home is a few years old, or if it’s an older home, we’ll inspect it with a view to compare it with a building that was constructed in accordance with the generally accepted practices at the time of construction. Home inspections aren’t code inspections so it follows that the building may not be in compliance with current building codes, standards and regulations.

What to fix when selling your home

I can tell you that I haven’t inspected the perfect home. All systems in the home are at varying stages of their reliable service life. If there are items that need to be fixed prior to selling your home and within your budget and capability to correct then go right ahead and fix them. Often, there’s nothing wrong with leaving items for the purchaser to assume, and often these items are reflected in the valuation of the home and can be identified through disclosure.

If you can, do yourself a favour and make sure that the routine maintenance items are up to date. You’re likely to see a result in value and appeal.

Have your home pre-inspected

Knowing up front what a fresh set of eyes see will likely take the surprises out of a buyer’s home inspection. It may seem like twice the work, but having your home pre-inspected and repairing the items that you see fit to do will give your peace of mind in the home inspection process and give you confidence in your product. That’s a good thing.