We have done a series of articles on "Make Buying or Selling Your Next Home a Fun Experience" and for your convenience you may follow the links below:

Make Buying or Selling Your Next Home a Fun Experience (Part 1)

Make Buying or Selling Your Next Home a Fun Experience (Part 2)

Make Buying or Selling Your Next Home a Fun Experience (Part 3)

Make Buying or Selling Your Next Home a Fun Experience (Part 4)

Make Buying or Selling Your Next Home a Fun Experience (Part 5)

Make Buying or Selling Your Next Home a Fun Experience (Part 6)

Make Buying or Selling Your Next Home a Fun Experience (Part 7) 

The offer went through now what are you to do?

As the words from your Agent, "the offer was accepted" are still be ringing in your ears, the questions begin to form in your head.  Now what happens?  What is involved in the home inspection they just booked? What exactly is the home inspector going to do and what exactly will he be looking for?

Well, knowledge is power they say, so let's delve into those questions. Here's what to expect during the home inspection.  

Shall we begin outside? Here the inspector will take a walk, completely around the property. He will be looking for rotting wood around the deck, to see if the grading slopes away from the house, if there is any damage to any siding the house may have and he will check to make sure the eaves troughs takes the water away from the house.

At this time he will pull out his enormous ladder to get up on the roof. He'll want to see what condition the shingles are in and estimate the life left in them.  While he is up there the inspector will take a look at the roof vents, the condition the brick chimney is in, as well as the condition of the flashing and eaves troughing.      

Back down on the ground again the inspector will now move inside. Quite a bit of time will be spent in the basement as this is typically where the house mechanical devices are found, such as the furnace, electrical panel, air conditioner, plumbing pipes, hot water tanks and possibly sump pumps, for example.

One of the things the Buyer wants to make sure of is that the basement is dry.  To find the answer the inspector will make use of a moisture meter that will give him a reading of the dampness in the walls. He will also check for a musty odour, he'll look for mould on the drywall, insulation and any wood as well as check for efflorescence on the foundation walls as he looks for any signs of water penetration.  Efflorescence is that white powdery substance you see on the concrete walls, well in your case we hope you don't see.     

Still concerned with water, the Inspector will move on to the plumbing system!  He will check the supply and waste pipes looking for signs of leakage, if they are properly vented and are also draining properly.  He'll check the pressure of each fixture and give the hot water tank the once over.

Next up, the electrical panel! Still in the basement the home Inspector will take a look at the amperage of the main panel to see if there is adequate circuits for the day to day functions of the average family.  At this time the Inspector will make sure the fuses/circuit breakers are compatible for the use of the air conditioning unit, stoves and hot tubs etc.  The home inspector will also look for signs of do-it-yourself work making sure it was done properly.

POINT TO PONDER - Insurance companies are keeping a watchful eye that the electrical workings in homes are up to building and safety standards.  They are not always issuing new insurance policies for homes with fuse panels.  Another concern is copper and aluminium wiring mixed together.

Over to the furnace, the inspector will take off panel to have a closer look at the motor and mechanisms of the furnace.  He will be assessing the life left in it as well.

Alright up to the main levels the inspector will go next! Here he will check the water pressure of all the faucets, toilets and how fast the toilets & sinks drain.  He will pull out his trusty polarity tester to test all your outlets to make sure they are working properly, he'll open and shut all the windows and doors to see if they operate properly without sticking, check screens, turn all the lights on and off and he might even pull out a Kleenex and hold it up to the ducts to see if the air from the furnace or air conditioning is blowing through.

Equipped with his flashlight and ladder, now Inspector Gadget will move up into the attic.  By doing this he will be able to determine how well the area is insulated, if there are any problems with the roof and/or ceiling structural supports, if there is rot and/or mould or leaking and if the attic is properly ventilaed.

The actual inspection can take on average, three hours to complete.  Usually the Buyer and Buyer Agents attend with the Inspector. 

POINT TO PONDER - We recommend that you and your family vacate the premises while this inspection is being conducted.  The reason?  If the home Inspector discovers deficiencies that concern the Buyer and you are there, the Buyer Agent and/or Buyer may turn to you right then and there looking for a commitment from you for the repairs.  Some even use these deficiencies to try and renegotiate the original transaction.  With six pairs of eyes staring at you, you may feel compelled to agree to something you don't wish to or that isn't necessary.  If you are not available the Buyer and their Agent will have to contact your Agent and discuss their options.  This will allow your Agent an opportunity to protect you and solve the issues at hand.     

The thought of a home inspector looking around their property inspires an Owner to feel nervous hoping the Inspector won't uncover any crimes of grime, ghosts in the attic or major deficiencies.

By following a few maintenance steps before the inspection, you can alleviate the feelings of anxiety. We recommend you pull out the old vacuum and eat up the cobwebs around the motor of the furnace and filter or better yet, install a new filter.  Run down to the hardware store and pick up some new caulking for around the bathtub & shower stall if they are mouldy looking, grab a washer or two for the dripping faucets, whip out a can of WD-40 and spray sticky door hinges, (don't forget the kitchen cabinets!) and maybe install a few missing or broken handles, mix a bag of mortar for cracks in the concrete steps, tighten any loose handrails inside & out, wash the windows, level any wiggling patio stones and replace burnt out or missing light bulbs. Oh, while you are hustling around, you might want to clear the area around the attic access, the Inspector's going up there, so you may as well be ready beforehand, especially if the access is in one of your closets!

You are not being deceptive; you are only cleaning up the little niggly items that the Inspector will have to mark down on his report that will look like thousands of repair dollars and hours of work to the Buyer.

Just remember, the Buyer is hoping the Inspector won't find any flaws with their new dream home. They just want the process to provide peace of mind and confirm the purchase they are about to make.  



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Al and Peggy CunninghamAl and Peggy Cunningham, Brokers

RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage
10473 Islington Ave., Kleinburg, ON  L0J1C0


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Comment balloon 4 commentsAl & Peggy Cunningham, Brokers • August 23 2009 08:12PM


Hi Al and Peggy - I've been enjoying your informative series.  Only one more post in the series. 

Posted by FN LN over 10 years ago

Hi Al & Peggy, I am playing catch up here. I love this series of yours! I can tell you when I get to a home with my buyer clients for an inspection and the seller is there I am always a bit nervous. And trust me, it has NEVER turned out well for the seller. They just can't seem to keep their mouth shut around me. On more than one occasion I have called the listing agent and told them I now know too much, LOL. I am one of those people that for whatever reason, when I ask a stranger how they are doing.... they tell me. So you can imagine what happens when we are inspecting their home.

I attend all inspections, even for my sellers. This way I can shoo my sellers out of the house, I am there if there are any immediate questions and can call my sellers if necessary. But most important, I get them to leave by being their representative. Most agents are ok with that, but sometimes there is that nudge who tries to tell me to get lost.

Great series, I love it!

Posted by Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties) over 10 years ago

Hey There Marc! Am almost brain dead, think there may only be one post left in my head!! Thanks for reading!

Andrea! Can just imagine the Owners spilling all the beans to you! Must be a great advantage at offer time! LOL

Posted by Al & Peggy Cunningham, Brokers, Our Family Wants To Help Your Family! (RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage) over 10 years ago

Three questions:

  1. What the heck is a brick chimney?
  2. What the heck is a basement?
  3. Wht the misspellings (odour, mould)?

That quite likely was the best summary that I have read that was NOT written by a home inspector. Once you get those nasty misspellings corrrected, they (I don't know who "they" are, but "they" seem to be popular) should make your post required reading for Realtors and the general public.

Zoey the Cool Cat is impressed, but you can't tell.

Zoey the Cool Cat

Posted by Not a real person over 10 years ago