Home Inspection Tips

Tips for Hiring a Contractor

The following is a list of 10 helpful hints we recommend to help your inspection go smoothly:

1. Read the State of Oregon Home Inspection Standards and the Oregon Pest Control Association Industry Standards – These two sets of industry standards dictate what home inspectors do. I guarantee reading these will put you in a position to better help your clients understand the inspection process. Your home inspector should have copies of these or they can easily be found online.

2. Getting in the house – The listing agent should be notified when the inspection is to take place. The lockbox should be programmed to open at that time or some other arrangements needs to be made to let everyone into the house.

3. Access to equipment – The listing agent should ask the sellers to provide clear access to the furnace, water heater, electric panel and any crawl space or attic openings. Home inspectors are not permitted to move any personal belongings of the occupants. Providing access to these areas will help eliminate the need for re-inspections.

4. Buyer’s presence – Without a doubt, the buyer will get more information about their future home from being present at the time of the inspection. Any good inspector will take time during the inspection to talk about the house in addition to providing a written report.

5. Seller’s presence – The inspection is one of the first opportunities for the buyers to really look around the house. People are much less likely to ‘kick the tires’ when the owner is present. Also, most inspectors have an easier time talking about the house without the risk offending the seller.

6. Animals – Dogs are definitely a distraction during an inspection and every attempt to have them elsewhere is recommended.

7. Give the inspector your business card – It is important that inspectors know how to get a hold of you if they need to. We often get calls from the sellers, the buyers agent and contractors. A good inspector should keep the agent ‘in the loop’ as to what is going on with an inspection.

8. Allow the inspector time with the buyer at the beginning of the inspection – The state of Oregon requires a signed contract prior to a home inspection being performed. The buyer should be given time to look over the contract and ask any questions he/she may have prior to signing. It’s also important for the inspector to have time to explain the way he will inspect the house.

9. Utilities – It is crucial that the house have water, electricity and gas/oil present at the time of the inspection. Without these utilities being turned on there is a limit as to what the inspection will uncover. The result is usually the need for a re-inspection or the buyer being left without a full inspection.

10. Realize that the home inspection is often the first step – Sometimes a home inspection uncovers defects that need further evaluation by a specialist in a given field. It can seem like inspectors are trying to ‘pass the buck’, but there is really no substitute for a specialist in a given field, particularly one that can attach a price tag to a given problem.