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Home Inspection Frequently Asked Questions

Why do I need a home inspection if the seller is furnishing a home warranty?

Many home warranties have a deductible; they do not cover pre-existing conditions or do not cover all the items that an inspection will address. A home inspection offers an important protection to the buyers, whether they are buying a new home or an older property, and whether or not they have the ability to request repairs from the seller.  When the property is being sold “as is”, the buyer can decide to void the contract or renegotiate the contract or more favorable terms on the basis of the repair list generated by the home inspection. Sometimes banks or sellers will relent and make repairs in recognition of the buyer’s inability to obtain financing on the damaged home.

How long will the home inspection take?

A typical 2,500 sq. ft. single family home takes between 3-4 hours, apartments take between 2-3 hours.  Variable factors that influence on-site time include the age of the home, complexity of the components and systems, accessibility to the attic and/or crawl spaces and whether the property is vacant or occupied.  In addition to the time spent on-site we spend 1-2 hours at the office for report preparation.

How does a realtor referral affect the inspection?

Like all businesses, we are dependent on referrals for our success. Rest assured we are independent, unbiased and operate with the highest level of integrity and professionalism. We are not affiliated with any realtors, contractors or material suppliers, and work solely for the best interests of you, our client.

How should I prepare for a home inspection as a seller?

The seller should complete any repairs that they have committed to in the sales contract or discovered since the contract was written. Needed routine maintenance such as replacing light bulbs and furnace filters should be performed. Heating and air-conditioning systems should be serviced or repaired by a licensed HVAC technician and the receipts showing the work performed should be made available to the buyers.  Plumbing systems should be checked for dripping faucets, running toilets or leaks under the sinks. Remove boxes and storage articles preventing access to furnace, air-conditioning systems and water boiler. Access to the crawl spaces, attic and the electrical distribution panels should be provided. If the home has been winterized, it must be placed in normal operation prior to the inspection. The inspector will not winterize the home again when the inspection is completed.
How should I prepare for a home inspection as a buyer?

Prior to scheduling the inspection, verify that the all the utilities such as electricity, water and gas are on, especially if the property is vacant, being sold as a foreclosure or a short sale. The heating and air conditioning systems, water heater, and appliances should be on and operational. The pilot lights should be on for gas appliances including gas fireplaces. Obstructions to the attic and crawl spaces and electrical panels should be removed.

We recommend that you be present at the home inspection. While the inspector will prepare a detailed inspection report and highlight the deficiencies with digital photographs the inspector can offer you invaluable maintenance information as you accompany him. You will also be better able to relate to the origin of the comments once you receive the report.

Payment is due at the time of the inspection. We accept cash, checks, money orders, Zelle, MasterCard, Visa, Discover and American Express. We cannot accept escrow or third party checks. We do not offer deferred payment or payment in installments.

What if I cannot attend the inspection?

While it would be beneficial for you to attend, we can perform the inspection without your presence. For us to proceed, we would need your review and signature on our “Inspection Agreement” which we can e-mail to you. The inspection agreement clarifies the terms of payment, scope of the home inspection, and exclusions and limitations. You may authorize your real estate agent to sign the agreement on your behalf.

When should I expect my home inspection report?

Upon completion of the home inspection, the inspector will review the major findings with you. Within approximately 24 hours from the completion of the home inspection you and your designated agent will receive the entire report in digital format transmitted via email. If you have any questions regarding the home inspection you can always contact our office for clarification via e-mail or phone call.

How are roofs inspected?

In construction today, most roofs are either too steep or not structurally reinforced for the home inspector to traverse them safely without adequate staging. Some roof surfaces, such as wood shingles and clay tiles are dangerous even to seasoned professionals. In all cases, it is a judgment call by the inspector whether or not to climb the roof. Generally, we would climb the roof on a ranch or rambler style house where accessible by a 12 feet ladder. We view all roof surfaces with powerful binoculars and look for telltale signs of wear such as granular erosion and missing shingles. Other symptoms of roof damage are examined by the presence of water damage at the eaves and within the attic.

Does your company perform inspection repairs?

We do not perform any repairs as it is an inherent conflict of interest.  It is also a violation of the professional code of ethics of the American Society of Home Inspectors of which we are members in good standing. Should you seek our recommendation for contactors, we will direct you to reputable organizations such as the Washington Consumer Checkbook and Angie’s List.

Do you perform termite inspections?

Our inspectors do not perform termite inspections. A termite inspection company can provide a renewable termite certificate with a one year warranty. If this certificate is kept up to date, it will protect the homeowner from any costs pertaining to future termite infestation or damage.