These few simple items will help the Home Inspector, Seller, Buyer and Realtors.
GUIDELINES FOR SELLERS
- Ensure all pets won’t hinder the inspection and inform everyone about pets to be kept off site.
- Replace all burned out light bulbs.
- Test all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors – replace the batteries if necessary.
- Clean or replace dirty HVAC air filters and verify that the filters fit properly and are secured in place.
- Move wood, stored items or debris away from the foundation walls.
- Remove or relocate any paint, solvents or chemicals from areas such as attics, garages closets etc. that may be spilled or knocked over. The inspector IS NOT responsible for damage to walls, floors, concrete, furniture or personal items due to spills.
- Unlock or remove locks from any items the inspector must access such as fence gates, attic access hatches or doors, electrical service panels, special closets and crawl space access for pier-and-beam homes.
- Confirm areas and components are accessible by removing items blocking access to electric service panels, sinks and bathtubs, ovens and cook tops, dishwasher, heating and air- conditioning equipment, water heaters, ground fault (GFCI) receptacles, attic access ladders or hatches and crawl space access for pier-and-beam construction.
- Trim tree limbs back from the roof and shrubs away from the house.
- Repair or replace broken, damaged or missing items such as door knobs, locks and hatches, window locks and broken glass, window screens, anti-siphon devices on exterior faucets, rain gutters and downspouts (clean if necessary) and chimney flue caps.
- Remove autos from the garage and driveway.
- Clean ashes from the fireplace and remove items from the fireplace hearth area.
- Ensure that all utilities are turned on (water-gas-electric) and all pilots lit on the water heater, furnace etc.
- Ensure that all of the proper keys are inside the lock box (SUPRA box-combo box) etc.
- 7. PROPERTY CONDITION: A. ACCESS, INSPECTIONS AND UTILITIES: Seller shall permit Buyer and Buyer’s agents access to the Property at reasonable times. Buyer may have the Property inspected by inspectors selected by Buyer and licensed by TREC or otherwise permitted by law to make inspections. Any hydrostatic testing must be separately authorized by Seller in writing. Seller at Seller’s expense shall immediately cause existing utilities to be turned on and shall keep the utilities on during the time this contract is in effect. (TREC # 20-13)
- NOTE: A minimum fee of $200 OR MORE will be charged to the seller for all return trips due to no utilities or no access.
GUIDELINES FOR BUYERS
- Make sure that you have a signed contract and still within your OPTION PERIOD before scheduling the inspection. It is recommended that you schedule your inspection as early as possible during the option period. This will allow your agent time to forward an amendment for requested repairs to the listing agent or home owner. Please remember that in most cases the inspection report will be emailed the same day and usually within a few hours after the completion of the inspection. This will give your agent additional time to negotiate for repairs or compensation from the deficiencies noted in the inspection report.
- MOST IMPORTANT: Inform your realtor of the time and date that you scheduled the inspection with your inspector. Your realtor will then contact the listing agent and confirm your scheduled appointment. The inspector does NOT schedule the inspection with anyone but the client and/or client’s agent. The inspector will also schedule the inspection with Centralized Showing Services (CSS) through San Antonio Board of Realtors (SABOR) if necessary. The owner or seller is responsible for making sure that ALL utilities are turned on during the entire length of the OPTION PERIOD! The listing agent is responsible for making sure that all necessary keys are available to the inspector. Gate codes, combinations and/or alarm codes must also be accurate and up to date.
- Confirm that the gas, water and electricity are turned on. This is usually the sellers responsibilty but in some cases such as HUD properties or reposessions the buyer is responsibile for ALL utilities. The inspector IS NOT required and WILL NOT turn on utilities, operate shut-off valves, light pilots or de-winterize the property. Ask your real estate agent about this in advance of scheduling the inspection. In some cases an Asset Management Company will take care of de-winterizing the property and prepping the house prior to the inspection. The Asset Management Company will usually charge a fee for this service which you will be responsible for.
Following this checklist will result in a “cleaner” inspection report, which is good news for all.