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What Is A Home Inspection?

A home inspection is performed typically for the Purchaser of a property. Its purpose is to report the general condition of the structural and mechanical components of the home, as well as to check for the presence of termites and radon.

A typical home inspection takes between two and three hours to complete. The inspector will:

1. Enter all attics and crawl spaces.
2. Operate appliances, furnace, air conditioner and water heater.
3. Open all windows and doors.
4. Run all plumbing.
5. Inspect all interior spaces.
6. Remove electrical panel covers and check lights and receptacles.
7. Traverse roof where possible.

The inspection will be preformed by or above the guidelines set forth by the American Society of Home Inspectors Standards of Practice. Purchasers are encouraged to attend the inspection and are normally present. REALTORS are also present in many cases.

WHAT YOU (the seller) CAN DO

The following steps can help expedite the inspection process and eliminate the communication gap that occasionally occurs between Sellers and Inspectors.

PETS: If you have a pet that should not be let out or should be kept in a particular part of the house, leave a note on the front door. Knowing the pets name is also useful to help put him or her at ease. If a dog is vicious or may bite, please have them in a cage or in some other way confined.

ACCESS: If possible, clear storage which may hinder access to attics, crawl spaces and electrical panels. A parked car under attic access may mean a return trip which is inconvenient for every one.

BULBS: If there are any burned out light bulbs in the house, try to change them prior to inspection.

RADON: If a radon test is being performed, the following EPA guidelines should be observed prior to and during the testing. You will be asked to sign a document regarding these guidelines.

1. Windows are to be closed 12 hours prior to and during the test period or closed at the time of the inspection (with a longer test period 96 plus hours).
2. Crawl space vents are to be closed during the test period.
3. Fireplace dampers should be kept closed (fireplace & woodburners should not be used).
4. Exhaust fans (kitchen & baths) should be used only when absolutely necessary. Jenn-iar grills should also be avoided during the test period.
5. Doors should be kept closed, except for normal entry and exit.
6. The CANISTERS must not be touched, moved or tampered with in any manner during the testing period, under and circumstances.


DO NOT make verbal representations about condition of home.
DO NOT negotiate inspection, if necessary, this will be done at a later date.

DO NOT hide defects. This could result in future liability.

DO NOT expect to know results of inspection immediately. This inspection report is confidential for the Purchaser. In most cases, a copy of the report will be made available to you/your real estate agent.


Negotiating the inspection. If defects are found during the inspection which are considered "Major" you may be asked to repair those items. The following is the normal procedure used through the inspection process. Specific deadlines are written in purchase agreements or contract.

1. Inspection is performed within specified frame.
2. Report is delivered to Purchaser.
3. Purchaser (with REALTOR) decides which (if any) defects he/she wishes the Seller to repair. This is put in writing and sent to the Seller, through the REALTOR.
4. Seller responds in writing to Purchaser regarding repairs requested.
5. Repairs are performed. Bills would then be submitted to Purchaser and in many cases, a re-inspection may be performed prior to closing.

CLARIFICATION OF DEFECTS: If a particular defect is not understood by you or your contractor, feel free to call the inspector. In many cases 2 or 3 minutes on the phone will clarify the situation. Please note the inspector only what the report said and not what the Purchaser has asked you to do. In most cases, there are multiple ways to repair a particular defect. Make shure you are doing what has been agreed upon.

CONFLICTING OPINIONS: In some cases, a contractor hired to repair a defect will be unable to find the problem or will disagree with the inspector. In these cases, it is important for the contractor and inspector to discuss the situation.

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