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What owners, agents should look for in home inspections

A home inspection is a crucial step in the process of buying or selling a property. For both real estate agents and homeowners, understanding what to look for in a home inspection is essential to ensure a smooth transaction and make informed decisions. A thorough inspection can reveal hidden issues and provide valuable insights into the condition of the property. Here are key considerations that real estate agents and homeowners should keep in mind when it comes to home inspections.

For real estate agents:

• Inspector qualifications

When recommending a home inspector to clients, real estate agents should prioritize those who are licensed, certified and experienced. Agents can provide a list of reputable inspectors to their clients and explain the importance of working with qualified professionals.

Communication skills

A good home inspector should possess excellent communication skills. Real estate agents should look for inspectors who are able to convey complex information in an understandable manner to both buyers and sellers. This helps in avoiding misunderstandings and facilitating informed decisions.

Sample reports

Agents should review sample inspection reports from potential inspectors to ensure that they are comprehensive, well-organized and include clear descriptions of issues along with supporting photographs. A well-structured report aids in conveying findings to clients effectively.

Promptness and punctuality

An inspector’s ability to meet deadlines and conduct inspections on time is crucial. Real estate agents should collaborate with inspectors who understand the importance of adhering to schedules, especially in time-sensitive transactions.


Agents should ensure that the selected home inspector maintains objectivity and professionalism. Inspectors should not have any conflicts of interest, such as offering repair services, to guarantee an unbiased evaluation of the property.

Scope of inspection

Real estate agents should be well-versed in the areas covered by a standard home inspection. This helps in setting appropriate expectations for clients and addressing any questions they may have about what will be examined.

Explanation of findings

Agents should work with inspectors who are willing to walk clients through their findings, answer questions and provide recommendations for addressing any issues. This collaborative approach fosters transparency and trust.

For homeowners:

Pre-inspection preparation

Homeowners should ensure that the property is clean, decluttered and easily accessible to the inspector. This includes providing access to utility areas, crawl spaces and attics.

• Documentation

Homeowners should compile documents related to recent repairs, maintenance and renovations. This information can provide valuable context for the inspector and potential buyers.

• Appliance testing

Test all appliances, including ovens, stoves, dishwashers and HVAC systems, prior to the inspection. Functional appliances contribute to a positive inspection experience.

• Highlight known issues

Inform the inspector about any existing issues or concerns you are aware of. This proactive approach ensures that these areas receive thorough attention during the inspection.

Be present

Homeowners should plan to be present at the beginning and end of the inspection. This allows them to ask questions, receive a summary of findings, and address any immediate concerns with the inspector.

Maintenance tips

Take note of any maintenance recommendations provided by the inspector. Addressing minor issues promptly can prevent them from escalating into major problems.

Post-inspection considerations

After the inspection, homeowners should carefully review the inspector’s report and discuss any significant findings with their real estate agent. This information can guide negotiations or necessary repairs.

Both real estate agents and homeowners play pivotal roles in the home inspection process. Real estate agents should focus on selecting qualified inspectors, facilitating effective communication and ensuring a thorough evaluation of the property. Homeowners should prepare their property, provide documentation, be present during the inspection and act on the inspector’s recommendations. By working together, real estate professionals and homeowners can ensure that the home inspection contributes to a successful and informed real estate transaction.

David Schafer is the owner and lead inspector of All Tech Home Inspection based in Las Vegas. A licensed home inspector and certified mold inspector, he attributes his attention to detail and knack for all things mechanical to his extensive background of over 25 years as a precision CNC machinist in the aerospace industry. He can be reached at david@alltechhomeinspection.com.

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