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6 Tips for Prepurchase Home Inspection Checklist

Tips for Prepurchase Home Inspection Checklist

When it comes to home buying and real estate in general, what can be seen on the outside isn’t always the same on the inside. Many people are attracted to the superficial details, such as the colorful flowers, freshly painted walls, and granite countertops. However, they don’t realize that there might be underlying foundation cracks, ancient plumbing, dangerous wiring, broken appliances, or other defects. All of these hidden flaws can be determined through a comprehensive home inspection. This article will discuss the importance of getting a pre-inspection checklist, what a typical inspection report should consist of, and more! That way, you will either find the right home or attract the right buyer for your property.

What is a Home Inspection?

A home inspection is a process where a licensed inspector goes through the property and looks for defects or damages that need to be repaired. The inspector will check the roof, walls, ceilings, floors, windows, doors, appliances, electrical wiring, plumbing, and more. 

The goal of a home inspection is to identify any potential problems with the property and prevent them from becoming a massive issue in the future. A pre-inspection checklist is essential because it can help determine what needs to be fixed before selling your home or buying a new one. It’s not just about finding flaws but also suggestions on how they might be remedied so that both parties will come out ahead.

Types of Home Inspections: Pre-Listing and Pre-Purchase

There are two main types of home inspections: pre-listing, which is done before putting a property up for sale, and pre-purchase, which occurs after an offer has been made but before closing on the purchase price. The pre-purchase inspection is the most common because it allows the buyer to renegotiate the purchase price or back out of the deal altogether if they find too many problems with the property.

How to Prepare Your Home for Inspection

To prepare for a home inspection, we recommend creating a list of areas that you would want to include in the pre-inspection checklist. This list might include:

  • All appliances, inside and out
  • Ceiling, walls, and flooring
  • Windows and doors
  • Garage, attic, and basement
  • Plumbing and electrical wiring
  • Roofing and foundation
  • The exterior of the home (yard)
  • Foundation cracks, rotten wood, mold, or mildew 

It’s also helpful to have a pre-inspection form to give your real estate agent before listing the property on multiple listing services (MLS). This way, they’ll know what types of issues might come up during an inspection. At the same time, you should also be present when the inspector arrives.

Home Inspection – What to Include and Exclude?

It’s important to note what’s included in a home inspection and what’s not. In general, most home inspections will include: 

  • The exterior of the house, including the roofing, walls, windows, doors, and eaves
  • The interior of the home, including ceilings, walls, and floors
  • Appliances (if they’re included with purchase)
  • Plumbing system – Electrical wiring 
  • HVAC equipment or systems that are part of the transaction. 

It’s important to note what’s not covered in a pre-inspection checklist, so you don’t get any surprises down the road. 

In general, most home inspections will not include: 

  • The condition of the basement – unless it’s part of the transaction and is inspected as part of the pre-purchase inspection
  • Any cosmetic damages, such as paint chips, wallpaper, or carpeting
  • Detached structures on the property, such as sheds, garages, or guest houses 
  • Furnishings or personal belongings inside the home. 

Using a Home Inspection Report

Suppose the home inspector finds significant problems or a long list of minor issues. In that case, you can use this information to renegotiate the purchase price or back out of the deal altogether. This is why pre-purchase inspections are so necessary when buying a home in pre-foreclosure, short sale, or auction because there might be hidden issues that need fixing before closing on the property. 

It’s also helpful if you’re selling your home to have a pre-inspection report on hand to show potential buyers. This will give them an idea of what might need to be fixed before they move in and help reduce the chances of negotiation after an offer has been made.

Typically, an inspector will not estimate repair costs or the current and remaining lifespan of appliances or other systems for you. If you’re buying a home and the pre-inspection checklist reveals any issues (big or small), we recommend that you hire a contractor to give you an estimate on repair costs.

If all goes well with the pre-inspection and there are no significant damages or defects found, you can use the home inspection report as a marketing tool to show potential buyers. This will give them peace of mind that they’re buying a property that’s in good condition and might speed up the negotiation process.

How DataMyte Digital Clipboard Can Help

Apart from its impact on business and industrial-level applications, DataMyte Digital Clipboard can also help home inspectors create their pre-inspection checklist. With its checklist feature, inspectors can preload all the necessary points they need to look out for in a pre-inspection form. This ensures that you don’t miss anything and can rest assured knowing your home is getting checked thoroughly before purchase or after being listed on MLS.

Total Home Inspection Checklist

If you’re running a home inspection business and looking to create a home inspection checklist for your inspectors, you can use DataMyte Digital Clipboard. Here’s a sample home inspection checklist to help you get started:

NOTE: Some items might be repeated if proven to be significant points of inspection on each category.

Grounds

  • Proper grading drainage away from the house.
  • Evidence of standing water near the house.
  • Vegetation growing toward the house, rather than away from it.
  • Any trees less than two years old or with branches touching the roof (could lead to future damage)
  • The gutter system is fully intact, and downspouts are draining properly – Patios or decks are in good condition; there are no signs of structural problems such as sagging, rot, or splintering wood.
  • Exterior walls and trim in good condition; no peeling paint, cracking, or rotting wood.
  • Roof in good condition with no missing, buckled, or curled shingles, moss, or algae buildup. 
  • Windows and door sills are in good condition with no cracks, chips, or decay. 
  • There is no evidence of the previous flooding, such as water stains on the basement walls, ceiling, or flooring.
  • The air conditioner and furnace are in good working order with no signs of wear or tear. 
  • Water heater in good working order with no signs of rust; proper size for household needs (not undersized).

Basement

  • Floors, walls, and ceilings are in good condition with no water damage or mold signs.
  • No evidence of pests such as termites, carpenter ants, or rodents.
  • Electrical wiring in good condition; no exposed wires or outlets without covers. 
  • Plumbing in good working order – all faucets and drains are operating correctly.
  • Water heater in good working order with no signs of rust, leakage, or corrosion (proper size for household needs). 
  • There is no evidence of the previous flooding, such as water stains on the basement walls, ceiling, or flooring. 
  • The sump pump is in good working order; no clogs could lead to flooding.
  • Washer and dryer in good working order; proper venting to not cause mold or mildew buildup in the basement. 
  • No gas leaks – detectors functioning properly (check carbon monoxide detector)

Living Area/Kitchen

  • Floors, walls, and ceilings are in good condition with no water damage or mold signs.
  • No evidence of pests such as termites, carpenter ants, or rodents. 
  • Electrical wiring in good working order; no exposed wires or outlets without covers. 
  • Plumbing in good working order – all faucets and drains operating properly (check kitchen sink garbage disposal). 
  • Water heater in good working order with no signs of rust, leakage, or corrosion (proper size for household needs). 
  • The HVAC system is in good working order. Have the air conditioner and furnace serviced before summer and winter to check for proper functioning? 
  • Water heater checked for adequate supply; prevent water lines (tankless system) leaks.
  • Refrigerator, stove/oven, and microwave checked for proper functioning; adequate space between appliances to allow air circulation. 
  • Adequate ventilation in the kitchen with no evidence of mold or mildew buildup on walls or ceiling (check exhaust fan). 
  • No gas leaks – detectors functioning properly (check carbon monoxide detector)

Bedrooms

  • Floors, walls, and ceilings are in good condition with no water damage or mold signs. 
  • No evidence of pests such as termites, carpenter ants, or rodents. 
  • Electrical wiring in good working order; no exposed wires or outlets without covers. 
  • Plumbing in good working order – all faucets and drains operating properly. 
  • Water heater in good working order with no signs of rust, leakage, or corrosion (proper size for household needs). 
  • The HVAC system is in good working order. Have the air conditioner and furnace serviced before summer and winter to check for proper functioning.
  • No gas leaks – detectors functioning properly (check carbon monoxide detector) 
  • Adequate ventilation with no evidence of mold or mildew buildup on walls or ceiling.
  • Bedroom closets are in good condition with adequate space for storage. 
  • Mattresses, box springs, and bed frames are good, with no signs of bed bugs, stains, or other damage. 
  • Windows and door sills are in good condition with no cracks, chips, or decay.

Bathrooms

  • Floors, walls, and ceilings are in good condition with no water damage or mold signs. 
  • No evidence of pests such as termites, carpenter ants, or rodents. 
  • Electrical wiring in good working order; no exposed wires or outlets without covers. 
  • Plumbing in good working order – all faucets and drains operating properly. 
  • Water heater in good working order with no signs of rust, leakage, or corrosion (proper size for household needs). 
  • The HVAC system is in good working order. Have the air conditioner and furnace serviced before summer and winter to check for proper functioning.
  • No gas leaks – detectors functioning properly (check carbon monoxide detector) 
  • There is adequate ventilation with no evidence of mold or mildew buildup on walls or ceiling (check exhaust fan). 
  • Bathtub, shower, and sink in good condition with no chips, cracks, or rust. 
  • Toilet in good working order; toilet seat and lid in place. 
  • The mirror and cabinet doors are attached and in good condition. 
  • Medicine cabinet shelves intact with no signs of water damage or mold.  
  • Bath mats and rugs are in good condition with no mildew or water damage signs. 
  • Exhaust fan functioning correctly. 
  • No leaks under the sink (check hot and cold water lines). 

Now, all you have to do is copy and paste all of these items to speed up creating your home inspection checklist using DataMyte Digital Clipboard. For more information about DataMyte, its Digital Clipboard, and all of its products and services, check out our website now.

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