How to prepare for and what to expect from a home inspection.

Home Inspection Charles Town WV

Top realtors understand there are many factors that must align for any home sale/ listing or buyer purchase to become a reality; let alone a success.

Listed below are a few topics that will open the door to a more successful real estate transaction.

Setting realistic expectations for your seller or buyer

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Every seller/owner has their own idea about the value of “their home”. Most are not in the field of real estate and may decide the value based on unsupported or unrealistic data. A home that is not prepared for an inspection can further derail sellers expectations by shedding light on a homes’ deferred maintenance or other condition that may affect the salability of a property. Having a PRE-LISTING HOME INSPECTION, brings the professional home inspector into the equation to level some of these expectations. The savvy realtor can then explain through supporting data that homes that are market- ready (to be sold), will sell faster and receive better offers. A strategic plan for the successful transaction can begin to develop with the selling client/realtor team. The potential shock of the true condition of the property will be neutralized and the selling client/realtor, armed with factual data about the homes’ condition, can be maximized as a selling feature during contract negotiations.


Buyers of real estate have the desire of due diligence to uncover the hidden conditions of any property. Its an expensive lesson to learn of any issue within the home that a buyer may purchase with the as-is condition. All real estate transactions include negotiations; becoming armed with information from a home inspection is paramount to becoming an educated negotiator. Financial burdens that may exist on a property are possible and can be revealed during the settlement plan for a real estate transaction. Hence the reason for title searches, title insurance and legal due diligence is a matter of course and law in some regions. The home inspection, while not law, is commonplace for the same reasons. Understanding the value of a property through an appraisal is an important bit of data that can define for any interested party, IE mortgage lender, buyer, investor, the estimated value of the contracted property. If any “encumbrances” are found against the property that affects the value, they would/should be reconciled prior to the settlement transaction. The home inspection may also define a type of “encumbrance” known to affect the purchase/value of the property. The home inspection defines the visible condition of the home and opens dialog with the buyer client about what issues may affect the value. Negotiations again are always prudent as they can be utilized for the purpose of right-sizing the contract price to include any necessary repairs. It would be difficult to accept after the real estate transaction for a property buyer to find the home needs a sizable repair. A home inspection can identify these possibilities.

The home is ready for an inspection. Or is it?

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 Countless details and duties are stacked upon the realtor, the appraiser, the lender and the buyer. It’s typical during the celebration and the next phase after a ratified contract, to lose sight of whether the home is ready for a third-party home inspector to visit. The home may be vacant which allows the inspector complete access to visual conditions. However, occupied properties may have congested, cluttered and filled-to the ceiling storage and utility closets, basements and attics. This limits the inspection. The inspector, as an example, cannot move every storage box in the attic to confirm the insulation is adequate. The list can be long for each condition that may limit the inspector in his diligence to visually inspect all elements in his/her process. Typical areas of stored items anywhere can limit the inspection. It is advised to remove clutter and stored items around and in front of appliances, heating/cooling equipment, electrical panels, and plumbing components. Garages, basement/foundation and attic areas must be reasonably accessible for the inspection to be thorough. Locked doors can prevent a complete inspection of all aspects of the home. At the exterior, vegetation and personal belongings that contacts the home can conceal hidden issues. The inspector is focused on the task at hand and may take several hours to gather details for the report; supporting the inspector to get all details captured within the inspection and report are ideal. Pets, relatives, additional persons not affiliated with the transaction are typically not helpful during the home inspection. Buyer clients and their agent are always welcome to attend the home inspection and are encouraged to be involved as much- or as little as they feel necessary. Having confidence in the inspector and his/her process is important for all clients to maintain. Questions on-site and after the inspection are always welcomed.

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