The process of buying a home, while exciting, isn’t always pleasant. There are reams of papers to sign and steps to complete before you can begin decorating the walls with family photos. One of these steps is the crucially important home inspection. Arguably, this is not typically a home buyer’s favorite step, but it helps ensure buyers know just what they are purchasing – for better or for worse.
Dwayne Boggs, owner of Boggs Inspection Services, has been assisting buyers in getting an in-depth picture of their potential new home for more than 13 years. He and his team have completed hundreds of inspections and seen just about everything from live animals to heating vents inside cabinets. And, with so much experience under their belts, they have a few tips for buyers and sellers.
What Sellers Should Know Before and Inspection:
- Clean up. The Boggs team has entered numerous homes that could use a good scrubbing. A dirty home doesn’t provide a good impression for the potential buyer. Remember, the sale isn’t final until closing and your inspection day should make a good impression, just like during your showings. “Plus,” says Dwayne, “a dirty home can make buyers doubt your attention to maintenance and upkeep on the home.”
- Take pets away for the day. Boggs Inspection Services’ inspectors arrive at home inspections all the time and have to face barking dogs, disgruntled cats and even more exotic pets. Removing pets prior to an inspection ensures the inspectors can do their jobs unimpeded. While a caged lizard or fish tank can stay, having to negotiate a pet during an inspection can be challenging and discouraging for buyers. “This is the buyer’s opportunity to really go through the house with a fine-toothed comb,” says Dwayne. “If they are not able to access a room because a pet is closed in it or a barking dog prevents an inspection of the backyard, it could cause issues with the sale.”
Remove the clutter. This step is usually completed when you list your home for sale. Real estate agents often advise taking out personal items prior to listing. However, if your home still has stacks of clutter or it has crept back in since the offer was made, it’s time to clear it out. Clutter can limit access to outlets, electrical panels and appliances. “When we can’t access something, we can’t inspect it,” says Dwayne. And a question mark on an inspection report can lead to doubt in a buyer’s mind.
What Buyers Should Know Before an Inspection:
- Home inspectors cannot predict the future. “We are tasked with assessing the home as it is on the day of the inspection,” says Dwayne. “We can’t tell you how long an appliance will last or if there might be a leak in the roof in the future – we aren’t fortune tellers.” That said, the team at Boggs Inspection Services can offer buyers background information and share their knowledge about construction, home systems and more to help them understand common issues. “We are happy to answer questions for buyers and encourage them to follow us throughout the inspection so we can explain things as we go. We just can’t tell them what might happen in six months or a year from now,” explains Dwayne.
- Every home has problems. “Every home has something that we note on the inspection report,” says Dwayne. Even new construction homes have things that need addressing he says and finding these is why you pay for an inspection. Expect to have a list of items to address. Big or small, be appreciative that these are discovered before the house is officially yours.
Water is kind of a big deal. Living in the Pacific Northwest, we know things get wet. However, if water damage is noted during your inspection, you should take it seriously, says Dwayne. Investigate to determine the extent of the damage. A small water spot on the ceiling can indicate bigger problems in the roof or attic. Check with a professional if you have any concerns about water damage noted on your inspection report.
- Almost anything can be fixed. “Everything can be fixed,” says Dwayne. It’s just a matter of how much a buyer wants to accept and how much a seller will fix (or discount their price) during the allotted seven-day post-inspection time frame. “Even the most challenging issues we find – wiring issues, failing roofs, foundation problems – can be fixed. It’s just a matter of how much the seller is willing to fix and what the buyer is willing to assume responsibility for,” says Dwayne.
- Read your report with a grain of salt. “A home is more than just a structure,” says Dwayne. “It’s where you build a life.” The Boggs team wants buyers to be fully informed before closing the deal, but they also remind buyers to consider their emotional connection to the home as well. “We are one piece of the home buying puzzle,” says Dwayne. “And we want buyers to remember why they made that initial offer when looking at our reports. This might be where they raise their family and replacing a roof shouldn’t stop them from purchasing their perfect home.”
To learn more about Boggs Inspection Services, visit them online or give them a call at 360-480-9602.