How to Prepare for the Home Inspection

How to Prepare for the Home Inspection

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Home InspectionGetting to the point of having a home under contract is a big step. But now you are at the make it or break it point: a home inspection.

Most of the time, the home inspection is a contingency written into offers.  It means that if the Ulster County buyers aren’t happy with the inspection, they can walk away from the sale without losing their earnest money deposit.  Or, they can reopen negotiations and ask for a price reduction.

Here’s how you can prepare yourself for the home inspection.

Will There Be A Home Inspection?

Unless your Ulster County buyers are planning to demolish your house and start from scratch, sellers will most likely have a home inspection.  If you are in a hot sellers’ market, a clean contract without an inspection contingency will make them an attractive buyer. So in a competitive market, they’ll often forgo an inspection contingency.

Most, if not all, Ulster County buyers who are planning to live in your home want to know what they’re getting into. They will want a full report on which systems work and how many repairs they can expect in the future. They will also want to know what you are willing to fix or replace to seal the deal.

Home inspection results can give buyers peace of mind.  But they are also a tool they can use to negotiate down the price. Worst case scenario, buyers who regret their decision can back out of the deal without penalty.

The home inspection will let you know everything that’s wrong with your Ulster County home. Once you have that information, you can make repairs so that if your first deal falls through, you’ll be ready for the next buyer.

Inspectors Look At It All

Be prepared for your home inspection to take a while because this isn’t a quick once-over. There is a 1,600-item checklist inspectors use.Their motto is typically “if we can get to it, we’ll inspect it.”

A few areas of the Ulster County home your inspector is checking are the grounds, the structure, roof, exterior, windows and doors, kitchen, bathroom, plumbing and electrical.  It’s a lot of ground to cover and a lot that can go wrong.


You can’t study and ace this test but there are some things you can do to get ahead of the inspector and make the process go smoother.

First, clean and declutter your home. You want to make sure they have easy access to attics, basements, and electrical panels.  You don’t want them tripping over your things while trying to do their job. You can think of it as jump start to your packing.

Have paperwork in a file and ready to go. Documentation of all maintenance and repairs you’ve done on your home, insurance claims, etc.  This will be helpful to the inspector.

Give the inspector total access to your home.  Unlock gates and doors to make sure they can get everywhere.  

Something Ulster County home sellers can consider is getting a pre-inspection.  This will eliminate any surprises. Sometimes sellers hire their own inspector so they can fix any issues or problems before the house is even on the market.

However, there are times that is not a good idea. The reasoning is that if you have five different inspectors inspect the home, you’ll get five different lists of items they’re concerned about.

Don’t fool yourself into thinking that just because your inspector didn’t have a problem with something doesn’t mean the new inspector won’t. Keep in mind that you are obligated to disclose any issues you know of to the buyers.

Leave Your Ego

This really is a competition between Ulster County buyers and sellers and everyone wants to win.  Don’t take it personally – it’s just business.

A home inspector’s job is to point out each and every deficiency and safety violation.  Arguing with the buyers about an inspector’s findings is not going to get you anywhere.

If there is a problem, you need to dig down and solve it.  You might need to agree to fix an item, or you might need to give an allowance for a repair.  These are all points that will be negotiated, so be prepared.

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