5 Mistakes People Make with Their Home Inspector

5 Mistakes People Make with Their Home Inspector

I love being a home inspector. I like meeting people. I like helping people. I like being my own boss. But just like everyone else, there are some things about my job that are less than ideal.

Without even knowing it, you may be making your home inspector’s job more difficult. Below are the five most common mistakes people make with their home inspector.

1. Crowds

Hey, I get it. Buying a house is exciting! It can also be nerve wracking, nail biting and ulcer inducing, but mostly it's exciting. When you are really excited about your new home, you want to show it off to the family.

The time set aside for the home inspection, however, is not the right time. The more people there are in the house, the more people there are trying to be polite and make small talk or ask their own questions. But for the home inspector, concentration is vital.

Minimizing distractions is really in your own best interest. Also, when the inspection is over, most Inspectors have another appointment scheduled, so they can't afford to wait while people take the tour.

2. No access

Moving is chaos. At least it was for me the last time I moved. So I know first-hand what it's like to have to live in chaos until you get moved and settled. In spite of the fact that you have to box up everything you own, the home inspector will still need to be able to get to a few key areas: the heater and water heater, the electrical panel and the attic access.

If you can make these areas accessible, you have made our job a lot easier and possibly helped the process go more smoothly, since it cuts down on the likelihood that a return trip will be necessary.

3. Pets

Wait! Don't jump to conclusions here. I love dogs. I like cats. Birds freak me out a little, but I'm working on it. What I am talking about here are the following complications:

• Dogs that want to hurt me (I'm fine with friendly dogs)

• Pets that are loose in the house and should not be let out. I'm sorry if that sounds harsh, but I've got enough on my plate without being responsible for the safety and welfare of someone else's beloved family pet.

• Dogs that are crated, but bark loudly and incessantly throughout the entire inspection. If you know your dog will do this, please take them with you or have them moved to a different location during the inspection.

4. No utilities

This is only a problem with vacant homes. Unfortunately, people leaving a home vacant usually feel they're being prudent by having the utilities turned off but then they forget they've done it.

This can become a much bigger issue if the problem is only discovered at the time of the inspection. Now we not only have to find a time at a later date to perform the inspection, but the owners or realtors have to coordinate with the utility companies (they usually won't turn on gas and water unless someone is present).

On top of all that, we have to produce the report and negotiations must be completed before the end of the option period.

5. Buyers who don't ask questions

When I said I love helping people, I meant it. Helping someone understand their new home's systems, how those systems work and how to maintain them is one of the best parts of the process for me.

If I give you information or use a term you don't recognize, please speak up. I want you to have your questions answered. Heck, you're paying me, so why shouldn't you be able to get as much knowledge as possible? You're not bothering me or taking too much of my time – that's what I'm here for, and that's the part of my job I love the most.

About this Experts Contributor: Edie Sherwood is the owner and office manager of Area Wide Inspections, providing home inspection services in Lubbock, Texas. Area Wide Inspections also provides new construction inspections, FHA inspections and construction consulting, and received the 2013 Angie’s List Super Service Award.

As of September 8, 2014, this service provider was highly rated on Angie's List. Ratings are subject to change based on consumer feedback, so check Angie's List for the most up-to-date reviews. The views expressed by this author do not necessarily reflect those of Angie's List.

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Being at the home inspection allows you to see your "dream home" from the inspector's unbiased viewpoint, says Sherwood. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Diwata F. of Buffalo, New York)
Being at the home inspection allows you to see your "dream home" from the inspector's unbiased viewpoint, says Sherwood. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Diwata F. of Buffalo, New York)

You may never believe the things a home inspector will discover unless you're there, too. Being at your home inspection lets you see any problems firsthand.

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Subject: Great article

This is a great overview of things that make the job easier. I think about a lot of things on a daily basis when I'm doing inspections. Very good informative writing! Thanks!

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