Whether buying or selling, it’s always prudent to know what is listed on a home inspection checklist. Home inspectors use the checklist to note the condition of certain areas inside and outside of the home. Lenders often won't extend a loan to a borrower until the seller makes repairs to noted areas or replaces appropriate items.
As a seller, learning the list will help you fix areas that may cause problems in negotiations prior to listing your property. As a buyer, the list comes in handy to follow along when attending the inspection. You may identify areas that the inspector may not regard as critical to repair. For instance, boxes piled in a closet may be covering up a damaged floor. The inspector may not note the clutter. A buyer can require in negotiations that the boxes be removed, and schedule another inspection for good measure.
The first item on a home inspection checklist is typically structural components inside the house. Many areas included are the basement, interior foundation, floors, ceilings, walls, roof structure and attic. Sellers should clear clutter from floors, including floors in closets, bedrooms and storage areas. Basements are often used for storage, so pull items away from basements walls and clear any clutter that obstructs the view. For clear visibility, make sure light switches work and replace burnt out bulbs in all rooms of the house.
Exterior and Roof
Inspection of the home’s exterior includes scrutiny of roof components, guttering, soffits and eaves, exterior windows and doors, decks, patios and wall cladding, trim and flashing. Garage door openers are also inspected, as well as the grading of the ground to ensure proper drainage away from the home. Using the checklist, sellers can make many simple repairs prior to the home inspection, such as applying caulk around windows and at the base of wall cladding where it meets the foundation. Replace worn flashing, missing trim stops in window panes, and worn roof tiles. Trim trees of limbs that hang too close to the roof, clear leaves and debris from gutters and caulk round skylights.
Electrical, Plumbing and HVAC
Electrical, plumbing and HVAC areas include electrical wiring, outlets and light switches. Drains for water and waste, sump pump, water source and distribution, hot water system and the main water shut-off are scrutinized. Chimneys and flues and the gas source, vents and lines are all inspected. Sellers should take steps to eliminate problem inspections. Clean all plumbing fixtures and unclog stopped up drains. Install smoke detectors in all rooms and replace worn out batteries in existing ones. Clear out appliances, such as the dish washer, washer and dryer.
Interior of the Home
Home inspectors scrutinize the interior of the home for anomalies and necessary repairs. Ceilings, floors, walls and stairways are inspected. Railings, steps and balconies are included in the checklist. Windows, doors and locks are checked for proper functioning and stability. Signs of water damage may indicate the harmful presence of bacteria or mold. Sellers should replace grout in tiles, remove hard water and rust stains and make sure windows and doors function properly prior to listing their homes. This will save them lengthy inspections and negotiating time and money.
Ventilation and Insulation
The kitchen and bathroom typically require some kind of ventilation. Home inspectors scrutinize for the presence and proper placement of ventilation and the adequate and safe functioning of it. They also check for adequate ventilation in the attic, crawl space and subfloor areas. The basement is scrutinized for insulation and, in appropriate regions of the country, inspectors note the presence, placement and condition of vapor barriers. Sellers should eliminate problem areas before the inspector arrives.