What Exactly Gets Inspected in a Home Inspection?

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The real estate and mortgage industry has faced some tough times lately and one of the results of the even more stringent procedures in place is the strong preference for a home inspection to take place prior to obtaining financing.  Though not a requirement, getting a home inspection is a practice that can and does save buyers (and sellers) thousands of dollars.  But what can you expect from a home inspection these days?

To help guide you through the process, here is a list of basic areas of the home that are included in the inspection, as well as the potential defective aspects that an inspector looks for during the process. We also provide a list of those areas that do not come under the home inspection umbrella.

What All Is Included in a Typical Home Inspection?
Assessment of Exterior – includes grading and elevation of the home, drainage, driveway and walkways, fences, siding, trims, doors and windows, exterior lighting and landscaping.

Structural Aspects of the Home – Walls, floors and ceiling are evaluated in addition to the foundation.  The inspection also includes a detailed assessment of the roof and attic, including ventilation, construction and framing.

Systemic Operational Elements – HVAC, heating and cooling systems, water heaters, ductwork, fireplace and chimney function is checked as well as outdoor sprinkler systems.

Functional Major Appliances – All major appliances that are included in the sale of the home such as refrigerators, stoves, microwaves and dishwasher as well as smaller items like the garbage disposal system are checked by the inspector.

Electrical Systems – Wiring, grounding, receptacles, exhaust systems, circuit breakers and the main panel are studied in sufficient detail to confirm whether the home is up to code.

Plumbing – All areas of the home that involve plumbing are checked, including bathroom and kitchen sinks, toilets, tubs and showers plus faucets as well as the evaluation of materials used in the plumbing construction of the home.

Safety Assessment – Smoke detectors, CO detectors and fire extinguishers are also checked for function and adequate placement.

Garage Structure – A detailed evaluation of the garage door and opener, firewall, walls and ceilings, lights as well as exterior is completed.

Results That Indicate Potential Concerns With the Home
A home inspection yields a detailed inspection report that is broken down by section/type of evaluation performed. While there are some areas that are not covered under a home inspection, others are resultant of major red flags that must be addressed by the seller.  Anything that indicates potential safety issues is reported as top priority on the inspection report and similarly anything that appears to be a possible health concern is reported.  Another thing to look for is inadequate results or concerns with the furnace or air conditioning systems.  The presence of excess moisture or problems with drainage is a big indicator that the home will need major repairs soon if not immediately. Two more expensive problem areas that can be revealed during an inspection are roofs that may not be able to withstand the elements much longer and faulty foundations.

Things Not Included in a Home Inspection That Must Be Evaluated Independently

Oftentimes a home can be found to have major problems in areas that are not reviewed within a typical home inspection.  If there is an indication or possibility that one or more of the following health, safety or structural hazards may exist it is strongly recommended that the prospective buyer seek specialized inspections in each respective area. 
The potential of asbestos, mold and mildew presence, insect or other pests, chemical assessment for the presence of radon, radiation or lead – all are issues that require independent evaluation by their respective experts in the field.  To learn more, here is a link to the top ten areas not covered in a home inspection.


Before getting a home inspection done on a home you are considering, check with your Realtor to find a preferred inspector that they may have worked with for years.  Using a quality inspector that is certified in the areas being inspected versus utilizing the services of a less-than-qualified inspector – can make a difference of thousands of dollars.  Once you have the inspection report in hand it is a good idea to consult with your Realtor again to see whether there is some leverage to be gained when negotiating the sale on your property.

The NEW Way to Market Homes

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Have you ever stopped to think about just how passive some salespeople can be?  Consider all the automobile dealerships that have cars parked out on the lot, expecting the next prospective buyer to just drive right onto the lot.  Well, with real estate it’s a completely different ballgame. Unless your idea of selling your home is to sit back and wait until the right buyer comes along at the right time, with the right price – a far better approach would be to get in touch with an agent that likes to move mountains on his or her own accord.

Here are just a few of the passive marketing techniques employed by an overwhelmingly large percentage of Realtors across the country:

·         -Putting a sign outside the home, hoping that a buyer will drive by.
·         -Listing the property on major national websites or the local MLS with the expectation that all the search criteria will be fulfilled with your home and an agent will be calling soon to make an offer.
·         -Hoping that other agents will notice the new listing and introduce it to their buyer clients looking for something similar.
·         -Advertising the property in publications, again with the expectation that the perfect potential buyer will notice the listing and respond.
·         -Holding one or more open houses with the intent to share the home in the buyer community hoping to generate interest.

In today’s market when almost everyone holds a smart phone or other tech device (read: tablet, notebook, laptop, book reader, who knows what next) allowing instant access to information – the last thing you can afford to do is to sit around and wait.  In fact, in many markets the only way to succeed in the endeavor of selling your home is to reach far out and grab the business.  In other words – you will have to make it happen yourself because it simply won’t happen on its own.

So the next time you find yourself asking an agent, your agent – or even one that you are thinking of hiring – what they will be doing to get your home sold, be sure that their answer shows they have drive, ambition and energy.

Strong Marketing Is The Cornerstone Of Successful Selling
Some would say that “marketing” is a just another word for sales – but that is hardly true. Sure marketing entails some sales within the larger scheme of things, but it covers a bigger picture that includes promotion, awareness, publicity and, very importantly, sales

In real estate particularly, there are two basic brands of marketing engaged by agents across the nation and throughout the globe – and the difference can be measured in their levels of success.  Both passive and active marketing are techniques used by agents of every caliber but most top-producing agents utilize a far more active marketing stance.  In fact, when you consider the modern technological advances available today as opposed to years ago, it’s surprising that all Realtors don’t use the tools at hand to assist their clients. 

Here are some of the ways that savvy real estate agents get their clients’ home sold faster, more efficiently and at a better price:

·         -Making regular contact with people in the buying circuit actively seeking homes in the current market.
·         -Utilizing all the latest tools available to measure the latest and most accurate market data and remain current with area comparables.
·         -Staying in constant contact with clients, via web chat, instant message, text message, real time email or daily phone communication.
·         -Providing useful tips, tricks and information through informational blogs and electronic communications.
·         -Personally contacting buyer prospects, sellers, other agents, buyers from out of town, major corporations with significant employee relocations, past clients and others.
·         -Tapping into extensive databases with client and contact information that includes word-of-mouth contacts and extended client databases of preferred lenders, vendors, suppliers and contractors.

Professionals who utilize this extra dimension of marketing are more likely to accomplish the success they set out to achieve.  Active marketing in terms of real estate is when Realtors go out and actively seek out potential buyers for the homes they have listed, using the tools that are “outside the box”.  They work to fill gaps and literally match properties to prospective buyers by calling their agents directly.  These are the people you should be working with to get your home sold.  These are top-producing agents.

To find out how we can help you get your home sold, call us today for a customized consultation so we can determine your needs and start working on it right away!