Many of our clients are first-time buyers. Others may not have had a home inspection in so long, they can’t recall how the process unfolds. If you’re in one of these groups, you’re probably wondering what happens before, during, and after your home inspection. It’s pretty straightforward, but a little knowledge can go a long way toward making your inspection go smoothly.

What Should Happen Before the Inspection?

As the buyer, assuming you’ve already scheduled an inspection with a professional, experienced, licensed home inspector, keep your eyes on a few key tasks that should happen beforehand. First, confirm the date and time of inspection with all parties involved, particularly if someone wants to be on-site during the inspection. Second, make sure all keys needed will be available to the inspector somewhere on the property. And third, confirm the power will be on and all appliances and equipment will be ready to be tested — installed, connected to power, and accessible. Making sure these tasks are done ensures your home inspector can do his work efficiently and effectively. If he can’t fully inspect the home at the agreed-upon time, you’ll have to reschedule, which is frustrating for inspectors, because they’ve lost time – and for homebuyers, because it can delay the inspection.

Additionally, before inspection day, confirm with the sellers and their realtor that they’ll clear the way to equipment, exterior walls, and the roof, so the inspector can easily access them — and that they’ll pull together documentation that may be needed to speak to recent repairs or replacements, warranties, and insurance claims.

What Does a Home Inspection Look Like?

Your home inspector will arrive on property at the appointed date and time, camera in hand, ready to work. He represents you — as the buyer — and should inspect the home as if he were the one making this major investment — discovering defects before you commit so you can negotiate a fair price with confidence. To allow him full concentration, we recommend that pets are kept in an enclosed area or sent on a play date — and that you, as the potential buyers, sit and relax while we do our jobs. The inspection report we deliver gives you the ability to see what we see, and that’s what you’ve hired us for!

All Dallas home inspectors are required to be licensed by the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC), which provides detailed Standards of Practice on what inspectors are required to do and what they’re not required to do in the course of an inspection. (If you want to learn more, we recently wrote a post, Home Inspection 101: What to Expect When You’re Inspecting, which outlines the highlights.) Bottom line, your inspector’s goal is to visually inspect accessible systems and components inside and outside the home, including the attic and crawl spaces. He’ll operate equipment and appliances on normal settings and inspect the home’s structural, electrical, HVAC, and plumbing systems. He’ll climb the roof, open and close doors and windows, and keep a general eye out for signs that may indicate hidden defects.

While he’s inspecting, a good home inspector will take notes and photographs. If needed, he’ll use special equipment, such as a zip level to measure foundation levels or a thermal imaging camera to detect hidden defects, like water intrusion, hot wires or breakers, or active mold. He’s not required to report cosmetic damage caused by normal wear and tear, but many inspectors will include significant issues in their findings.

Keep in mind, the best home inspectors go above and beyond the minimum TREC requirements by inspecting items that aren’t included in the Standards of Practice, like fences, pools and spas, and outbuildings. And the more experience your home inspector has (because remember, you’re hiring an individual, not a company!), the more likely he’ll be to find as many issues as possible, arming you with the information you need to negotiate.

What Happens After the Inspection is Done?

A good home inspector will take the time to visit with you after the inspection. He’ll give you some highlights and explain the major findings in understandable terms. Within three days, he’s required to deliver a report to you using TREC’s standard inspection report form, indicating whether items were inspected, not inspected, not present, or deficient — and explaining the findings in the report. The best home inspectors will deliver it to you the same day, or at least within 24 hours. That’s Stonebriar Property Inspections’ goal.

Additionally, while not required by TREC, we will make recommendations for repairs. The report will be written in clear language and include 80 to 100 high-resolution digital images. And we’ll be available to answer questions and provide additional advice because our goal is for you to be completely satisfied that you’ve made the best decision when purchasing your new home.

Image Credit: Alpha Stock Images – http://alphastockimages.com/

About Our Licensed Dallas Home Inspections

At Stonebriar Property Inspections, Dallas home inspector Keith Boggs proudly provides quality home inspections throughout North Texas seven days a week, including evenings and weekends. Contact him at (214) 923-7304 or [email protected]

  • Licensed and insured – Texas Real Estate Commission license #9867; TDA licensed termite technician # 0572333, Certified Termite & Pest Control – TPCL# 3825A
  • Rated an A+ with the Dallas Better Business Bureau
  • 5 out of 5 stars on 99% of customer reviews
  • The most comprehensive home inspections available
  • Friendly, down-to-earth service from someone you can trust

In the end, you will feel prepared and not scared.