A home inspection is the most common way that buyers can learn about the true condition of a property prior to purchasing it. We recommend that all sellers hire a home inspector as part of the listing process. It is an expense, but it saves a lot of hassle later in the contract process to have that information up front. It is also attractive to buyers when they are considering making an offer, and makes it so that their offer is better informed about the property.
A home inspection covers both the interior and exterior of the home
The Grounds Roof Plumbing
Heating Electrical Appliances
Fixtures/Faucets Drains Toilets
Attic Space Crawl Space General Condition
Ventilation Red Flags Drainage
Property Slope Defects and Danger
After visiting your property, the Home Inspector will write a detailed report with information and action items. Some action items may include having additional inspections or hiring contractors to make repairs. Once you see the home inspection report, you can make an educated decision about prioritizing which areas of concern should be addressed, if applicable. Also, buyers are likely to assume that you’ve already taken these concerns into consideration when setting your price.
In California, all sales are considered “as-is,” which means that it is up to the buyer to do their due diligence and investigate and inspect the property as part of their purchase.
As part of the transaction, you the seller, will also have to disclose all known material facts. For more on this, check the DISCLOSURES part of the seller’s guide.
If you find problems in the inspections that you aren’t willing or can’t afford to repair, consider at least getting an estimate for what it would cost to fix. Especially if the repair inhibits the functioning of the home – for example, active leaks!
TIPS FOR HAVING A HOME INSPECTION
There are a few things you can do to make your property ready for the home inspection. This list of commonly flagged items are generally easy to take care of, and usually fall under general maintenance.
Hot Water Heater is braced and strapped
Have Smoke Detectors appropriately placed throughout the house with new, working batteries.
GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters) are in working order
Hot Water is plumbed correctly, with HOT water always to the left on water controls on faucets.
The toilet is free of cracks and is not loose.
There is no “sketchy” or exposed wiring, or gross misuse of extension cords.
Doors and Windows should open and close easily and latch/lock properly, especially exterior doors.
Air filters should be replaced
Roof is in good working order, no missing shingles, flashing installed correctly, drainage good and functioning.
Dual paned windows have a good working seal. Failed windows should be replaced.
Having a Home Inspection can cost, on average, around $200-$500, based on a variety of factors, including home/property size. Buyers still may hire/conduct their own home inspection even if you complete one, as the results may be different.
We recommend that all sellers have an official Pest Inspection with a State Certified Inspector to look for the evidence of wood destroying organisms. This inspection will also look for areas where conditions exist that favor wood destroying organisms.
This is another inspection that is typically done by buyers in Humboldt County. Especially considering our local climate conditions, buyers want to know that the property they are interested is healthy on the inside. Completing this inspection prior to listing and making the report available to potential buyers shows them that you are serious about selling your property. Here is a short list of things that the pest inspection looks for:
WOOD TO EARTH CONTACT – Specifically where said wood also comes into contact with the house itself. Stacks of firewood, or wooden planter boxes against the house are an example of common offenders.
EXCESSIVE PLANT MATERIAL AROUND THE EXTERIOR – Anywhere that grass, shrubs, etc, are overgrown adjacent to the house itself.
IMPROPER DRAINAGE – Drainage from the roof should flow away from the house at the ground level. Water should drain away from the foundation.
EXCESS MOISTURE – This is typically the result of faulty grades on the property, or leaks on the interior and creates conditions that favor wood destroying organisms.
Having a Pest Inspection can cost, on average, around $275-$400, based on a variety of factors, including home/property size.
The following is a list of other inspections or tests you could have done if applicable to your property. These are less common, and are not always needed.
ROOF INSPECTION – Assesses the longevity of the roofing materials, looks for defects.
FIRE/CHIMNEY INSPECTION – Checks for safety hazards and assesses functionality of existing equipment.
SEPTIC INSPECTION – Looks at the condition and functioning of the existing system. Helps uncover faulty systems and can be used to get quotes on general maintenance.
WELL/WATER SYSTEM INSPECTION – For properties with private water systems.
PROPERTY SURVEY – For lot line questions or for establishing actual property boundaries.
PG&E SAFETY TEST/IDENTIFYING GAS LINES – Used to look for hazards and establish the routes for existing utility lines.
SEWER LATERAL – To assess the working condition of the sewer pipe from the house to the street, which is require to be functioning in order to sell property in some, but not all, local cities.
CITY/COUNTY REPORTS – A visit to the Humboldt County Planning Department can yield detailed information about the property’s history, including permit processes and code violations.
ASBESTOS TESTING – For any concern that siding or interior materials may be made with asbestos.