How to Prepare for Your Inspection

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How to Prepare for an Inspection
No home is perfect. Anything from minor maintenance issues to major damage are often found. Even new homes are not immune – they could have problems with the plumbing, electrical system, heating and cooling system, or the roofing system just to name a few.

For homeowners, it’s important to be aware of any issues your home may have prior to putting it on the market. Getting a pre-listing home inspection will ensure that you’re aware of any problems and can take care of them on your terms – or present them as-is and adjust your selling price proportionally.  The alternative leaves you open to costly surprises and delays, and even potential deal-breakers once you’ve entered negotiations with the buyer.

Before the inspector arrives, there are a few things you should know. There are no federal regulations governing inspectors.  Florida has NO regulations for Home Inspectors!  This means anyone can hang their sign out and say they are a home inspector. Once your inspector has arrived, it is recommended that you accompany him or her on the inspection of the property.  This is so you can become familiar with the home and its systems as well as exactly what repairs the inspector recommends and why.  You might also want to prepare a list of items that you’ve seen in the home that you feel are cause for concern as well as any questions you may have.  The inspection is a great time to find out where the home’s water and gas shutoffs are and where the fuse box is.

Here are some other suggestions for homeowners:

  • Accessibility: Make sure that all areas of the home are accessible, especially to the attic and electrical panels.  It’s also a good idea to trim any trees and shrubs that may make an inspection of the exterior of the property difficult.


  • Walk around the exterior of the residence.  Look at the fascia, decks, handrails or stairs - check and insure there is no wood rot present.  Check the mitered areas and areas where wood pieces come into contact with each other or the earth. Replace any wood rot or missing soffit. Wood rot is considered a wood destroying organism and could actually hold up financing.  Finance companies usually need a "clean" wood destroying organism report.  Wood rot MUST be written according to the rules set forth by the department of agriculture.


  • Next check the plumbing.  Fill all sinks about 1/2 full with water and then drain the sink.  As you are draining the sink, look at the underside to see if any leaks are occurring.  Repair all leaks.  Flush all toilets and insure no leaks are present at the base of the commode not at the water supply connection.


  • Make sure all light fixtures work, both interior and exterior.


  • Make sure there are no leaks at the pool equipment and insure the filter is clean and operating at an acceptable level of pressure.  Insure the heater works, if one is present.


  • Operate all windows (many times they do not operate properly, because they have not been used in a long time).  Consider adding a small amount of lubricant to allow for easier operation.


  • Insure all doors open, close and secure properly.


  • LOOK UP!  When walking at the interior of the residence (look up), this is an area where roof leaks can be seen.


  • Make sure the AC air filters are clean and that the AC is providing cold air to the interior of the residence.  A quick and informal check is to turn the AC down and see how long it takes to lower the residence a couple of degrees.  It should not take 45 minutes to an hour.  But this is just informal.  If you want to alleviate this situation, get the AC serviced.


  • Make sure all appliances operate as intended.  Whether you use them of not.


  • USE THE DISCLOSURE STATEMENT!  If there is/was a problem, mark it on the disclosure statement.  Here is an example - You do not disclose an old roof leak...I do the inspection see that the attic has some staining at that the ceiling in a bedroom is also stained and it is December.  The buyer and myself will assume its active. If this was mentioned then it would not be in question.  USE THE DISCLOSURE statement.


  • If you are present at the inspection, do not argue with the inspector.  Let him/her write their report and then let the Realtor do their job.  Tell your Realtor the concern and then let the Real Estate Professionals do the job you are paying them to do.  Once again, arguing with the Home Inspector does not do any good. 


  • DON'T try to hide defects...REPAIR them properly and save any and all receipts.  Once I find a hidden defect (someone who paints over wood rot, etc...), it makes me look that much harder.  Bring them to the inspection and let the buyer see them.  Many items will still have a warranty.


  • There are some items like the electrical panels, AC temperature drop, pool operations etc... that they layman cannot inspect.  If the other items are repaired then all goes much smoother.


  •  If you have any other questions about getting the home ready for selling or want us to do a pre listing inspection, then give us a call at 239-481-3977.