Preparing for Inspection
Make an effort to be there while your inspection is being done. It is not always possible and not a prerequisite, but most folks find it very helpful. If you are present, your inspector can point out to you the things you will see later in his written report. This will allow you to ask questions and will give you a better understanding of the written report.
Many people think an inspector can simply go out anytime to inspect a house, but there are some limitations. Good visibility is very important. Arrange for your inspection during daylight hours, never at night.
Be sure all of utilities are turned on and all pilot lights are lit, if any. If the gas, water, or electricity is not turned on for the inspection, the inspector cannot completely inspect those things that use the utility. Your inspector cannot turn utilities on for the inspection.
If the house is occupied, but the occupant will not be there, be sure that all locks are removed or left open. Locked access panels to electric service boxes or attic doors, etc., prevent a complete inspection.
Furnishings and stored items can prevent an inspector from gaining access to may things that he would normally inspect. Your inspector will not move items to complete an inspection. If the current owner is preparing to move and has boxes stacked in front of the water heater, the water heater will not get a complete inspection. Be sure ready access is available.
Pets can be a problem if they are not properly secured. Even friendly dogs and cats can get in the way and distract an inspector. It is best to have them secured out of the way.
Some of these questions are answered on other pages of our website, but are presented here, too, for your convenience.
Q. My realtor gave me a list of inspectors. How do I pick the right one?
A. Call a few and talk to them. Ask them about their background and experience. Be sure they are properly licensed. If your concerns are not addressed to your satisfaction, call another one. For licensing requirements, click this link for the Texas Real Estate Commission website.
Q. What all does an inspector look at?
A. We have a whole page dedicated to that question. Click this link to view Inspection Points. Then click the FAQs link in the left column of the page.
Q. How long will the inspection take?
A. For a home of 2000 sq. ft. in average condition, it takes 2-3 hours. Size, age, and condition can affect the time needed to complete an inspection.
Q. My dad fixes up old houses to sell and rent. Why can't he do the inspection?
A. Professional home inspectors have had extensive training and were required to pass a rigorous licensing test for the Texas Real Estate Commission. Professional inspectors' training and experience give them a “feel” for problems and the knowledge to look a little closer when something does not “feel” right.
Q. Do I have to be there during the inspection?
A. No, it is not necessary for you to be there, but we really wish you would be. You may find it inconvenient, but you will be happy you were there. See Preparing for Inspection for more details.
Q. Can you do a termite inspection also?
A. No, that requires a different license. But we can arrange one for you. Just let us know you need it and we’ll have a licensed termite inspector there the same day we are.
Q. May I call you if I have questions later?
A. Absolutely! Most people do have a few questions, especially those who were not present during the inspection. We are happy to visit with you as many times as you wish.
Q. Will I receive a written report?
A. Yes. The Texas Real Estate Commission requires that all inspectors give you a written report; and they have promulgated a form which we are required by law to use. We can add to it and make it more detailed, but we are not allowed to subtract from it in any way. To have a look at a sample inspection report just click here.
Additionally, the Texas Real Estate Commission provides a list of frequently asked questions on their website. To view them, click here.
Ed Fryday, ACI
Home Real Estate Property Inspector
TREC License: #6932
TREC Sales Agent, License #227974