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Passing Your Home Inspection

Plumbing Problems
Fix leaks and clogs long before the home inspection takes place. The inspector will check water pressure by turning on multiple faucets and flushing toilets at the same time. Appliances such as dishwashers and clothes washers will be tested, too. Leaks and clogs will be apparent during these checks.

The home inspector might check the septic system. During one method dyes are flushed down a stool. The inspector waits to see if the dye surfaces on the drainfield, indicating a drainage problem.

Inadequate or Inferior Electrical Systems
The electrical panel and circuit breaker configuration should be adequate for the needs of the house. A 125 amp electrical panel works for most homes. Individual circuits should not be overloaded.

The inspector will look for receptacles with ground fault circuit interrupters (GFI) in bathrooms and kitchens. These receptacles have little test-reset buttons on them. The home inspector will likely make sure the receptacles are what they appear to be, and not "dummies" that aren't wired to work.

Some of the grounded receptacles (with 3-pronged plugs) will be checked too.

Other Systems
The inspector will check the heating and cooling systems, making sure they work and commenting about their efficiency. The inspector will take a close look at the structure and foundation. All appliances will be checked. The inspection report will include details about smoke detectors.

Before the Inspection
Do everything you can to get the house in good condition before you attempt to sell it, but don't be discouraged if the inspection report contains negative statements. Home inspectors make note of everything they see. No home is perfect.

Remember that the home inspection report is not a wish-list for buyers. Read your contract carefully--it probably states which systems should be in good working order at closing. For instance, if the roof is older, but doesn't leak, it is in good working order. If there's a leak, and fixing just the leak is possible, the roof will be in good working order.

Your contract may also state that you are under no obligation to make any repairs at all--although the buyers can then likely withdraw from the contract. Don't feel you must comply with unreasonable demands for repairs.

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What Happens at a Home Inspection?

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