Preparing for your Inspection - and Inspection Guidelines/Policies
We’re excited to work with you and we’d like for you to know the best way to prepare for your inspection!
Please read through these items and make any necessary arrangements prior to the inspection.
1. Access to the property: It is your responsibility to make all arrangements necessary for access to the property on the day of the inspection. It is recommended that you also inform the listing agent and/or seller that all areas in the building and utilities should be readily accessible. (see list below).
2. Roof Access: We cannot climb on any roofs unless it is determined to be safe for access and is accessible. We will not climb ladders or roofs at all in inclement weather, snow, rain, or wind, and if there is ice or snow on the ground. If we cannot climb on roofing because it is unsafe to do so, or inaccessible, we will inspect roofing from a ladder and/or from the ground.
3. For inspections of condominiums: The listing agent or seller needs to make provisions for access to utility areas and common areas, and/or arrange for building management personnel to be present if required by the condominium association. Please keep in mind that inspections of condominium properties in buildings are subject to limitations by nature: Exteriors of other units are excluded, and inaccessible areas and systems will not be inspected. Systems associated with other units and/or centrally controlled systems are also limited and in some cases not tested.
4. If you would like to do Radon testing in the property: IMPORTANT: Please inform the listing agent and/or seller that the windows and exterior doors of the property must be closed IN THE ENTIRE HOME or property being tested, for 12 hours before the start of the test, and during the entire test period (Normal entry and exit through doors is fine).
5. Payment for the Inspection: Payment is due on the day of the inspection, and we accept cash, checks, and all major credit cards. We cannot release the report to you or any other parties until payment has been made.
6. Cancellation Policy: We understand that real estate transactions can be complicated and changes sometimes need to be made. We are happy to reschedule inspections, so please call our office at 888-652-4677 if you need to make any changes. If you need to reschedule or cancel within 48 hours of the inspection start time, we will need to charge you a cancellation fee of $75.00. MKC Associates reserves the right to cancel or reschedule the inspection appointment should any emergency situation arise.
7. The day of the Inspection: Please allow adequate time for the inspection and inform your agent of the time frame and anticipated duration of the inspection. Our inspections last from 1h 45 min (for a small to medium sized condo) to 4 hours (larger single family home), and can even take longer depending on the type and size of the property. Please wear appropriate clothing for the weather if you wish to follow along with the inspector (we encourage it!)
8. Your Inspector: Unless you have requested a specific inspector, we will assign you any one of our amazing inspectors to complete your inspection. Should you wish for a specific inspector, and you had not done that when originally scheduling with us, please call us now, and we will do our best to accommodate this request.
9. Things to ask of the homeowner or occupant of the property for the day of the inspection: We respect the current homeowner’s property. In performing the home inspection, we must access areas of the home that may not be normally readily accessible. We would like to limit our impact in their homes while inspecting, so please forward this list of things to pass along to the seller of the property (through your agent) in order to get ready for the inspection:
We suggest that you request of the homeowner to:
a. Install missing light bulbs and replace blown light bulbs in all light fixtures in the home.
b. Move all furniture, clothing, and clutter away from access panels in order to provide access for the inspector (i.e. furniture or storage in front of electrical panels, debris in front of attic access panels, basement access panels, any accesses to attic kneewalls and basement crawlspaces that are inside of closets; remove (all) clothing from closets if there is an attic access panel inside the closet. If any access panels are behind shelving units, move these away from access panels.)
c. Undo any painted or screwed-closed panels or panels that require power tools for opening. Ask the seller for permission to cut any bonded paint between electric panel covers and the wall so that we can access the insides of the panels.
d. Unlock any locked doors or access panels that require keys, combinations, or any special knowledge.
e. Shut down any computer systems in the home for the day.
f. Remove pets for the day. If this is not possible, ensure that any special instructions regarding pets in the home are clearly indicated. Please inform the homeowner that we cannot be responsible for ensuring that pets are kept securely in any rooms, and/or are safely kept inside the home. Remember, there can be up to 5, 6 or more people present at an inspection, and this can easily result in any one person leaving a door open, resulting in the escape of a cat or other animal not intended to be allowed outside. Please notify seller/occupant to clean the yard of all dog droppings.
g. Ensure that the seller or occupant, and all real estate agents know how long the inspection will take (i.e. anywhere from 2-4 hours depending on the size of home). This is critical because oftentimes listing agents underestimate the time needed for the inspection, and inform the seller that they can come home earlier than they should.
h. Ensure that seller and agents understand that all windows and doors in the home must be closed (per EPA protocol for radon testing) in the entire home if we are doing radon testing, for 12 hours before the test and during the test, which typically lasts 48 hours.
j. Indicate to us clearly if there is a known leak in or problem with an appliance or if there are any other components that they would not want us to operate or test, and reasons for not wanting it tested.
k. Within reason, move away cluttered conditions at window areas, including opening blinds and window treatments. Please move all excess items from the windows, including any especially fragile, expensive, and/or sentimental items. We need to be able to access and open them. Please inform the seller to raise all blinds and drapes for the day.
Feel free to copy the above list into an email to your agent so that they may forward it to the listing agent.
10. FOR HOMES THAT ARE NEW CONSTRUCTION:
a. Please make sure that the builder/seller has:
- prepared for our visit
- completed as much work as possible PRIOR to our visit
- itemized any and all remaining work that is planned or going to be completed
- ensured that no one will be working in the property on the day of the inspection
- installed all light bulbs in fixtures
- ensured that all appliances and systems are activated, plugged-in, have been completed, have packaging and wrapping removed and out-of-the-way
b. NEW CONSTRUCTION – RADON TESTING IN HOMES:
**Keep in mind that when tradespeople work in buildings, they often leave windows and doors open for extended periods of time, oftentimes all day. This will invalidate radon testing. Additionally, cleaning up the job site inside the home will release a large amount of dust and can interfere with the test and cause damage to our equipment. If you are planning on having us do a radon test in the home, please ask the builder/seller to:
- Ensure that no tradespeople are working in the home (or if not possible, make sure work is very light, and that the builder does not allow the tradespeople to open windows and doors.)
- Ensure that no tradespeople do significant sweeping, cleaning or vacuuming during the radon test period.
Radon test period is typically 48 hours, starting during the home inspection timeframe.
c. NEW CONSTRUCTION – A NOTE ABOUT THE “PUNCH LIST”: It is common for there to be a number of remaining items to be completed in the home, and your inspector will identify them during the inspection. After the inspection is completed, you (and possibly with your agent) will develop a “punch list” that you will work with your attorney to submit to the seller for signing. This is typically included in your P&S document as an “addendum” and is initialed or signed by all parties involved in the transaction. You should discuss this with your attorney for more information. Often, our clients ask us to return to the property to inspect those items that have been included in the Punch List after they have been completed. We are happy to do this, and charge an hourly fee for this. (For future reference: When preparing the Punch List, make sure it is available in a Word document format for use by your inspector, and that you have it printed-out.) Additional note: our report software has a “Repair request list” builder tool to help you create an independent punch list directly from the report for this purpose.
Please let us know if you have any questions at all. Thank you, The Team at MKC Associates