For many South Florida property owners, a building inspection can be a nerve wrecking time.  What issues will be found?  How expensive will it be to make the needed repairs?  Will the sale be compromised if too many problems are discovered? And with the rainy season upon us, where we traditionally receive 27 inches on average, other concerns worry owners as well, such as window and drainage matters.

Let’s start by offering one word of advice:  If you are considering selling your south Florida property but think your property needs some work, or if it is an older structure, hire an inspector BEFORE you list your home or commercial building.  This will give you a good heads up about what repairs are needed.  Once these problems are corrected, you can show the realtor your receipts to confirm work has been completed.  This is also encouraging news to prospective buyers that your property is in good shape and will certainly give you an edge when listing, as the vast majority of buyers want to purchase a move-in ready property.

 As a professional inspection company, we are often asked:  How can I prepare for an inspection?  Is there anything that I should do?  Here are some of our recommendations:

 1.  Clean:

 If you are living in a home or selling a building, make sure the property is clean. Make it easy for an inspector to walk through your house or building without worrying about stepping over objects or maneuvering through hurdles.  This keeps the inspection on time.

 2.  Check The Simple Things:

 It’s amazing how just fixing the easy repairs can make a huge difference.  Not only is it inexpensive, but also takes little or no time.

  • Light bulbs.  Walk around and replace any burnt out bulbs.  Make sure all receptacles are in good working order.  A common problem faced every day is where the electrical panel is blocked, which makes access difficult. So make sure this area is clear.
  • Filters:  Replace any dirty and old heating/air conditioning filters.
  •  Leaky faucets:  If you have a faucet that is leaking, a drain that is slow or any other plumbing issues, now is the time to contact a plumber to repair.  When a buyer sees something as simple as a dripping faucet or pipe, it raises a red flag and gives them reason to wonder if this is perhaps the result of a bigger, more costly, problem.

 3. Clear Outside Walkways:

 Inspectors look at a home inside and out, from top to bottom.  We look at hundreds of items, some of which are big, and others quite small.  It is important that an inspector be permitted to move around easily outside the property as well as inside. Prior to your appointment, take away any obstacles that would prevent an inspector from easily going from one area to another.

 4.  Clear Access To Attics, Closets And Doorways.

 Wherever the hatch or opening is located, make sure your inspector can reach without any obstruction.  This also includes making sure there is workspace near air conditioners, water heaters, etc.

 5. Trim overgrown bushes or shrubs if blocking any exterior inspection areas. 

 Inspectors will need to inspect the walls, foundation, siding and other points.  This can make it difficult if a home is covered with over-run landscaping.

 6.  Leave Utilities Connected:

 If a home or property is vacant, make sure the pilot lights are ignited, water, gas and utilities are still connected.  Without this, an inspector will need to reschedule and this could delay closing.

 7.  Show Receipts:

 If you have had repairs made, leave a folder out for the inspector to review.  This is extremely helpful and will allow the inspector to confirm that previous issues have been resolved.  Be sure to include permits and product approvals.

 8.  Pets:

 We all love our pets, but an inspector’s job is much easier when pets are removed or at least properly secured for the duration of the appointment.

 9. Be On Time:

 Finally, be prepared and on time for the inspection.  These appointments can take several hours, so it’s necessary to get started when the appointment is scheduled.  Chances are, your inspector will have a busy schedule, so in order not to keep other planned appointments waiting, starting on time is essential.

 When sellers prepare for an inspection, it can allow the entire process to operate more smoothly and keep your real estate transaction on schedule.