Select an FAQ:

What is included in a structural inspection?

A structural inspection is a complete evaluation of the structures foundation and flooring, roof cover and roof framing, exterior components, interior components, plumbing systems, electrical systems, heating and air conditioning systems, built-in appliances and the site of the structure.

What is included in a pest inspection?

A pest inspection is used to determine the presence of any wood destroying pests, such as termites, carpenter ants, wood borers and wood destroying fungus. It is also used to determine conditions which are conducive to wood destroying pest infestations, such as earth to wood contacts, faulty grades around the structure, insufficient ventilation in crawl space and attic areas, excessive moisture and excess wood debris in the crawl space (cellulose debris).

What is included in a heating and air conditioning inspection?

As part of the structural inspection, the heating and air conditioning systems will be evaluated from a functional and visual standpoint. However, for structures with older heating and air conditioning systems, it may be desirable to have these components evaluated by a licensed HVAC contractor as a separate inspection. The HVAC contractor’s inspection includes full operation of the systems, carbon monoxide testing and a complete evaluation of the systems components. The HVAC contractor will also provide a more detailed written evaluation of these systems.

What is included in a fireplace and chimney inspection?

As part of the structural inspection, the fireplace and chimney are evaluated from a mechanical and visual standpoint. However, for some buyers it may be desirable to have a more detailed inspection conducted by a specialist. The specialist will conduct a complete evaluation of the firebox, gas systems, damper, chimney flue, crown, flue cap and exterior.

What is a wood or pellet stove certification?

Within Washoe County (Reno, Sparks and surrounding areas), freestanding or built-in wood and pellet stoves are required to be certified prior to close of escrow or upon transfer of the property, to verify that the units meet local air quality health requirements. The certification is not a mechanical evaluation. If the units cannot be certified, they must be removed from the property prior to close of escrow. Certifications are not required for standard masonry, manufactured zero clearance or gas log fireplaces.

How long does it take to complete an inspection?

For structures under 2,500 square feet, the structural inspection is usually completed in about two hours and the pest, heating and air conditioning and fireplace inspections are usually completed in about an hour. The completion times for each inspection will increase as the structures become larger or include multiple heating and air conditioning, or fireplace units. As Rea Inspection Services can schedule all of these inspections with one call, the inspections can be completed simultaneously.

When should an inspection be scheduled?

An inspection should be scheduled as soon as all agreements have been approved by the various parties. This would include the buyers, sellers, or lenders and banks, in the case of bank owned properties. In a majority of cases, conditions requiring repair will be uncovered during the inspection process. It is important to give plenty of time to complete the repairs and if needed, to verify that the repairs have been properly made, prior to closing escrow.

What is the lead time for scheduling an inspection?

During the slower part of the year (November through February), inspections can usually be scheduled within a couple of days. If additional specialists inspections are needed for heating, air conditioning and fireplaces, the lead time should be three to four days. During the busier time of year (March through October), inspections may take up to a week to schedule.

What information is needed to schedule an inspection?

Information that is essential includes, what inspections are needed (structural, pest, heating and air conditioning, fireplace), the inspection address, the names of the parties involved (buyers or sellers and the name of the real estate agent or other party coordinating the transaction), and the method of payment for the inspections. If being paid through escrow, you will need the name of the title company, escrow officer, escrow number and projected close of escrow date. If escrow information is not available at time of scheduling, it should be available at time of inspection. Other helpful information includes, the year the structure was built, the square footage of the structure and what type of foundation it has (slab or raised crawl space type). This additional information is useful by the inspector to determine how much time should be scheduled to complete a thorough inspection. Finally, The person scheduling the inspection needs to verify that all utilities for the structure are turned on. This would include electricity, gas and water.

When will the inspection report be delivered?

A verbal summary will be given immediately after completing the inspection. An e-mailed copy of the report will be sent in the evening following the inspection and a hard copy of the report will be mailed the next day.

Who receives a copy of the inspection report?

An inspection report is owned by the party that schedules and pays for the inspection. Copies of the report will not be given to anyone else, unless requested by the party who owns the report. Additionally, the inspection is only valid for the transaction that it is scheduled for. If the sale falls through, any new transactions for the same property will require a new inspection.

Who needs to be present for the inspection?

No one needs to be present for the inspection, except the party that unlocks the structure. However, it is beneficial for all parties involved in the transaction to be present at the end of the inspection, when the verbal summary is given. A better understanding of the repair items will be gained, if the parties involved are on site at time of inspection.

What is included in an inspection report?

An inspection report consists of detailed images, descriptions of problem areas, and recommendations for repair. Here is an example inspection report for reference.

Who determines what repairs found during the inspection are to be completed?

Repairs to be made are decided through negotiations between the buyers and sellers. The inspector is only the messenger that informs each party of potential repair items, but does not dictate repairs to be made.

Who should complete the repairs determined by the buyers and sellers?

We always recommend that repairs are completed by licensed contractors or specialists, as their license and insurance protects the parties from incomplete or incompetent work.

What is the procedure for verifying that repairs are completed?

When repairs are completed by a licensed contractor or specialist, an invoice is usually received which describes the work completed. Additionally, a re-inspect may be ordered from the inspector, to go back to the property and verify that repairs have been completed.

What should sellers do to prepare for an inspection?

For most structures, many of the repair items found during an inspection are minor and can be completed in a short time period by the seller. As the inspection process can be stressful for the parties involved, the fewer repair items that are found during the inspection, a greater level of confidence in the property is gained by the buyer. The following items should be completed prior to the inspection:

  • Make sure all utilities are on.
  • Make sure crawl space and attic access ports are unobstructed.
  • Make sure pilot lights are lit on all gas appliances.
  • Remove all storage items from dishwashers and ovens.
  • Replace burned out light bulbs.
  • Repair or replace damaged or missing window and door screens.
  • Install new furnace filters.
  • Re-caulk or re-grout open grout joints found at kitchen and
    bathroom counter back-splashes, floor edges at the faces of tubs
    and showers, and areas inside tub and shower surrounds.