With winter weather showing up in the Metroplex this week, it’s a good time to let home buyers know a few things that might save time, effort and frustration in scheduling a home inspection. Some listing agents, government agencies, and owners have started to “winterize” vacant homes on their inventory. This means that the water supply to the home will not only be turned off, but the plumbing fixtures and water heaters may have been drained.
When preparing to sign the purchase contract, ask the real estate agents involved to make sure that the house can be inspected, including plumbing fixtures. Get permission up front to keep water on, where it is possible, or to “de-winterize” the property, if the sellers or their agents insist on winterizing anyway.
Many inspectors will include a surcharge in their fees to de-winterize a home for the inspection, since the process takes extra time and care in order to prevent accidental water damage. Some inspectors will charge an additional fee to “re-winterize” the property, since this too takes extra time, tools and expertise. Ask your inspector if there are extra charges involved at the time you schedule your inspection.
At House Exam Inspection, our policy has always been to get permission from the listing agent before we de-winterize, and not to charge for de-winterizing. It’s a company choice. We take great care to prevent property damage, and we make certain that arrangements for re-winterizing have been made, or we do it ourselves. This is just another way we stand out from the average inspection company, and provide an extra measure of service to our clients.
If you have any questions, feel free to call, or email us. You may leave a comment below. We are always glad to be of service.