The Ultimate Home Inspection Checklist for Texas Real Estate Agents

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A Real Estate Agent’s guide to a good home inspection experience for your client

As a real estate agent, one of the most important ways you can serve your home-buying clients is by guiding them through the inspection process. A professional home inspection is a critical step that provides vital information about the condition of the property. By educating your clients on what to expect and ensuring all key areas are thoroughly observed and documented, you can help make the inspection process go smoothly and set the stage for a successful transaction.

Before the Home Inspection

First, make sure your clients understand the purpose of the home inspection, which is to document the home’s condition at the time of the inspection and identify any potential deficiencies based on the standards set by the Texas Real Estate C omission. Explain what will happen during a typical home inspection and how long it usually takes (3 to 4 hours for a thorough inspection). Be proactive with the listing agent to ensure the inspector has full access to all the necessary areas of the home.  For example, confirm that all utilities will be turned on and any secured areas like crawl spaces or electrical boxes are unlocked.  If your client’s inspection includes a sewer camera inspection, ask the listing agent for the locations of the cleanouts.  A more thorough checklist can be found below.  This will make the process go much smoother on the day of the inspection.

During the Inspection

I always recommend that home buyers attend the inspection if possible. This allows them to ask the home inspector questions, see any deficiencies firsthand, and get a introduction to home maintenance. The home inspector will document the condition of the home inside and out using the official TREC form, checking key components like the foundation, roof, HVAC, plumbing and electrical systems. As the agent, you should attend the inspection review with your clients to take notes and photos if necessary. This allows you to hear the inspector’s verbal comments and stay fully looped in.

After the Inspection

Once the inspector delivers their report, review the findings with your clients. Help your clients understand and interpret what they are seeing, prioritize repairs and understand which issues may require additional follow up. If there are significant issues, your clients want addressed, make sure you are reaching back out to your inspector as you are preparing the repair addendum to get any clarifying questions answered.  Guide your clients through any follow-up inspections needed, such as a more detailed evaluation by an electrician, plumber or structural engineer.  Make sure your clients understand that they can ask for a reinspection after any negotiated repairs are completed.  Make sure they understand that at a reinspection only the items that were requested in the repair addendum will typically be observed.  In addition, the inspector is looking at the original deficiency to see if has been resolved, not necessary evaluating the quality of the work that was completed.

The Home Inspection Checklist

To ensure things go smoothly on the day of the inspection, make sure the inspector has access to the following areas:


  • Electrical Panels – Make sure boxes, shelves, etc. are not stacked in front, the inspector needs to be able to open and remove the cover.
  • Water Heaters – Make sure these are clear and accessible.  Be sure to ask if they are anyplace unusual and ensure if it is a gas appliance be sure that the pilot is lit.  It is common for a vacant home or one newly built to have the water heater turned off or placed in vacation mode.
  • Attics and crawlspaces.  Make sure things like cars have been removed below attic access spaces and if the home has a crawlspace, make sure that the location of the access hatch is known to the inspector prior to the inspection.  Often crawlspace access has been carpeted over or is buried inside a closet.
  • HVAC Equipment – Make sure the heating and air conditioning equipment is accessible.  This is rarely a problem, but occasionally the homeowner will have items stored in front of the HVAC system, especially in an attic which can limit an inspector’s access.  In addition, when the home being inspected is a condo or town-home, sometimes the outside unit can be on the roof.  If that is the case, be sure the inspector can access the roof to observe the equipment.  If the home has a mini-split system, make sure the remote control is present.
  • Cleanouts – If your client is getting a sewer camera inspection, be sure to ask the listing agent to provide the location of the cleanouts prior to the inspection.  It is very common for them to become buried over time in flowerbeds or yards.  While there are other ways for an inspector to access the sewer line, like a vent on the roof for example, it can cause there to be limitations to the inspection based on the length of cable, the inspector’s ability to move the camera completely through the line or other unforeseen obstacles.
  • Utilities – This may seem obvious, but ask about the utilities being on.  Sometimes a utility service will turn off service to a vacant home without the owner being aware of it.  This is especially common with gas.  The same may be true for the water lines after a winter freeze.  Use common sense here, sometimes these have been turned off for good reason, if a utility is off, first find out why, then make sure turning it on won’t cause property damage or become a safety hazard before asking it to be turned back on.
  • Remote Controls –  If there are remote controls needed to operate certain components, like blinds, awnings, ceiling fans, pool equipment, fireplaces, etc.  Be sure they are in the home at the time of the inspection and placed in a location obvious to the inspector.
  • Locked or Hidden Rooms -Make sure any locked or hidden rooms are open and unlocked during the inspection or that the inspector has a key to access them.  Some common areas that are commonly locked are walk-in attics, outbuildings, safe rooms, storm shelters and closets
  • Roof – If the home has a walk on 2 story roof, be sure to let the inspector know prior to the inspection.  These are roofs which typically require a longer ladder for access and your inspector may need to make special arrangements or bring special equipment for access.

Being Proactive Is Key

In my experience, taking a proactive approach is the best way to help your clients through the home inspection process. By making sure they know what to expect, keeping them informed, and ensuring all important areas are accessible, you can provide much-needed guidance and reassurance. Following the detailed inspection checklist will give your clients the peace of mind they need to make confident decisions. Your professionalism and attention to detail reflects well on you as an agent and sets the tone for a smooth and successful transaction.

House Fluent Inspections

House Fluent Inspections, the premier home inspection company in North Texas.

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