Learn How To Start Investing In Real Estate
Learn How To Start Investing In Real Estate

How To Pass A 4 Point Home Inspection

Written by Than Merrill

When you’re faced with a 4-point home inspection, understanding what it entails and how to pass it is crucial. This inspection, often a key requirement in real estate transactions, evaluates the major systems of your home. Whether you’re a homeowner looking to sell or a buyer considering a purchase, knowing how to pass a 4-point home inspection can significantly impact your journey in the property market.

What Is A 4-Point Home Inspection

A 4-point home inspection is a thorough examination of the four key components of a home: the roof, electrical systems, plumbing, and HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning). It’s designed to assess the condition and functionality of these essential areas, ensuring they meet safety and insurance standards.

Why Is It Important?

Passing a 4-point home inspection is often a prerequisite for obtaining homeowners insurance or financing in real estate deals. It reassures buyers and insurance companies that the property is in good condition, devoid of major hazards or deficiencies.

General Preparation Tips

To prepare for the inspection, schedule it at a convenient time and gather any relevant documents, such as receipts for repairs or maintenance records. Ensuring accessibility to all areas of inspection is also key.

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How To Pass Each Point of the Inspection


The condition of your roof is a critical aspect of the 4-point home inspection. Home inspectors are looking for signs of aging, such as curling or missing shingles, and evidence of leaks or water damage. Here are some tips:

  • Regular Maintenance: Conduct regular inspections and cleanings of your roof. Remove any debris, such as fallen leaves or branches, which can retain moisture and lead to damage.

  • Repair Damages: Address any minor damages, like cracked shingles or broken tiles. For flat roofs, ensure there’s no standing water.

  • Gutter Maintenance: Ensure gutters and downspouts are clean and properly attached, facilitating good drainage away from the roof.

  • Flashing and Sealant Check: Inspect the flashing around chimneys, vents, and skylights. Ensure they are sealed correctly to prevent leaks.

Electrical System

A safe and up-to-code electrical system is essential. Inspectors will check for a variety of issues, including outdated wiring and safety hazards. Here’s how to prepare:

  • Update Old Wiring: If your home has outdated wiring like knob-and-tube or aluminum wiring, consider upgrading to meet current safety standards.

  • Circuit Breaker Maintenance: Label each circuit in your breaker box clearly and ensure they are easily accessible.

  • GFCI Outlets: Install Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) outlets in areas with water exposure, such as bathrooms and kitchens, to prevent shock hazards.

  • Check Smoke Detectors: Ensure smoke detectors are functioning properly and placed appropriately throughout the home.


Plumbing issues can be a major red flag during an inspection. Here’s how to address common plumbing concerns:

  • Leak Inspection: Regularly inspect under sinks, around toilets, and near appliances for any signs of leaks.

  • Water Heater Maintenance: Check your water heater for signs of corrosion or leaks. Ensure it’s set at the appropriate temperature and has a functioning pressure relief valve.

  • Pipe Insulation: Insulate any exposed pipes to prevent freezing in colder months.

  • Drainage Efficiency: Make sure all drains are clear of clogs and draining efficiently. Use a non-corrosive cleaner or a plumber’s snake to clear any blockages.

HVAC System

A functional HVAC system is crucial for a positive inspection outcome. Here’s how to ensure yours is in top shape:

  • Regular Servicing: Have your HVAC system serviced by a professional at least once a year to ensure it’s running efficiently.

  • Filter Replacement: Change filters regularly, as dirty filters can hinder airflow and strain the system.

  • Thermostat Check: Test your thermostat to ensure it accurately controls your HVAC system.

  • Clear Area Around Units: Keep the area around your HVAC units clear of debris and foliage to ensure proper airflow.

Common Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them

  • Ignoring Minor Repairs: Small problems like a leaky faucet or a cracked tile might seem insignificant, but they can raise red flags for inspectors. Make sure to address even the smallest repairs before the inspection.

  • Overlooking Old Systems: Just because your HVAC or plumbing system has been working fine for years doesn’t guarantee it will pass the inspection. Have older systems checked by a professional and make necessary upgrades or repairs.

  • Poor Electrical Maintenance: One of the most common issues in home inspections is outdated or unsafe electrical systems. Ensure that your home’s electrical system is up to current safety standards. This includes checking for exposed wiring, testing all outlets and switches, and making sure your electrical panel is properly labeled and organized.

  • Roof Neglect: A worn or damaged roof can be a major issue in a 4-point inspection. Look for missing shingles, signs of leaks, or clogged gutters and address these issues promptly.

  • DIY Repairs Gone Wrong: While DIY repairs can save money, they can also backfire if not done correctly. Poorly executed repairs can be easily spotted by inspectors and might suggest other underlying issues in the home.

  • Insufficient Documentation: Having a well-documented history of repairs and maintenance can be very helpful during the inspection. Keep all receipts, warranties, and records organized and readily available.

  • Clutter and Inaccessibility: Ensure that all smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, and other safety equipment are in working order. This is not only crucial for passing the inspection but also for the safety of the home’s occupants.

  • Clear Area Around Units: A cluttered home can hinder an inspector’s ability to thoroughly examine all areas. Ensure that the inspector has easy access to attics, basements, electrical panels, and HVAC systems.

By being proactive and attentive to these areas, you can significantly improve your home’s readiness for a 4-point inspection and increase the likelihood of a favorable outcome.


Before the inspector arrives, do a final walkthrough of your property. Make sure all areas are accessible and any last-minute fixes are completed. During the inspection, be prepared for the inspector to take notes and photographs, and ask questions if needed.

Understanding how to pass a 4-point home inspection is well worth the effort. It not only aids in smooth real estate transactions but also ensures that your home is safe and well-maintained. With the right preparation and attention to detail, you can confidently navigate this process.

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