This allows you to renegotiate closing costs, ask the sellers to cover repairs, renegotiate the price paid for the home or in some cases, walk away. Your agent can advise you on the best course of action once the report is filed.
What does a home inspector do?
A home inspector will complete a detailed walk-through of the home you’re looking to buy, sometimes taking two to three hours or more. The inspection includes a review of the physical structure, as well as its mechanical and electrical systems. This includes roof, ceilings, walls, floors, windows and doors. The inspector will examine the heating and air-conditioning system, examine the plumbing and electrical systems and climb up into the attic and down into the basement or crawlspace and will check that major appliances are functioning as intended.
During the inspection, the inspector will take notes and will also photograph the home to show buyers if they are not present for the inspection. In some cases after an inspection, the inspector will provide an opinion on the home’s condition, if requested.
What a home inspector does not do
While the inspector does a thorough exam of the home most inspectors are not able to detect the unseen. This means certain things may go unnoticed, such as, asbestos, pest, mold, radon or other hazardous substances.
The goal of the inspection is to uncover issues with the home itself. Inspectors should not tell you if you are getting a good deal on the home or offer an opinion on the sale price.
It is important to know an inspection is not a pass/fail system. It will assist you in learning more about your new home and will help with the decision to continue with the purchase or to pass on the purchase.
So what is next? The most important decision with home inspections is choosing a reliable and professional home inspector.
How to Choose an Inspector
Your agent will most likely have a short list of inspectors they have worked with in the past. Consider the following 5 areas when choosing the right home inspector for you:
- Qualifications– Find out what’s included in your inspection & that the inspector is licensed or not.
- Sample Reports– Ask for a sample inspection report so you can review how thoroughly they will be inspecting your dream home. The more detailed the report, the better in most cases.
- References– Do your homework – ask for phone numbers and names of past clients that you can call to ask about their experience.
- Memberships– Not all inspectors belong to a national or state association of home inspectors, and membership in one of these groups should not be the only way to evaluate your choice. Membership in one of these organizations often means that there is continued training and education provided.
- Errors & Omission Insurance– Find out what the liability of the inspector or inspection company is once the inspection is over. The inspector is only human after all, and it is possible that they might miss something they should have seen. -(Realtor.com)
Be a part of the process
Ask your inspector if he can walk through the home with you and at the end of the inspection to point out anything that should be addressed or fixed. You do not have to climb into the attic with him or crawl under the porch, but follow along where you can, and take notes. The inspector may make some great suggestions along the way — as well as point out peculiarities and unique features.
Although inspections can turn up serious defects, every house will have its imperfections. You might choose to think of many of these as simply endearing beauty marks.
They say ‘ignorance is bliss’, but not when investing your hard-earned money in a home of your own. Work with a professional you can trust to give you the most information possible about your new home so that you can make the most educated decision about your purchase.
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