Home Inspection Expectations
Your offer was accepted and you are “under contract”. One of the first things to schedule is the home inspection. Depending on what issues are uncovered during the home inspection, you may be able to ask the sellers to repair or replace items, renegotiate the purchase price, ask the seller to pay closing costs or even have the option to terminate the contract if inspection items are not resolved to your satisfaction.
How to Choose a Home Inspector
Your agent will most likely have a short list of inspectors they have worked with in the past who they can recommend to you. Realtor.com suggests you consider the following 5 areas when choosing the right home inspector for you:
- Qualifications – find out what’s included in your inspection & if the age or location of your home may warrant specific certifications or specialties.
- Sample Reports – ask for a sample inspection report so you can review how thoroughly they will be inspecting your dream home.
- References – do your homework – ask for phone numbers and names of past clients you can call to ask if they were happy with the professional who did their inspection.
- Memberships – Not all inspectors belong to a national or state association of home inspectors. Some states do not require a home inspector to be licensed. Belonging to an association can mean 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.
Don’t be surprised to see your inspector climbing on the roof, crawling around in the attic, and in the crawlspace. The job of the inspector is to protect your investment and find any issues with the home. Some of the items may include the roof, plumbing, electrical components, appliances, heating & air conditioning systems, ventilation, windows, the fireplace & chimney, and the foundation. Be aware that inspectors are not structural engineers. If you have concerns about the foundation, ask your agent about having a structural engineer take a look.
Always try to be present at your home inspection! A good inspector will be happy to have you there and answer all your questions.
Real Estate Bottom Line
The expression “ignorance is bliss” does not apply when buying a home. Be sure to hire a home inspection professional you can trust to give you reliable information about your new home – the good and not so good aspects. You want to make an educated decision as how to proceed with the purchase of your next home.