Navigating the Home Inspection Process

The home inspection serves a couple of purposes in the home-buying process.

  1. It is an opportunity for the buyer to learn about the property they are trying to purchase. They get to spend a couple of hours with a licensed home inspector going from basement to attic and all around the exterior investigating the nuances of that particular house.
  2. The home inspector will help educate the buyer on any repairs that may need to be made. They usually categorize these repairs as either imminent (having to do with safety or severe damage) or alerting the buyer to budget for repairing or replacing something in the near future.

88% of homebuyers have said that home inspections increase their confidence about the condition of any property.

*American Society of Home Inspectors

As a seller, what should you be aware of when it comes to the home inspection-

Before listing the house it is essential to fix any repairs that may be considered a health and safety issue once a buyer does a home inspection. This will save you hassle in the future and help you avoid scaring off nervous first-time buyers. If you have an older furnace or boiler, it is a good idea to have it cleaned and serviced by a reputable company so that the buyer can see that it is in good working order. Big-ticket items such as the roof, windows and HVAC are very important to prospective buyers. They do not want to have to invest a lot of money in repairing or replacing these items.

As a buyer, what should you be aware of when it come to home inspection-

Hire a home inspector with a good reputation. You can even ask your Realtor or mortgage lender for a few names. The home inspectors job is not to alarm a buyer but to educate them. Keep in mind that unless you are buying a brand new house, there are going to be things to repair. No house is perfect. The report may unveil a hidden defect such as a leaky toilet or tub not draining properly. You have two options: either ask the seller to fix these items or ask for a credit at closing to repair them once you move in.

The following is a list of some of the most common issues that home inspections uncover:

  1. Roofing- missing or rotted fascia, inadequate ventilation, curled or missing shingles
  2. Windows- broken sash cords, windows painted shut
  3. Electrical – open junction boxes, double tapped circuit breakers, outlets with reverse polarity
  4. Heating- dirty furnace, blocked chimney
  5. Exterior- improper grading, crumbling masonry
  6. Plumbing- rusted or corroded pipes, leaky sinks or toilets, slow drains

(Source: Inside Job by Gwen Moran crs.com)

Comments

  1. Thanks so much for this article! My wife and I recently moved into a new property and I wish we’d taken the time to inspect it ourselves (or have a professional look at it in-depth) before we moved in. Can’t really overstate the importance of home inspection. Great information, great article.

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