Home inspection day is an exciting day! You can be inside the home for the first time most likely, since you’ve made the offer and the last time before the final walkthrough. It is a great time to learn about the home, know what you are getting into and the condition of the home that you are purchasing.
So let’s cover some basic things that will take place during the inspection so you know what to expect and what will take place thereafter.
What is the point of a home inspection?
A home inspection is performed by a neutral 3rd party that has been hired to perform an inspection using national guidelines on the home. The inspector will provide a list of problems to address and to if applicable, negotiate with the seller to fix. Additionally, the inspector essentially provides to the buyer a detailed report or you can think of it as, a new owners manual for the home. You’ll receive information on how systems work, maintenance tips and schedules for the items within the home.
Most contracts to purchase have a clause to ensure that during the inspection, if anything catastrophic is found, you can back out of the deal altogether.
Who is in attendance?
The buyer & your agent should be at the inspection.
Sellers agent may be at the inspection.
It’s highly recommended you attend the inspection, as the inspector will provide useful information throughout the process of not only the pros and cons of the property, but show you how everything works as well. You will see and understand what you are reading in the report.
How long does it take?
You should block off the entire morning or afternoon. Most inspections take 2-4 hours depending on the size of the home.
What do you do during the inspection?
Follow along as much as you can. Take notes. Ask questions. And visualize living in the home too! This is your opportunity to see and hear what you will see written in a report.
Will this inspection cover every inch of the home?
No. Check out the services offered to you for the inspection and know what additional services you will need. Also remember, the inspection covers what the inspector can see. The inspector isn’t tearing out walls, cabinets, or using x-ray vision equipment. Also remember, people aren’t perfect, nor are homes (even new ones!) From the time of the inspection until the time that you move in, something could have changed. The inspection report is inclusive of what the inspector observed during his time in the home.
Why do I really need to have a home inspection performed? I have the sellers disclosure.
The sellers disclosure is great, but does not take the place of a trained eye going over every important element of the home. The sellers disclosure is great guide, because it is a great place to show the inspector where to look such as a fixed window.
What if my report has issues on it?
First, if there are any major components that are obviously broken and in need of major repair or replacement – such as heating and cooling systems, roof and windows – go after those and don’t sweat the small stuff. You want to make sure you take care of the important items that are needed for your house to function optimally. Follow the advice of your real estate professional and attorney. You will see some things on an inspection report. Don’t panic. Even new homes will have some things, as humans aren’t perfect.
Think of it as a to do list. Some things the seller may fix, others they may not. Your professionals will assist you in that area!
Keep in mind again, the inspector cannot make predictions as to what will happen in the future. If only they could though, right ?!