Before closing on a home sale, many homebuyers enlist a home inspector to assess and evaluate the condition of the home. Here’s what to expect, and 5 home inspection mistakes to prevent in the process.
What is a home inspection?
A home inspection offers a property buyer an opportunity to have an expert assess a home and give an evaluation of its condition. Usually, homebuyers get a home inspection done before they buy a house, but sellers, in some cases, decide to have one completed too before listing their home for sale.
A qualified home inspector can help you identify potential issues with the home you’re about to own, and they can provide you with detailed information that will help you with the upkeep after relocating. Based on what the home inspector finds, you can ask the seller to pay for repairs or make concessions before closing the deal. If the home inspection reports significant problems with the property, you may choose to entirely back out of the purchase.
5 Home Inspection Errors To Avoid
- NOT looking into the inspector
You should work with a qualified professional from a reliable home inspection company. Hire a home inspector that is certified, licensed, experienced, and has great reviews. Before hiring one, ask them:
- How long have you been performing home inspections?
- How many home inspections have you completed?
- What are your qualifications, certifications, and training?
- What was your previous job before you decided to become a home inspector? (An inspector ought to be familiar with property construction, so a background as a construction contractor can be helpful).
It can be tempting to go with the least expensive option, but an excellent home inspector could save you a lot more money in the long term than having to break the bank should you not get a home inspection.
An inspector also needs to be able to identify concerns with a home and explain them in a simple, jargon-free way to buyers who are generally non-experts.
- NOT going to the inspection.
Participating in the inspection isn’t required, but it is a wise move. Simply reading the home inspection report isn’t enough to offer most homeowners and homebuyers the big, full picture.
The home inspection may take a whole morning or afternoon, so set aside ample time to schedule an appointment. Some inspectors will sit with you after the assessment to discuss things and answer your concerns.
A good home inspector can also provide you a price estimate of how much expense you will need on repair work and upgrades, which is extremely important information as you consider your spending plan and what you might want to ask the seller to cover.
- NOT reading the inspection report
In addition to attending the home inspection, do not gloss over the delivered report when it’s ready. You invested in it. Reading and understanding the report would likely save you from unknowingly walking into a money pit.
Ideally, the home inspector will be someone who delivers a report in clear, concise language in-person and in a digitally written format. To help you to be prepared, the home inspector advises scanning a few reports by navigating the inspector’s website or asking for a sample report.
- NOT getting a presale inspection
A lot of sellers choose to leave the home inspection to the buyers. That’s a mistake.
When the buyers get an inspection (and if they’re smart, they will), the sellers might have little time to finish repair work and keep the sale on track. If the seller has a presale inspection before listing it on the marketplace, he or she has more time to do repairs, shop around, and manage the costs for the work.
In addition, both buyers and sellers often wait too long to engage a home inspector. It is recommended that you get a professional home inspector before having or making an offer on a home.
If you’re selling, work on booking a schedule with a local home inspector as soon as you’re seriously considering listing. At least, begin doing some research on some of the best inspectors in your area.
- NOT prepping the house
It’s hard for home inspectors to do their tasks well if the homeowners don’t prepare. Some of the things homeowners can do are move anything sitting on top of a crawl space hatch, and provide lock keys or open any utility closet, basement, shed, or any areas that the home inspector needs access to.
Similarly, if repairs are needed, hire an expert to do them. In some cases, sellers try to DIY or get them done on the cheap, but poor work will be exposed during the follow-up inspection which could lead to the need for more repairs — and another inspection.
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