Before finalizing on a home purchase it is imperative to get an inspection. This home inspection is to be conducted right after mutual acceptance of the purchase and sale agreement or the offer. Once mutual acceptance has happened the earnest money can be deposited or held with the escrow or title company and the transaction moves on to “subject to inspection”. It is at this point that the buyer needs to schedule a home inspection from a professional inspector. This can be scheduled through the buyer’s agent, a local company or the buyer themselves but there are five important things you should know about the home inspection.
#1. The buyer is free to choose the home inspector.
Your real estate agent can recommend a home inspector but it is ultimately up to you to decide who inspects the home you’re planning on buying. This is so that there is no biased report or conflict of interest. You are free to choose whomever you want and get referrals, references, and reviews about a home inspector before choosing a professional.
#2. The home inspector works for whoever is paying the inspection feet.
The Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics state that members act as an unbiased third party to the real estate transaction. This means that their sole priority is to unbiased really report on the condition of the property. They will not conduct a home inspection or prepare a report if their fee is contingent on untruthful conclusions. If the inspector is “fixing” the report just to get the deal closed, that is considered unethical and illegal.
#3. The home inspection will include the basics.
The home inspection report will contain hundreds of different items and of these items will be properly inspected but, if there is something more in-depth or extensive that needs to be handled by a professional that deals with that specific item, the inspector should recommend an additional inspection. The inspector will report on things such as the roof, decks, porches, the exterior, plumbing, heating and cooling, electrical, fireplaces etc., but if the home has a septic system or needs a roof certification, this will need to be handled by a professional that deals solely with those items.
#4. The inspection will point out adverse conditions.
A home inspection will not mention an outdated countertop if there is nothing wrong with it. They will not mention any cosmetic issues, only hazardous issues that should be dealt with either prior to purchase or once you move in. Even though no houses perfect, the inspector will mention if the foundation is unstable, electrical work needs to be redone or the integrity of the home is simply not safe.
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#5. Inspectors are not responsible for the home’s condition.
An inspector simply points out hazardous issues or things that may need repair. They are not responsible for any problems that the home may have. They will not unearth any walls or flooring or 10 up anything to inspect further. If there is a concern, the inspector will make note of it and suggest an additional inspection such as a pest inspection, insulation, or attic problems.
You always want to have a home inspection before buying your property. Remember, this is hundreds of thousands of dollars and it’s only smart to know as much about the property ahead of time as you can.
For more information on home inspections and referrals contact my office today.