One of the most common questions I am asked is, “Should I get a home inspection?” The answer to that is almost always yes, especially with first time home buyers. Buying a home is likely the largest purchase a consumer will make in their lifetime so the small invesment in a home home inspection only makes sense. If you are in the market to buy or sell real estate, consider my top ten “Do’s & Don’ts” of home inspections.
DO ask your REALTORⓇ and/or family and friends for home inspector recommendations. There is no national accreditation or licensing for home inspectors so rely on rave reviews from people you trust.
DO call at least 3 inspectors and ask to see a sample report, ask them about their work experience and personality counts! You will be spending around 3 hours with this person, they need to have good communication skills.
DON’T plan on using the home inspection as a means to renegotiate the purchase price. Negotiate in good faith based on your showings of the property and recent comparable sales. The home inspection is to ensure there are no immediate expensive repairs needed and that there are no major safety issues that were not uncovered during a previous viewing of the property.
DON’T give the seller a “Honey Do List” after the inspection of minor insignificant items you want rectified. You are buying resale. No home is ever perfect.
DO consider a home inspection prior to submitting an offer. If you are in a seller’s market, you may not want to put in an inspection clause when competing. Many sellers are open to inspections prior to offer date and many inspectors offer “mini inspections” for these circumstances.
DON’T expect miracles from your home inspector. Basically the inspection is like a general check-up, not an x-ray exam. While they should have a keen eye for detail they cannot detect the unseen.
DO consider a pre-inspection prior to listing your home. I highly recommend these reports for original home sellers who have lived in their house for a long time. It can speed up the offer process and eliminates surprises. It also allows the seller to repair any unknown deficiencies prior to selling.
DON’T expect a pass/fail on the inspection. A good inspection report will contain photos, checklists, written reviews with estimates on life expectancy for major systems and equipment (like furnace, A/C, shingles, etc.).
DON’T bring relatives and friends to a home inspection. A home inspection should be done with your REALTORⓇ, the inspector and the buyers of the subject property. Not only is it a distraction to have more people present, the sellers are not expecting extra guests parading through their home.
DO review the finalized home inspection report with your REALTORⓇ to determine if there is anything that needs to be addressed prior to waiving the home inspection condition or if the right course of action is to walk away from the purchase. In either event, your REALTORⓇ will help guide you to make the right decision.
The best part of a home inspection is that the buyer learns much about their potential new home that they would not have otherwise. Even if there are no defects found, a home inspection is money well spent for the peace of mind it brings to a buyer as they confidently move in to their new address.
Looking for home inspector recommendations? Call or text me at 519-859-7792.