A home inspection is an examination of the condition of a home. The home inspection process is often, but not always, performed at the time of the sale of a home. It involves an experienced and licensed inspector checking the property’s appliance, electrical system, heat and air system, plumbing, roofing and many other minor or major issues. If you are a home buyer, you should know the condition of a property to avoid unexpected expenses after moving in. As the home seller, the results of a home inspection can make or break a deal. In any case, whether you are a buyer or a seller, here is a list of a few thing you should know about home inspections.
Inspections Are Optional
Home inspections are not required. They are, however, recommended. Generally speaking, inspections are a great idea and give you a better understanding of your home’s problems before you buy it and most times will allow you to negotiate with the seller to cover the cost of some repairs. Essentially, they give you an idea of whether you are equipped to handle the property or if you should move into another home that better suits your needs. Inspections are not invasive, so there is no need to worry about an inspector opening up walls in the house. Either way, the inspector will be able to get a clear idea of the home’s condition and can bring potential issues to your attention.
What Does An Inspection Cover?
A home inspection covers a variety of areas such as:
- interior plumbing system
- the interior electrical system
- foundation and basement
- heating and cooling systems
- the condition of the door, door frames, windows
- structural components of the home
- the condition of ceilings, floors, and wall
- visible insulation
- the attic
Why Get A Home Inspection Before Listing Your House?
If you get a home inspection before listing your home, you can eliminate surprises down the road. A ‘pre-inspection’ can give you a list of problems pertaining to the house and you can take your time in getting the repairs done. Once the repairs are finished, you can confidently list your home.
To Be Or Not To Be Present During The Home Inspection?
It is not a bad idea to be present during a home inspection. In fact, during the home inspection, it is a great time to ask any questions that you may have. For example – if you notice a crack in the wall you can find out whether it is a result of property settling over time or a problem with the foundation. Most inspectors will even offer a set of instructions on how to maintain the property after settlement.
Negotiating Home Repairs
As much as we may love our home, no home is perfect. Home inspections will most likely reveal at least one issue, even if your home is fairly new. There are actually options to negotiate home repairs. The seller can perform the repairs before settlement, the seller can credit money for the repairs, or they can become your responsibility. If the seller is not prepared financially to cover the cost, you can ask for a credit or price reduction. One exception to this is if a home is being sold in ‘as is’ condition. This means that the seller is not willing to make the repairs.
What Is The Buyer‘s Responsibility?
If you are a buyer, you most likely want to buy a house that is in a livable condition before closing. In this case, do not skip on a home inspection. Skipping on a home inspection can lead to several problems. Problems that do not immediately stand out may come to light after closing. And when the home’s problems are discovered, you can make a clean inspection a condition of your offer. Either way, it’s necessary for problems relating to the house to be fixed at the source.
What Is The Seller‘s Responsibility?
Potential buyers are interested in purchasing a house that is in great condition and ready to go. Investing both the time and money into repairing a home is a red flag for buyers. Although it is your responsibility to make sure that the home is livable for closing, don’t feel that you must comply with unreasonable demands for repairs.
Understanding the process of a home inspection and knowing what to expect is a highly important component when you are buying or selling a home. It pays off to be prepared!