Six Things You Should Know About Home Inspections

  1. Home inspections are intended to point out adverse conditions, not cosmetic flaws. No house is perfect and an inspection on any home will likely uncover faults. It’s important to focus on faults considered to be material defects that could have substantial impact on the property value or safety issues that pose a danger to occupants.
     
  2. Building inspectors cannot do destructive testing. In other words, inspectors don’t go behind walls or under flooring, so it’s possible that a serious problem can be overlooked. Also remember, inspectors are not party to a sales transaction, so if you buy a home where an expensive problem surfaces after the sale, the inspector may not be liable for damages.|
     
  3. Your home inspector considers hundreds of items during an average inspection, including but not limited to, the home’s exterior, chimneys, porches, decks, roof, windows and doors. Inside they look at attics, electrical components, plumbing, central heating and air conditioning, basement/crawlspaces, garages and more. You should be provided a detailed report following your inspection.
     
  4. It’s important to ask your inspector questions about any concerns. There’s a lot of information covered and sometimes further questioning helps clarify if a finding is an easy, inexpensive fix or a problem with no easy or inexpensive solution.
     
  5. A home inspection will help you decide if the home is in a condition that you can accept. You can also use the report to show the seller the need for certain repairs or negotiate a reasonable credit at closing. Inspections are also useful in showing contractors what repairs are needed per the inspector.
     
  6. Home inspectors work for the party who is paying the fee. However, a reputable home inspector will not report untruthful conclusions to satisfy the paying party. The inspector is to maintain client confidentiality and keep all report findings private. If the buyer pays for the inspection, the seller does not have a right to use a buyer’s inspection. For example, a buyer provides a seller with a home inspection they paid for while negotiating repairs, but the deal falls apart. The seller should not, without written permission, provide that inspection to future buyers of their property. The seller didn’t pay for the inspection and does not have the right to share the report.