May 24, 2011

What does a home inspection cover?

If you decide to have a home inspection, the major components of the home will be visually inspected and in some cases, tested by a trained professional. You will receive a written report outlining details about the home and the inspection results. Com­ponents inspected generally include the roof, heating unit, plumbing, electrical system, structure, foundation, major appliances and much more.

A Great Tool For Buyers And Sellers

The question of whether or not to have an inspection should actually not be a question at all. One of the most common com­plaints against home sellers is in the area of condition, specifically disclosure of the condition. A home inspection is a valuable tool in deter­mining and disclosing condition to both buyer and seller. The inspection promotes a better understanding of a home’s structural and mechanical features and can provide a more efficient transaction for the buyer and seller.

What An Inspection Is..And Is Not

If you decide to have a home inspection, the major components of the home will be visually inspected and in some cases, tested by a trained professional. You will receive a written report outlining details about the home and the inspection results. Com­ponents inspected generally include the roof, heating unit, plumbing, electrical system, structure, foundation, major appliances and much more.

The purpose of the home inspection is to dis­cover and disclose the condition of the principal struc­tural and mechanical components of the home. Because this is a visual examination, an inspec­tion does have limitations. The inspection is not:

• A code compliance or safety inspection

• A valuation of the premises

• A detailed report of minor defects

• A representation of whether or not a buyer should purchase the home

• A warranty

Keep in mind, an inspection is made as of a particular date. It is  possible that the condition could change after that point in time.

No Home Is Perfect

One of the most common “myths” about hous­ing is that a newer home is  “OK” because of its young age. Although it may be statistically less likely for a new home to have problems, they can and do occur. The best way to reduce those surprises is to inspect the home. I have actually seen brand new homes with defects, remember, not all builders are created equal either.

Even though each individual’s idea of the “perfect” home is different, every home has some flaw, no matter how minor it might be. Neither buyer nor seller should be surprised to have one turn up in an inspection.

Our Recommendation

We recommend and urge the seller to have an inspection when the home is listed. A home inspection at that time will provide the seller with:

• a reduced chance of liability

• control and stability during price negotiations

• assistance with disclosure responsibilities

• confidence and efficiency throughout the process

A last minute inspection can cause delay frus­tration and unnecessary concerns. Why not be upfront right from the start? If you are concerned about the outcome of an inspection, that is even more of a reason to have an inspection completed. As a seller, you should be able to present your home with confidence, disclosing its limitations and highlighting its luxuries. A home inspec­tion will help you do just that.

Buyer Beware

Although we believe that the ideal time for a home inspection is when the seller “lists”, in many cases, it will be up to the buyer to have the home inspected. The reason for this is simple. Understanding condition is an fundamental part of determining value, and an inspection helps give you that vital understanding.

For the seller, we know that a home inspection provides confidence and assistance. For the buyer, it will give you information, and con­sidering that you are probably making the most significant investment of your life, you should take advantage of all the information available to you. Whether you are a seller looking for support, or a buyer looking for peace of mind, a home inspection will help you find it.

Helpful Hiring Tips

Not all home inspectors are created equal. So choosing a home inspector requires the same kind of due diligence that is required when selecting an agent, a mortgage provider, a builder and other service providers. I recommend interviewing three of them by telephone, or better yet, email your questions to them if you have the capability. Here are some requests for them:

  • Ask that a copy of the typical inspection report they perform be sent to you to review.
  • Ask for three recommendations.
  • Ask if they are covered with “errors and omissions” insurance.
  • Ask if the inspection is transferable to the buyer. It should be, or they may charge a smaller re-inspection fee.
  • Ask if the inspector is associated with any company that repairs inspected items. If they are, seek second opinions and multiple proposals on any work to be completed.

Of course, the decision to have a home inspec­tion is yours, the buyer or seller. It is another notable decision you will make during your journey through the real estate transaction.

Information Is Power

Real estate success stories begin and end with accurate information. The more information you have, the more power you have to make a wise decision. At DearMonty.com we are serious about you being a real estate success story. That’s why we constantly provide quality information about the many home buying and selling aspects you need to consider.

If you have a question ask me and I will answer it.