A standard part of the process for buying a home is for the Buyer to hire a home inspector to get a property inspection. The home inspection report is often the key report that describes the current overall condition and quality of the property of the home is being purchased. The home inspector or licensed contractor will inspect and check every major component and/or feature. More often than not a home inspector will discover issues, imperfections or problems that the homebuyer would want to know about. It’s also a good idea to even inspect brand new construction since items will be addressed by the builder or the new construction warranty.
Buyers should attend the inspection, along with their agent, to go over Seller provided disclosures, and reports. The Buyer’s can ask the home inspector to look at specific disclosure items of interest that the Buyer want to understand if its a major, minor or perhaps not an issue. At the end of the home inspection, the Buyers should be present to ask the inspector for a quick review of the issues found, and to be able to ask any questions that come to mind.
Here are some basic questions that can help you get everything you want and need out of this key inspection report.
What to Ask at Your Inspection
- Are there any major issues with the property? It’s not uncommon for inspectors to uncover a lot of small problems…but remember, not all of them have to be fixed right away! You may have a few tiny, cosmetic issues that can easily be placed on the back burner for a good long while. It doesn’t hurt to ask your inspector what the truly pressing items are. These items need to more often than not be addressed by the seller and to your satisfaction fixed before you complete the purchase..
- Are there any safety hazards? If your inspector finds any safety issues they should be address and repaired by the Seller. These issues put you and the occupants of the house at risk. Some safety issues are fire hazards, electrical hazards, water leaks, or even slip and fall hazards.
- Can you recommend an expert to help with this problem? Sometimes, your inspector may discover a major, systemic issue with the house…for example, a heating or cooling issue, a plumbing problem, or an electrical failure. The inspector might find an issue that you have no idea of how to address. Don’t hesitate to ask for a referral or recommendation to look at the issue further.
- Did the inspector find issues due to deferred maintenance? Deferred maintenance items are a big indicator of whether the Seller took care of the home while owning it. Your inspector may see some little signs of trouble that could point toward bigger problems down the road. Ask the inspector what most likely caused the issue. Just because a house “looks” good doesn’t mean the house has been well cared for.
- How much will these repairs cost? Might be an obvious question but you should be careful asking this question. You may see some repairs that obviously need to be made but that doesn’t mean the inspector can address the repair and the actual cost.
After the Home Inspection
The home inspector and their report is a valuable resource to find out and learn the condition and quality of the property you are buying. That being said it’s important to take your time reviewing the information from the home inspection. You should work closely with your agent to gather more information about any issues found. What you may think is a major issue can be addressed through communication with the Seller/Seller’s Agent. The Seller may be able to clear up the issue or have it addressed. Most likely you will want further inspection by a licensed contractor to look at any major items discovered and to give you a real cost to address. Your agent should be able to request any items of concerned found by the home inspector to be addressed by the seller. A good agent will help you manage the home inspection issues and concerns quickly and to your satisfaction. They should also be able to help you get the Seller to address any issues to your satisfaction as well.