Maybe you have asked the question “Is getting a home inspection really that important?” They can be a little bit of a financial burden at times and can even delay the closing on your new home. Because of these reasons, many buyers are waiving the home inspection these days. This is not a good financial move. The idea may be to save time or money, but in the long run, without that inspection, you are more likely to run into major problems causing much more of a financial crisis than the few hundred dollars you would pay an inspector before closing. The issues you may face can also consume much of your time. So, are you really saving anything by skipping this step? Most would say that you are doing more harm than good.
Here are some frequently asked questions regarding inspections…
What is an inspector? A home inspector is a third party, hired professional that has no opinion in the real estate transaction. He/She is hired to do a job, and that is what they will do. They are usually hired by the buyer, but they have no interest in the buying or selling of the property as they will be paid for their services either way. They are trained to visually look at the condition of the interior and exterior features of the home. They cannot see into the future, but in their expert opinions, they can tell you if something needs to be replaced immediately or if there are any safety concerns in the home. They can give you their best judgement on the condition of the foundation, roof, heating and cooling system, windows, and much more. They may even be able to tell you how much longer you can expect to get out of the current roof or A/C unit.
What do home inspectors do? Upon visual inspection, the inspector’s job is to give you a heads up on the condition of the property you intend to purchase. Without disassembling anything, he intends to find any major issues that may cause you problems in the future. If he does find anything of concern, he will report back to you, and you can choose to fix it yourself, negotiate to have the seller fix it, or you can back out of the deal before it’s too late. A trained professional knows what to look for and how to spot potential trouble. That is why it is best to hire a reputable inspector. After all, this is one of the biggest investments you will make during your lifetime.
How do I find a reputable inspector? Referrals are the best way to find a good inspector. Your real estate agent should be a good resource for helping you find one of high quality. You should also ask friends and family if they know of anyone in the area. Questions you should ask when talking with inspectors include: What are your qualifications? Do you have any references? Are you a member of any home inspector associations (as these associations often require training and certifications)? What kind of errors and omissions insurance policy do they have (continue reading for more about E & O)? Can I see a sample report? Getting answers to all of these questions will help you to narrow your search down to the ones you feel most comfortable hiring.
What is errors and omissions insurance? Errors and Omissions insurance is a policy that companies or individuals may acquire to cover any problems that may pop up in the future (after closing, for example). Inspectors are human and humans sometimes make mistakes. You can choose the best rated inspector in the area, but there is still a chance that he will accidentally overlook an issue. Find out if the inspector has E & O insurance and the terms of the policy – like how long it is good for and what it covers.
What do I do with the inspection report? After the completed inspection, you may have to negotiate repairs with the seller. Maybe some major issues were found that need to be taken care of, or maybe it is just small things. Either way, if it is important to you that the seller fix the problem, you need to take care of it before moving foward. This is something you and your agent will need to address. It is quite possible that the sellers are just as excited about moving out as you are about moving into your new home. You may need to reinspect certain repairs after they complete them to make sure they are done well rather than rushed through. This isn’t going to be their home anymore so they may not have much concern for the quality of work. You, however, are going to be living there, so make sure it is done to your satisfaction.
What if I have an inspection and then I find a problem after I close on my house? You have done the best you can to find the best inspector, so you are going to have to trust his/her work. However, as mentioned before, people are not perfect and can make mistakes. If you find an issue after closing, you will need to figure out if it was something you think was overlooked by the inspector or if it happened after the inspection was completed. You may need to get in touch with a contractor to help you determine the cause or time frame of the issue. If you do believe that it was an oversight during inspection and is a major concern, you can contact your inspector to see what options are available to you. There have been different reports of reconciliation depending on the situation. You and your inspector will have to reach an agreement that is best for the two of you. Very rarely will this even be the case if you choose wisely when having your new home inspected.
In summary, home inspections are not a waste of time or money that you should skip over when buying a new home. Just as with every other step in the real estate process, you must make informed decisions. We are here to help you every step of the way!
Sources: Bankrate.com, Realtor.com, Zillow.com, Trulia.com