If you are buying or selling a home, it is important to understand what an inspection entails, and how it can affect the sale or the actual purchase price.
A home inspection is an objective visual examination of the structure,and various systems of a home, by a neutral third party. It will inform the buyer if there is something wrong with the property, and if it is serious enough to cancel the purchase of the home, or ask that the seller fix deficiencies. It is important to note that an inspection does not necessarily address code violations, and therefore does not guarantee that the home is free of them.
The inspectors shall first, evaluate the physical condition of the home. And second, shall identify items in need of repair or replacement. And third, if applicable, estimate the remaining useful life of the major system, equipment and structures.
The inspector may recommend that special, other inspections, be performed when needed. For example, if the roof is made of tile, it is a good idea to have a separate inspection of the entire roof. This is something that is not covered by a general inspection. A second example would be to have an in ground swimming pool inspected. It is important to make sure that the pool system is running properly, and that the structure is sound, free of cracks, or tears in the lining. Please note that these inspections cost additional money, but are well worth the investment when making such a large purchase.
For an inspection, it is recommended that the potential buyer be present. An inspector cannot report defects that are not visible. It is often helpful for the buyer to be present so that all areas can be explored and considered by the inspector. This could include walls blocked by pictures or furniture, or rugs covering the floors. It is also good for the buyer to be present during the inspection so that the buyer can ask questions as issues arise. The inspector may offer basic maintenance tips during the inspection process.
The inspection should include turning on systems, such as furnaces and air conditioners to make sure they are working properly.
HIRING AN INSPECTOR
To hire an inspector, get recommendations from your realtor. They will generally have a list of experts that they use or refer on a regular basis. If the realtor does not provide such referrals, ask your friends or family, or check on line for "home inspection services" in your area. Make sure you interview the inspector to make sure he/she has the appropriate training, experience for what you are wanting him/her to investigate.
ONCE THE INSPECTION IS COMPLETED
The seller is not required to make any repairs or replacements. However, the buyer can use the inspection report as a negotiating tool. The buyer can ask that the price be lowered to cover the suggested repairs. Or the buyer can cancel the sale if the home has major issues that the seller does not agree to replace/repair. The inspection report typically will be several pages long.
COSTS AND TIME INVOLVED
The inspector needs to be accurate, and accuracy takes time. Once the inspection is booked it may take several days before the appointment occurs. The inspection with take several hours, which will vary from house to house. Older homes often take more time than newer ones.
The cost of the inspection will vary by location, but often the expense is between $350.00 and $500.00. And of course extra inspections such as roofs and pools cost additional money.