The Home Inspection: A Test Drive with Higher Stakes

A standard checklist item of today’s home purchase, the home inspection is an opportunity to explore the ins-and-outs of a listing for sale.

A certified home inspector, hired by the potential buyer, will closely assess the condition of a home for sale and provide a detailed report of their findings. Ideally, no major issues exist in the home and the buyer gains confidence to proceed with their purchase.

What to Expect During Your Home Inspection

From the roof to the foundation, your inspector will thoroughly take note (and photographs) of the home’s physical structure, test its mechanical and electrical systems and the functionality of major appliances, even wriggle their way into the attic and crawl spaces. Smart buyers (and their Realtors) will attend the home inspection, likely two to three hours in length, to learn more about the home. If you do tag along, inspectors will likely explain what he sees and field questions. Feel free to ask away but remember not to interfere with the inspection.

Home inspections are more of a general checkup at your primary care doctor than a visit to the specialist. It’s impossible to detect what lies beyond the walls or underneath the flooring. While inspectors should have an acute eye, their scope is limited to a three hour home walkthrough in any given season, under no pre-determined weather conditions. In most cases, this snapshot is the superficial alert for major issues. Inspectors suggest major concerns be addressed in additional, specialized inspections by an applicable expert.

Your Home Inspection Report

The details of your inspection report will provide objective information on the structure, major systems, appliances, even the paint and finishes, in a home. If an appliance is questionable or at the end of its lifespan, your report will recommend repairs and replacements, too. Don’t panic if your report contains issues – most do. Many are relatively small, inexpensive fixes.

In a perfect scenario, the home is found to be of sound condition. The buyer feels confident about the home purchase and is excited to move in soon. Maybe there are minor issues or repairs that can be easily resolved by the seller – not a bad outcome. Worst case, the inspection uncovers serious, costly flaws and the buyer may choose to back out of the sale.

Real Estate can be complicated. Have an experienced and connected Realtor on your team. Realtors are your liaison and advocate – putting you in the hands of trusted professional resources and finding creative solutions to common real estate dilemmas.