If you’re ready to sell or you’ve already made an offer on your dream property, congratulations! Now it’s time to get the ball rolling. One of the most important steps in the process is having your home inspected. It’s not just about identifying the problems. It’s also a learning tool about the ins and outs of the property.
The inspector will check the condition of items like: the foundation, roof, attic, basement, electrical, plumbing, heating and cooling systems, and the exterior. The following is a list of things to consider and some tips when looking for the right inspector.
Do your research.
The inspector you hire should be licensed and professional. Hiring someone from a referral from a friend or family member may not be your best option. Research online, find reviews from past customers, get recommendations and study their websites. Ask for a sample report to make sure it’s thorough. Also, make sure that the price is clear from the beginning.
Attend the inspection.
Attending your inspection isn’t mandatory, but it’s definitely a smart idea. Your real estate agent should also be there. This will take some time, but follow along as much as you can. The inspector should explain your home’s systems and give you maintenance tips. These items will also be in the final report, along with any photos. Although inspectors are not allowed to offer advice on whether to buy or not, they can let you know how much money you will need for repairs and upgrades. Most importantly, ask questions!
Read the report.
A quick glance of the report provided will do you no good. Reports are in digital format and will state what is wrong with the house and what it will take to fix it. As a side note, inspectors aren’t perfect and they might miss something. They only cover things they can see. Check your contract to see if they will pay for the repair of things they should have caught, but didn’t. Call the inspector if you have questions. Sometimes, it just boils down to being a homeowner. Things happen.
For sellers: prep the home.
If you know an inspector is coming, don’t force him or her to clean out your closet so they can get into a crawl space. Make sure doors are unlocked or provide keys in advance. Also, provide your phone number so they can reach you if there’s an issue. It will make the whole process a lot easier for everyone involved.
Remember, nearly 20 percent of homes have a defect that require major repair. Getting a home inspection will protect you from dishing out a lot of dough in the long run. The average home inspection costs around $300. It’s a small price to pay for a peace of mind.