5 Mistakes Buyers and Sellers Make with Home Inspections
What is a Home Inspection?
A home inspection is a mainly visual evaluation of a home’s condition. Home inspectors typically provide inspection services to determine the performance of the home. The inspection isn’t just about identifying problems with the house. A thorough inspector considers the appointment of a master class in your new home. (1)
Not Researching the Inspector
Too many buyers and sellers take whatever name is recommended without doing research. The inspection is only as good as the inspector doing it.
A few questions to ask:
How long have you been inspecting homes?
How many inspections have you done?
What are your qualifications, certifications and training?
What was your job before you were a home inspector? (Ideally, your professional was in contracting or building.)
You want a certified professional who stays current. “There’s a lot of stuff you have to know, and you want someone who’s keeping up with ongoing education.”
You’re looking for an inspector who can analyze the home’s strengths and weaknesses—then explain them. (1)
Not Attending the Inspection
Attendance may not be mandatory, but it’s a good idea.
Just reading the inspection report isn’t enough for most homeowners to get the full picture, so it’s very important for the homeowner to see it so they can understand it.
The inspection will take 2-3 hours to complete, so set aside enough time for the whole thing.
Many inspectors don’t want to give you advice on whether to buy the home, but a good inspector can give you an estimate of how much money you’ll need to put into repairs and upgrades and talk about how well that fits your budget. (1)
Not Reading the Inspection Report
Too many buyers and sellers just glance at the inspection report.
You need someone who uses “clear, concise” language in person and in the report.
One Clue: Scan a few inspection reports. Either check the website or ask for a sample.
A knowledgeable profesional will state simply what’s wrong with the house and what it will take to fix.
Reports are often in digital format, with photos to illustrate the home’s strengths and weaknesses. (1)
Not Getting a Presale Inspection
Many sellers elect to leave the presale inspection to the buyers, but that’s a mistake.
When the buyers get an inspection (and if they’re smart, they will), the sellers will have little time to complete repairs and keep the sale on track.
If the sellers have the home inspected before putting it on the market, they have more time to get repairs done and with the extra time, they can shop around and control costs.
Both buyers and sellers often wait too long to engage an inspector. You should find an inspector long before you have (or make) an offer. Some buyers and sellers will wait for the second-to-last day before they even call. “Any good inspector will be booked out.” (1)
Not Prepping the Home
Inspectors are upset when homeowners don’t prepare the house.
“Don’t force the home inspector to empty the closet to get into the attic.” If you have a crawl-space hatch, move anything sitting on top of it.
Have a lock on a utility closet, basement or shed? The inspector needs access, so open it or provide keys.
For a seller, the best tactic is to be at home to meet the inspector, introduce yourself, provide your cell number – and then you can take off.
To reduce the need for repeat inspections, hire professionals to do repairs.
Too many times, when faced with a list of needed repairs, a seller will DIY or try to get them done cheap, but that shows up during the re-inspection and could mean another round of repairs – and a 3rd or 4th inspection. (1)
(1)= Dana Dratch (Bankrate.com) January 2016