Inspections can make or break a sale for both sellers and buyers. For this reason, the inspection process can be somewhat terrifying.
For sellers, it is a reminder of issues you may have been ignoring over the years. And for buyers, it can be heartbreaking to fall in love with a home that might end up making no sense to buy.
Try not to let the inspection process stress you out. Remember, that is not what your home inspector wants. All he or she wants is a thorough inspection and a satisfied client. Form a partnership with your home inspector to make the process easier and more effective. Knowledge is key! Here are a few essential things inspectors would like you to keep in mind.
It is easy to grow attached to your home and overlook some of the wear and tear. But while those familiar flaws may feel like home to you, they might not be to potential buyers. If someone is making such a large investment to buy your home, they want to make sure it is a good product.
Move your pets. Your dog or cat may be adorable but even if your home inspector loves dogs or cats, pets running underfoot makes the job much more difficult. Inspections might require opening exterior doors multiple times, giving pets the opportunity to escape. When you leave the premises for the inspection take your pets with you.
Clean before an inspection. Your house does not need to be spotless. An inspector will not ding you because your carpet has not been vacuumed or your windows are not clean. However, do get rid of clutter and make sure all areas are accessible. Often, walking through the home with an inspector is the first time the buyers are in the house for an extended period of time.
Inspectors will need access to all areas of a property. Leave keys to all attics, crawl spaces and outbuildings. If an inspector must return at a later date to inspect areas that are not accessible during the initial inspection it is an inconvenience for all involved and could involve added expense.
Your potential new home will invariably have problems. Your home inspector will likely come up with what seems like an endless list of problems after the walk-through. Do not panic, even inspectors’ homes have problems and maintenance issues. There are times when you should worry but not every issue is critical. Your inspector will know which problems you should address first.
Almost anything can be fixed. There are a few frightening home inspection terms that seem to get everyone’s attention: mold, radon and asbestos. And yes, they should, but no more than a roof that needs replacing or an older heating system.
Home inspectors cannot predict the future. You might want to know how many more years the roof will last. An inspector might be able to give you a rough estimate, they cannot give you a precise timeline. The same is true for appliances such as water heaters and furnaces. Inspectors can tell you if they are currently in good shape or not and maybe an estimate of how much life they have left.
Brand-new homes need inspections too. Just because a home is brand-new does not mean that it is guaranteed to be problem-free. If the construction crew or the builder did sloppy work or generally cut corners, you might have issues down the road. Getting an inspection can make you feel better about your purchase when you know your brand-new home is in top condition.
Treat the inspection process as a learning experience. Ask questions and take notes. The cost for an average home inspection ranges between $350 and $600 nationally. It is a small price to pay for peace of mind when you are investing hundreds of thousands of dollars.