What to Expect During a Home Inspection
Buying a home is a complicated purchase, and people need to be sure they are making a good investment. After learning that their purchase offer is accepted, one of the first things buyers often do is order a home inspection. The information in the home inspection report gives people relevant data about the condition of the property. Understanding the basics of a home inspection helps prospective homeowners make an informed decision about the results. Here's what buyers can expect throughout the process.
Why Experts Recommend Home Inspections
When someone who is not an expert intends to sell a piece of property to a buyer who may not know much about it, bringing in a professional is key. Home inspectors have the ability to test the structures and systems of the home in ways that reveal issues beneath the surface. It is a process that cannot be replaced by asking homeowners for their knowledge about the home. Even sellers who make a great effort to share plenty of information about the property may be unaware of some potential problems. The home inspection does not serve as a guarantee that the home is in good condition. However, it does give buyers much more concrete information about it.
Before the Home Inspection
Buyers who take an opportunity to learn a little bit about the process will be able to get more use out of the home inspection and the report. Since every home is unique, each inspection will run a little differently. Buyers should be aware that there are various concerns related to the property's age and history. New construction may call for a different kind of inspection than a home that is 20 years old, or one that is over a century old. People should research the details of the property, and plan to attend the inspection so they can ask questions.
The Day of the Inspection
Inspections can take from 2-4 hours, sometimes even longer. The time needed relates to the size of the home and the inspector's access to various systems. Inspectors aim to look at as much as they can. They will often go into attics to look at insulation and energy efficiency or enter crawl spaces under the home. However, they cannot cut holes in the walls or flooring, and they may be limited by weather. For example, home inspections on a snowy day could make it more difficult for the inspector to determine the condition of the roof. If buyers participate in the inspection, they can ask for more information about notes that the inspector makes. Walking through the home with a home inspector could make the report easier to understand.
Interpreting the Home Inspection Report
Gregoire Home buyers have a few decisions to make about the results they see in the report. In many cases, buyers put a home inspection clause in the purchase offer. This clause allows them to walk away from the sale if the inspection yields serious issues with the property. The report itself may be fairly long. It often contains a list of aspects of the home and the inspector's opinion on their condition. Buyers may decide to:
- proceed to the next step of the buying process
- negotiate with the seller to make some necessary repairs
- cancel the purchase contract
A buyer's agent may be able to help people sort through the information and make a decision.
Although going through a home inspection could seem overwhelming to buyers, the process makes it easier to learn more about the property. When buyers know what will happen during the inspection, they may feel more confident with the experience.