Whether buying or selling a home, the home inspection is an important part of a real estate transaction. This is the buyer’s opportunity to ensure that a home is safe and to find any major defects and assess what repairs will need to be made. For sellers, a home inspection can be a good tool to help prepare a home to sell. When a seller takes the initiative to get a home inspection prior to listing, it allows the seller to fix as much as possible ahead of time.
Typically, a home inspector is hired immediately after the contract has been signed. At this point, it is best to find a licensed inspector that a buyer knows and trusts or is recommended by their real estate professional. The buyer should prepare a list of questions and plan to be present for the 2-3 hour inspection. The outside portion of the inspection will include the roof, driveways, garage, retaining walls and plants or vegetation that may affect the home’s condition. On the inside, the focus will be on electrical and plumbing systems, foundation, heating and cooling, water heater, windows, doors, floors, ceilings and walls. It is important to remember that the inspector cannot see inside the walls or lift flooring up, so home inspections do have limitations. It is also important to remember that no house is perfect.
Home inspections can be just as useful for sellers. By hiring a home inspector prior to listing or selling a home, the seller can fix many of the problems that might come up when the buyer orders their inspection. It can also be a good reminder for the seller to fix items they might not notice since they live in the house everyday, like leaky faucets, burned-out light bulbs, overgrown shrubbery or loose door or cabinet knobs. In addition, this can be a good way to find out if any high ticket items need to be replaced, like a roof or furnace. Without a contract deadline to worry about, sellers can shop around to find the best price on repair work. At this point, the seller can make repairs or decide to adjust the sale price to reflect the knowledge of the issue.
About the Author
Todd Stock, managing partner/owner