What Is a Home Inspection?

What Is a Home Inspection?

What Is a Home Inspection?

Home InspectionBefore purchasing a home a buyer usually turns to a home inspector to receive a qualified, unbiased account of the state of the property.  A home inspection is a noninvasive, limited visual inspection of a home.  It identifies the components of the home that are unsafe or not meeting performance expectations.  The purpose of the inspection is to evaluate the home and enable the potential buyer to make an educated decision regarding its purchase.  Many times, a contract to purchase a home includes a contingency clause stating that the contract is invalid until the buyer has had the opportunity to verify the condition of the home they are purchasing.

A home inspection is often a given in today’s Texas real estate market, and can in fact make or break the sale.  It enables the buyer to know exactly what they are purchasing, and can be a great source of anxiety for a seller that is unprepared.

The inspection is generally carried out by a professional home inspector that is trained and certified in home inspections.

What Do Buyers Need to Know?

A thorough home inspection can take several hours and will reveal problems that may go unnoticed in an initial walkthrough.  Because buying a home can be an emotionally charged experience, a realistic evaluation of the home is a crucial part of determining the wisdom of the purchase.  The home inspection gives the buyer an accurate, unbiased view of what problems to expect and what issues must be addressed before moving into the home.

The home inspection includes the evaluation of many components, including:

  • the heating and central air conditioning systems
  • electrical systems
  • plumbing
  • the roof
  • visible insulation
  • the attic
  • floors
  • walls
  • ceilings
  • windows
  • doors
  • foundation
  • basement
  • any other visible structure

Many inspectors also offer additional services, including radon testing, water quality testing and energy audits.

It is important to note that the home inspection does not tell you if the structure is in compliance with current building codes.  It also does not ensure protection against future problems.  A furnace may pass a home inspection, only to break six months later.  In addition to this, a home inspection does not reveal the value of the home.  The sole purpose of the home inspection is to ensure that the buyer knows what they are buying.

Once the home inspection is complete, the buyer should evaluate whatever issues the inspection brought to light.  As soon as possible, the buyer should make a list of the issues he or she believes the seller needs to address before closing on the property, and present that list to their Agent.

Repairs can be requested in writing and agreed upon by all parties.

What Do Sellers Need to Know?

The process of selling a home  can be emotionally draining.  After weeks or months of potential buyers and real estate agents evaluating and judging the home, an inspection is the most intense examination of all.  If the seller has not fully prepared the house in such a way that allows for full disclosure and limited surprises, the home inspection can be quite nerve-racking.  In addition to this, the home inspection may bring to light issues of which not even the seller was aware.

In order to prepare for the extreme scrutiny of the home inspection, the seller should evaluate their home before putting it on the market.  If possible, the seller should hire a home inspector to walk through the home and identify any issues that may delay or result in the loss of the sale.  This will give the seller time to take care of problems great and small before entering into a highly competitive housing market.

What If The Home Inspection Reveals Problems?

No house is perfect, and just because a home inspection turns up problems, does not mean the house is an unwise purchase.  If large repairs are necessary, further negotiations may be required.  An issue that will require a costly repair, such as a cracked foundation or a roof that needs to be replaced, can result in further negotiations.  The buyer may present the seller with an addendum, requesting that they fix the problems before the sale.  The seller may counter by agreeing to fix some of the problems, or cover a portion of the expense of the repairs.  Your Home Solutions Realty agent can assist you in determining how to proceed with further negotiations, as attempting to save money may result in the loss of the property.

The best way to avoid an ugly situation is to have an inspection done before you actually put your home on the market with your Real Estate Agent or as soon as you do. The inspector can reveal to you privately what might come up during a home inspection. You can repair these items in advance to be better prepared when the buyer makes their offer.

Who pays?

In most states, it can be either way. Typically though, the buyer pays for their own home inspection. It is not uncommon to see buyers waiving home inspections when purchasing distressed properties since the homes will be sold ‘As Is’ quite often. A good Realtor® such as the one’s you’ll find here at Home Solutions Realty would suggest that you have the inspection anyway. During the Due Dilligence process, you would be able to choose not to buy the home due to condition. Better to know in advance  what you are buying whenever possible.

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