Home inspections are important – they tell you integral details about your potential home. As a buyer, you might not know what to look for in a home beyond the exterior’s and interior’s look. Sure, you might look for signs of mold or water damage, but an inspector is trained to spot issues with a home that you’ll likely overlook.
However, not all home inspectors are created equal. Some inspectors cut corners and want to get through as many inspections as they can in any given day.
You should, when hiring a home inspector, ask them a few questions before deciding on which inspector you’re going to hire. After all, this is the person’s professional opinion that you’ll be following when deciding on whether or not to buy a home.
The questions you may want to ask your home inspector are:
1. What Items Do You Check?
Inspectors should inspect over 1,600 features of a home. You should ask what items will be checked and if you can see a sample report. It’s important to note that the inspector can only provide a visual inspection.
2. What Items Don’t You Check?
You’ve asked what items will be checked during an inspection, and now it’s time to know what items may not be checked. For example, let’s assume that there’s mold on a small area of the drywall in the bathroom.
The inspector is limited to a visual inspection, so they’re unable to cut into the drywall to find the source of the mold.
You’ll need to have a professional come in if there’s suspected issues with your roof, HVAC, electrical system, plumbing, septic or pest control.
3. Can I Be Present During the Inspection?
Inspectors should allow you to come along for the inspection – and it’s highly recommended. When you’re at the inspection, the inspector will often explain each of the home’s systems and how they operate to you.
You’ll also be able to ask questions about certain issues or bring concerns about the home to the inspector’s attention.
If the inspector doesn’t want you present, you may consider finding a different inspector. It’s important to know as much as you can about the home and being present during the inspection can help with this.
4. What Problems Did You Find with the Home?
You’ll receive a lengthy report filled with the issues that were found with your home. Many issues you’ll be able to repair in the future if you like, but there are some that need to be addressed quickly.
Ask the inspector what problems he or she found, and which major issues exist.
Knowing the major issues can be beneficial as a buyer. You can ask the seller to provide concessions for major issues that may lower the price of the home or negotiate repairs prior to closing on the home.
5. What Issues Should I Repair When I Move into the Home?
You can consult with the 50+ page result to look over items that you should fix, but it’s better to ask your inspector about the pertinent repairs you need to make when moving in. A lot of inspectors will be more than happy to guide you as to which repairs need to be made promptly or which aren’t a major issue but need to be added to the report.
While a lot of people will ask what an inspector chargest, you only want to be concerned if you’re quoted less than $300. If most inspectors are charging $300 to $600, you have to question why an inspector – who is normally quite busy – would charge less than the going rate.