Home Buyers-What to Expect from your Home Inspection

For home buyers and sellers alike, the road from initial offer to closing can seem like an endless amount of paperwork and obstacles. One of the most formidable of them is the home inspection, which seeks to determine the condition of the home’s most important features and uncover any potential repair and safety issues. A thorough home inspection is critical so that buyers can make an informed decision about the final price that they agree to pay, and even whether to buy the home at all!home inspection san diego home buyers

Home inspectors are licensed by the state of California and are usually bound by a code of ethics. The three different licensing designations are ASHI, NAHI, and CREIA. Make sure your home inspector is officially certified with one of these designations. Although they are generally hired by the buyer, they are not parties to the sales transaction and should thus remain unbiased. The inspection is mostly visual; inspectors do not dig too deeply to reveal issues. They will focus on the condition of several essential components, including the roof, foundation, and plumbing and HVAC systems. The inspector will then generate a detailed report detailing what they find and make recommendations for repair. If the home inspection report reveals multiple or significant problems, the buyer may demand that the seller fix them, insist upon a lower selling price (or get a credit), or even walk away from the deal. Therefore, it is in the seller’s best interest to prepare for the home inspection by thoroughly examining all areas of the home, including the attic, garage, and crawl spaces, and attending to anything that needs to be repaired. Sellers are generally advised NOT to be home while the inspection is taking place, as it will be more comfortable for themselves and the buyers if they are not present while the property is being looked over.

As the party who funds the inspection and stands to benefit most from it, the buyer should understand what to expect and actively engage in the process.

As a buyer, consider the following tips:

  • Review the seller’s property disclosures before the inspection and use it to ask questions for the inspector.
  • Conduct your own research before choosing an inspector. Remember that you are paying around $400 for this step in the buying process, so you are entitled to have someone who you trust. Your agent may recommend an inspector, but feel free to find your own as well.
  • Be at the inspection. The majority of inspectors are fine with the buyer and buyer’s agent being present during the inspection. Do not be shy about asking questions; having the inspector explain the condition of the property to you. This is normally far more informative than simply reading the inspector’s notes in a report after the fact.
  • Ask your inspector and/or agent to decode the inspection report and advise you on which issues are worth requesting fixes. Don’t nit pick because it’s a quick way to upset the seller, who may be emotionally attached to the home.
  • Do not wait until after closing to investigate issues that may require major repairs, because you are then on your own. If the inspection revealed a problem that could potentially be expensive to fix, have a licensed professional visit the property for additional analysis. Depending on the extent of the problem, your agent can suggest further action.

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