Everything Buyers Need to Know About Home Inspections

If you’re reading this article, chances are you just put an offer on a new home or are in the midst of narrowing down properties to purchase. Even if you’re merely testing the waters, we want to use this opportunity to tackle a crucial step of the home buying process: the home inspection.

Every time we work with clients to purchase a property, we get questions about the home inspection ; it is an understandably nerve-wracking and daunting task, even if you’re looking at a popular community, some homes most definitely need an inspection before setting your heart on the place. To begin with you’ll want to go with a professional and respected inspection company, such as brightside home inspections to make sure the inspection is carried out properly.

In this article, our goal is to explain the top things buyers need to know about home inspections and hopefully put some of these fears to rest.

1) Understand How Inspections Work

Home inspections take place after an offer is accepted but before the ink dries on the final closing documents. It can be carried out by a home inspection company, or by any other qualified company. Be sure to check the best in your area and make fair comparisons before deciding who to work with. For example, if you were looking for syracuse ny home inspection firms, you’d want to check this list out to see who is the best for the task.

An inspection is the buyer’s responsibility (to both organize and pay for), so be sure to leave plenty of time to set this up. Many clients think the seller is responsible for the inspection, but that is simply not the case.

The inspector must be hired directly by the buyer in order to remain objective and point out all the potential problems in a home. You don’t want a seller colluding with the inspector to falsify reports!

Lastly, it is important to mention that inspections are optional. Buyers don’t have to do an inspection, though it makes sense in almost every case (the only exception being condos and other living situations where the majority of the maintenance is covered by an association).

2) Do Your Research : Credibility & Insurance

A home is likely your biggest investment. Even before closing, you don’t want anything going wrong with this investment.

That’s why it is best to entrust your inspection to the highest caliber inspector. Not all inspectors are created equal.

Check their online reputation, ask for references, and verify their credentials/certifications. Above all, confirm their insurance.

Your inspector should have more than just a basic policy; Their insurance should also cover “errors and omissions” (E&O), which means you can file a claim against any repairs stemming from problems they missed during the inspection. This is crucial.

3) Know What Inspections Cover

Contrary to popular belief, there are some key areas of your property inspections don’t cover. Many of the items on this list require buy-in from third-party contractors (i.e. roofers), so be sure to talk to your inspector and proceed accordingly.

Also keep in mind that it is your right as a buyer to attend the home inspection. This way you can ask the inspector specific questions and confirm their work firsthand.

  • Inside the walls
  • Roofs & chimneys
  • Septic tanks
  • Wells, sheds, and structures separate from the main home

4) Ask for an Inspection Report

Physically checking your property is only one aspect of a home inspector’s job. They must also send you (and your realtor) a comprehensive report with damage assessments, detailed notes, and pictures.

We recommend making multiple copies of this report (putting one away for safe keeping) and then reviewing the document carefully before final negotiations and closing.

5) Leverage an Inspection for Closing

If you’ve made it this far, it’s time for closing! Depending on the necessary repairs cited in the inspection report, there are usually three possible outcomes during final negotiations:

  1. The seller performs the repairs before closing
  2. The seller credits the buyer for the repairs
  3. The repairs become the buyer’s responsibility

If for some reason the report comes back with something truly detrimental to the deal (i.e. toxic mold or severe damage) it is the buyer’s right to walk away. However, this card should only be used as a last resort.

Are you looking to purchase your dream home? Or do you need help navigating a home inspection? We’ve been through hundreds of inspections and can guide you through: sales@spectrumrg.com or (305) 921-0972.