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FAQ

FAQ's Buyers

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ's) by Home Buyers

An inspection is a visual examination of the structure and systems of a building. If you are thinking of buying a home, condominium, mobile home, or commercial building, you should have it thoroughly inspected before the final purchase by an experienced and impartial professional inspector.

The standard home inspector's report will cover the condition of the home's heating system; central air conditioning system (temperature permitting); interior plumbing and electrical systems; the roof, attic and visible insulation; walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors; the foundation, basement and structural components.

Buying a home could be the largest single investment you will ever make. To minimize unpleasant surprises and unexpected difficulties, you'll want to learn as much as you can about the newly constructed or existing house before you buy it. A home inspection may identify the need for major repairs or builder oversights, as well as the need for maintenance to keep it in good shape. After the inspection, you will know more about the house, which will allow you to make decisions with confidence.

If you already are a homeowner, a home inspection can identify problems in the making and suggest preventive measures that might help you avoid costly future repairs. If you are planning to sell your home, a home inspection can give you the opportunity to make repairs that will put the house in better selling condition.

The inspection fee for a typical one-family house varies geographically, as does the cost of housing. Similarly, within a given area, the inspection fee may vary depending on a number of factors such as the size of the house, its age and possible optional services such as septic, well or radon testing.

Do not let cost be a factor in deciding whether or not to have a home inspection or in the selection of your home inspector. The sense of security and knowledge gained from an inspection is well worth the cost, and the lowest-priced inspection is not necessarily a bargain.

Use the inspector's qualifications, including experience, training and compliance with your state's regulations, if any, and professional affiliations as a guide.

Even the most experienced homeowner lacks the knowledge and expertise of a professional home inspector. An inspector is familiar with the elements of home construction, proper installation, maintenance and home safety. He or she knows how the home's systems and components are intended to function together, as well as why they fail.

Above all, most buyers find it difficult to remain completely objective and unemotional about the house they really want, and this may have an effect on their judgment. For accurate information, it is best to obtain an impartial, third-party opinion by a professional in the field of home inspection.

No. A professional home inspection is an examination of the current condition of a house. It is not an appraisal, which determines market value. It is not a municipal inspection, which verifies local code compliance. A home inspector, therefore, will not pass or fail a house, but rather describe its physical condition and indicate what components and systems may need major repair or replacement.

You can ask friends or business acquaintances to recommend a home inspector they have used. Also, real estate agents and brokers are familiar with the service and may be able to provide you with a list of names from which to choose. Whatever your referral source, you can be assured of your home inspector's commitment to professional standards and business ethics by choosing one who has membership in InterNACHI.

Typically, a home inspector is contacted immediately after the contract or purchase agreement has been signed. Before you sign, be sure there is an inspection clause in the sales contract, making your final purchase obligation contingent on the findings of a professional home inspection. This clause should specify the terms and conditions to which both the buyer and seller are obligated.

While it's not required that you be present for the inspection, it is highly recommended. You will be able to observe the inspector and ask questions as you learn about the condition of the home and how to maintain it.

No house is perfect. If the inspector identifies problems, it doesn't mean you should or shouldn't buy the house, only that you will know in advance what to expect. If your budget is tight, or if you don't want to become involved in future repair work, this information will be important to you. If major problems are found, a seller may agree to make repairs.

Definitely. Now you can complete your home purchase with confidence. You'll have learned many things about your new home from the inspector's written report, and will have that information for future reference.

FAQ's Sellers

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ's) by Home Sellers

Home sellers are being urged to utilize home inspections prior to listing their homes. Professional inspections can discover unknown conditions allowing sellers an opportunity to perform desired repairs before placing the property on the market. A professional "listing inspection" is just good business, it may facilitate a smoother transaction by putting potential buyers at ease, reducing negotiating points, and bypassing annoying delays.

While the listing inspection report cannot be used as a substitute for disclosure, it does allow the seller to provide prospective buyers with additional information, based on an unbiased, third party, professional inspection.

A listing inspection report is not intended to be a "do" or repair list for the home. Sellers are not obligated to repair conditions noted in the report, nor are they required to produce a flawless house. With a pre-listing home inspection, potential repair items already known by both parties are subject to any negotiations. A home seller can make repairs as a matter of choice, not obligation; to foster good will or to facilitate the sale. Sellers maintain the legal right to refuse repair demands, except where requirements are set forth by state law, local ordinance, or the real estate purchase contract

An inspection consists of a non-invasive physical examination of a home's systems, structures and components intended to identify material defects that exist at the time of inspection. The heating and cooling equipment is activated along with operating plumbing fixtures, testing accessible electrical outlets and fixtures, and operating a representative sampling of doors and windows. Visual inspection of the roof, walls and drainage adjacent to the home are included. Because of the wide range of construction practices and the "normal" wear and tear placed on the components of home, a professional home inspection can help provide a wealth of information to a home seller anxious to convey the condition of their home to perspective buyers.

As a seller, if you have owned your property for a period of time, an inspection can help identify potential problems and recommend preventive measures, which might avoid future expensive repairs. There is no such thing as a home that is too new or too well built to benefit from a professional inspection. Anyone advising against an inspection is doing a disservice to the home buyer. Many problems frequently encountered after the buyer moves in, are a routine discovery for a qualified home inspection.

Inspection reports often identify the same neglected maintenance items. Performing some basic maintenance can help keep your home in better condition, thus reduce the chance of those conditions showing up on the inspection report. To present a better maintained home to perspective buyers follow these tips. Most of these items can be accomplished with little or no cost, while the benefits of selling a well maintained home can be worth the effort.
• Clean both rain gutters and any roof debris and trim back excessive foliage from the exterior siding.
• Divert all water away from the house (for example, rain-gutter downspouts, sump pump discharge locations, and clean out garage and basement interiors.
• Clean or replace all furnace filters.
• Remove grade or mulch from contact with siding (preferable 6-8 inches of clearance).
• Paint all weathered exterior wood and caulk around trim, chimneys, windows, doors, and all exterior wall penetrations.
• Make sure all windows and doors are in proper operating condition; replace cracked windowpanes.
• Replace burned out light bulbs.
• Make sure all of the plumbing fixtures are in spotless condition (toilets, tubs, showers, sinks) and in proper working order (repair leaks).
• Provide clear access to both attic and foundation crawl spaces, heating/cooling systems, water heater/s, electrical main and distribution panels and remove the car/s from the garage.
• And finally, if the house is vacant make sure that all utilities are turned on. Should the water, gas or electric be off at the time of inspection the inspector will not turn them on. Therefore, the inspection process will be incomplete, which may possibly affect the time frame in removing sales contract contingencies.

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