The Roles and Responsibilities of a Buyer’s Home Inspector
The role of the home inspector is often misunderstood by both the Real Estate agent and the home buyer. An unqualified or uninformed inspector can cause enormous problems that many times cannot be corrected. The inspector who is hired by the buyer represents the buyer in the inspection process and is only responsible to them.
In this case, the inspector should be looked upon as part of the buyer’s team which also includes the real estate agent, lender, closing attorney and any other experts hired by the buyer. The home inspector may be the only team member that is not influenced by whether or not the deal closes. The inspector gets paid at the time of the inspection
The information collected during the inspection is the sole property of the client and cannot be revealed to anyone without the client’s permission. In most cases, the client will share the inspection report with his/her real estate agent.
The Responsibilities of a Home Inspector
The sole responsibility of the inspector is to provide the client with a complete and thorough inspection which translate into the inspection report. The report is not an appraisal of value but represents the condition of the property at the time of the inspection. The report serves as an informational tool to assist the buyer in understanding the condition of the property in question and lists any defects that will require attention
Don’t think of the inspection report as a “pass or fail” test, but as an information gathering process. It is also important to mention that the home inspector has no authority in the real estate process. His or her role is advisory only. A home inspector does not have the authority to make you repair or correct anything documented during the inspection. Only municipal inspectors can make a builder comply with things like building codes.
Your Home Inspection Checklist: What to Expect When They Inspect
Home inspections are conducted by an objective third party. Inspectors are typically hired by a home buyer during a purchase, but home inspections can be performed anytime.
The inspection is visual and noninvasive, meaning the inspector will investigate the physical structure of the house and its internal systems but won’t open up walls or lift up flooring.
A professional inspector is a housing generalist; he or she will understand the elements of home construction, proper installation, how the systems of the house should function—independently and as a unit—and how they should have been maintained.
The home inspector can also recognize the signs that a system or component may be about to fail. The homeowner is responsible for providing the inspector with safe access and adequate lighting to facilitate the inspection. The buyer or homeowner doesn’t have to accompany the inspector through the house, but it is recommended by the American Society of Home Inspectors.
Walking the property with the inspector can help the buyer or owner become more familiar with the home and its systems, and it allows the opportunity to ask questions about the condition of the home and how it should be maintained.
A basic inspection should include an examination of the home’s following elements:
Exterior—attached decks and patios are typically included, but outbuildings and freestanding decks are not
Heating and air conditioning systems
Insulation and ventilation
Fireplaces and solid-fuel-burning appliances
Schedule a home inspection
Once you’ve chosen a home, schedule a home inspection appointment as soon as possible. You want to have plenty of time to resolve any problems.
Find a home inspector
Choose an inspector with a reputation for being honest and thorough. You want someone who will give you a complete and honest assessment of the physical condition of the home.
Ask friends or family in your area to see if they have an inspector to recommend. Ask what about their experience, specifically, leads them to recommend the inspector.
You can also look for inspectors online. Check reviews from other buyers.
Schedule an independent inspection for the home as soon as possible
You want to know as soon as possible if there are any major problems with the home so you can decide whether or not you still want to buy the home. Also, if additional inspections are needed, you’ll want to have plenty of time to get them completed.
You should choose the home inspector yourself and plan to pay the inspector directly at the time of service
You want an independent home inspector who is accountable to you and will give you a complete inspection and an honest opinion. If the home inspector is being paid by someone else or not paid until closing, the inspector might underemphasize any problems with the home.
You may be able to negotiate with the seller or cancel the sale based on the inspection
If repairs are needed, you may want to negotiate with the seller about who should make or pay for the repairs. Depending on the terms of your purchase contract and local market conditions, the seller may or may not agree to pay for the repairs. If your purchase contract is contingent on a satisfactory inspection, you have the right to cancel the sale without penalty if you are not satisfied with the results of the inspection.
Most home buyers want their next home to be in very good condition. The problem is that it can be very hard for the untrained eye to fully inspect a home for any of the potential underlying issues that may be present. That’s why it is important to hire a professional to come out and properly inspect the property. Home inspectors help provide peace of mind about the investment you make in your new home is a successful one from the start.
What is a Home Inspection?
According to the American Society of Home Inspectors a home inspection is a “visual examination of the physical structure and systems of a house, from roof to the foundation.” Standard home inspections include a review of the home heating and cooling system, interior plumbing, electrical systems, roofing, doors,windows, walls and foundation. Inspections can also cover areas such as appliances, garages and basements. With so much covered under one inspection, you can understand why it is so important to make sure you have your future home inspected by a professional before you sign any paperwork.
Who Should You Hire?
Similar to most purchases, it’s important to do your research before you hire a home inspector. Look for a certified general contractor or home inspector in your area who is able to inspect all the major systems throughout the home. As the buyer, you want a home inspector who will be brutally honest with you so that you know the exact condition of the property. Unsure who to hire? Ask friends and family for suggestions. Your realtor may also have a company they recommend. Look into how long an inspector has been a professional and whether they have any certifications in their field. Although certifications are not a requirement in every state, they can still be a great indicator of an inspector’s training.
The Day of the Inspection
Home inspections typically last about 3 hours and cost between $200-$500, depending on the size of the home. Although attendance is not mandatory, we always recommend the buyer be present during the inspection. Doing so will give you a first hand view of what is going on within the house and allow you to ask questions on how to resolve issues of concern. After the inspection is complete, a written report is given to both the buyer and the seller.
What is Not Included in a Home Inspection?
There are several areas general home inspectors do not cover. Home inspectors are not qualified to look for harmful materials such as lead, toxic mold, radon gas and asbestos. They are also not exterminators and as such won’t check properties for pests. Outdoor items like pools and septic tanks will not be reviewed. It is important to remember that inspectors can’t see through walls. While inspectors are careful and comprehensive, if they can’t see it, they can’t report it. For these additional items, separate professionals are needed for more specific inspections.
MOVE IN INSPECTION
A Move In home inspection is ideal when your newly constructed home is finished and ready for occupancy, but prior to the final walk through by the builder. You get critical information about your new home prior to closing, giving the builder time to make any necessary corrections before the purchase is finalized.
ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY
A One Year Anniversary home inspection is performed approximately 30 days before the expiration of the builder’s one-year new home warranty to address any warranty-related concerns that you may want to bring to the builder’s attention and allows time for any necessary repairs before the warranty expires.
HOME BUYER CONSULTATION
Home Inspection provides home buyer consultations for homes that have already been inspected. We will review and explain the home inspection report and answer any questions you may have.
CONDO, TOWNHOME, MANUFACTURED HOME, DUPLEX, MULTIPLEX INSPECTION
There are many aspects of condominiums, townhomes, manufactured and mobile homes, duplexes and multiplexes that differ from a permanent residence. Similar to a full home inspection, the home inspector reviews all visual aspects of all major systems specific to these types of homes.
WOOD DESTROYING ORGANISMS / INSECTS (WDO/WDI) INSPECTION
wood destroying organism/insect inspection can be performed at the same time as one of our other inspections, or on its own, so you’ll know if termites, ants, dry rot, or another type of destructive organism has worked its way into your house, and your home inspector will provide you with advice on how to handle the problem.