The Blog ofLanding Real Estate

What You Should Know About Home Inspections

Home inspections are a critical part of the home buying and selling process. Failure to obtain a home inspection could potentially cost you a great deal of money and hassles in the long run. At first glance, property inspections can seem daunting, especially if you’ve never been through the process. Here’s a quick glance at what to expect during the home inspection process!

Buyers Are Responsible for Inspections

To those unfamiliar with real estate, it can seem like inspections are just what’s expected. However, it is up to the buyer to decide which inspections they would like completed – if any at all. As a buyer you agree to hire the home inspector, have the inspections completed within a reasonable amount of time, and shoulder the cost. This is for your benefit. The home inspector works for you, not the seller. They are there to point out all the potential concerns in the home. The seller has no impact on the inspector when you pay and you can rest easy knowing your report is sincere.

What Do Home Inspections Cover?

A home inspection is an overall all determination of your home’s condition. Since every property is different, the specifics of what is checked during your home’s inspection may very slightly. The American Society of Home Inspectors suggests that qualified inspectors check the following areas: foundation and basement, any additional structural components, interior plumbing systems, interior electrical systems, heating and cooling systems, condition of windows, condition of doors and door frames, condition of floors, walls, and ceilings, The attic and any visible insulation.

What Don’t Home Inspection Cover?

No single inspection is going to cover every aspect of your new home. Be aware that there are limits to what an inspector will check. Some areas will require a referral to a specialist. Here are some areas that don’t often make the cut for home inspectors and may require another professional: inside the walls, roof or chimney repairs, septic tanks, wells, sheds, or additional structures separate from the main house. Just because something isn’t covered in a home inspection, don’t think that it can’t be inspected. Ask your realtor about getting specialists if needed.

You Can Attend Inspections

Most home inspectors recommend that buyers attend their property inspection. They see it as an opportunity to thoroughly answer any questions that the buyers may have about the property’s condition. Coming out to view the property is only half of a home inspector’s job requirements. After their site visit, they are required to provide an official home inspection report, which details their findings in writing. It should include pictures of the damaged areas as well. 

Repairs After Inspections Are Negotiable
There are three typical outcomes to these negotiations: the seller can perform the repairs before closing, the seller can credit you money for the repairs, or they can become your responsibility. Prioritize! Focus on a few, key points from the report and the sellers will be more likely to assist you. Hire professionals and be sure to collect any repair estimates and invoices. If you get the inspection report back and it features a larger problem, or you and the seller have gone back and forth in negotiations and can’t reach an agreement, as a buyer you have the upper hand. As long as you respond to the seller within the inspection timeframe and have a legitimate reason you will likely be able to walk away from the transaction.

Whether you’re in the process of buying your first home or your tenth investment property, home inspections can seem overwhelming. After all, there are many aspects of the property to consider, lots of paperwork to read over, and negotiations to consider. Not to mention the worry that there could be something truly wrong with your dream home. Don’t let yourself get too worked up, let us help to guide you through your inspection with the knowledge, and experience to make informed decisions.

 

Lisa DiBiase

Landing Real Estate / Broker/Owner

207-653-0823 / lisa@landinghomesmaine.com