Author: Faye Barton

What to Expect From a Home Inspection

Home buyers typically pay for a home inspection. Home Inspector Colorado Springs CO can help them understand the property they are buying and any concerns that may arise.

From the roof to the crawl spaces, inspectors will examine everything. They will find big issues like a sagging foundation or smaller problems such as mismatched baseboards.

home inspection

Home inspectors take notes on any issues they discover during their evaluation, and these findings are usually included in the inspection report. These reports are incredibly helpful for both prospective home buyers and sellers, as they provide a clear picture of the overall condition of the property.

When creating inspection reports, it’s important to follow a standard set of guidelines. These include clearly explaining defects and providing repair suggestions, as well as disclaiming sections of the home that can’t be accessed.

Generally speaking, inspection reports should cover major systems like the roof, insulation, air conditioning, plumbing and electrical system as well as doors, windows and flooring. Inspectors also look at the property’s structural integrity and check for wood destroying organisms. While many of these observations will be purely cosmetic in nature, a good inspector can help identify those that could pose a safety risk, lead to additional damage or need basic repairs.

When deciding on which home inspector to choose, it’s recommended that you check with friends and family for recommendations as well as talk with real estate agents about which inspectors they typically use. Once you’ve narrowed your choices, interview potential inspectors to determine their level of experience and expertise. Also ask to see samples of their work, as this will give you a sense of their writing style and how thorough they are in their evaluations.

While it’s tempting for inspectors to include detailed repair suggestions and estimates in their reports, our claims team recommends against this. These statements can be misleading and lead to inaccurate expectations, as the exact nature of a defect may change over time.

It’s also a good idea to avoid describing how severe a particular defect is. This is because the term “severe” can be interpreted differently by different people, which can lead to misunderstandings and disputes down the line. Rather than using this terminology, our claims team suggests describing a defect’s overall condition, such as stating that the roof appears to be near the end of its useful life or that a drain pipe shows signs of corrosion.

In addition to listing the condition of the house, a home inspector will also provide recommendations for improvement. If these are serious issues, the buyer can either ask for them to be fixed prior to closing, or back out of the deal. Depending on the circumstances, the seller may be willing to make these repairs or agree to lower the price of the house.

While it is not necessary to be present during a home inspection, many sellers choose to do so in order to answer questions and provide extra information to the inspector. However, it is important to remember that your inspector will be walking into tight spaces and looking at systems that are often inaccessible, such as basements and attics; the interior plumbing, electrical, and HVAC; the roof, visible insulation and ventilation; and walls, ceilings, windows and doors. If you are present, the inspector will likely have to move you or your belongings out of the way in order to inspect these areas. Likewise, you should be prepared to answer questions about any maintenance or upgrades that you have performed on the home.

Before the inspection, you should declutter and clean in order to give the inspector an unimpeded view of the home and its components. Turn on all the lights, and make sure that any appliances that you want to be tested are operational. You should also clear away any clutter or items in the yard that could get in the way of a thorough examination. In particular, the inspector will want to be able to access crawlspaces, the attic, and the basement. They will also need to be able to open any gates or locks that are normally locked for security reasons, as well as open any electrical boxes.

The inspector will be looking for any signs of leaks and water damage, so it is a good idea to run through the house to look for these problems before your home inspection. Leaks can be very difficult to diagnose and repair, so it’s best to catch them early on. Other minor problems that you can address before your inspection include outdated appliances, worn subtleties on the exterior of the house, and old paint.

Depending on the situation, there are several ways home buyers can respond to problems found during a home inspection. They may negotiate with the seller to fix the issues, decrease the purchase price, or back out of the deal altogether. While it is never ideal to withdraw from a contract, this contingency protects the buyer’s financial interests and prevents them from making an unwise investment.

The way a home inspection contingency works depends on how it is worded in the real estate purchase agreement. Generally, buyers are given a certain timeframe after the home inspection to address any concerns they have. This is known as the buyer’s “inspection period.” If the buyers do not address any issues within this timeframe, they can withdraw from the contract and get their earnest money deposit back.

A home inspector will note any major problems that need to be addressed, such as a foundation that needs reworking or a roof that has severe leaks. However, a home inspector cannot be expected to find everything that might be wrong with a property, especially in older homes. This is why many home buyers include a contingency to allow for further inspections.

These contingencies give buyers the opportunity to hire a specialist to inspect for any hidden problems. This could include testing for mold, radon, or asbestos, as well as a professional plumbing and electrical inspection. Typically, buyers have an extended inspection period after the initial seven-day contingency window expires.

While it isn’t always advisable to waive the home inspection contingency, some situations can be so dire that it becomes necessary. This is often the case when a buyer finds themselves in a competitive market with multiple offers on a home.

Waiving the home inspection contingency can make your offer more appealing to sellers, but it can also cost you in the long run if serious issues are discovered. For example, if the inspector discovers that there is an issue with the electrical system and you decide not to pursue it, you will probably have to pay for your own electrician later to replace the wiring.

Many home inspectors include a standard contract in their practice. This helps protect them from legal claims and offers a set of standards that they can use for negotiations with clients. It also ensures that they are paid for their services. Local legal counsel can help home inspectors craft their contracts to comply with state and county laws, as the requirements for a contract vary greatly from place to place.

For example, some inspectors may choose to add a clause that states that they only inspect what they can see and that any problems discovered after the fact are not their responsibility. This helps them avoid being sued by clients who claim that they should have noticed a problem during their initial inspection.

Other inspectors might prefer to have a clause that specifically states what they can and cannot inspect, including describing the type of equipment that isn’t available for testing such as underground pipes, septic systems and electrical wiring. They may also state that their inspections are limited to a visual examination of readily accessible parts of the property and that they do not remove furniture or other objects from the home or building. This prevents clients from claiming that an inspector failed to find something that was hidden or difficult to access.

A good home inspection can be a powerful tool for buyers, especially in competitive real estate markets. Waiving a home inspection is never a good idea, as it could cost the buyer dearly in the form of costly repairs or even an unrecoverable loss of earnest money deposits.

When a home inspection report is complete, it’s important for real estate agents to read and understand the results before discussing them with their clients. This can help clients decide how serious the issues found in the home are and whether to move forward with the purchase or make a counteroffer.

Some problems that are discovered during a home inspection might be too serious to overcome, such as structural damage or electrical faults. In these cases, it might be best for the client to back out of the sale and get their earnest money deposit back. However, the client might want to try negotiating with the seller to have these problems fixed before closing.