Understanding Home Inspections
Congratulations you made an offer, it was accepted, and now your next task is to have the home inspected prior to closing. Usually, agents make your offer contingent upon receiving an “acceptable home inspection”.
This contingency allows you to ask the sellers to cover repairs, renegotiate the price you paid for the home, or even, walk away from the deal.
Your Realtor® will go over all the contract detail with you so you understand the timing and requirements for the inspection timeframe. can advise you on the best course of action once the report is filed.
Choosing an Inspector
Most buyers in Greater Cincinnati select an inspector from a list their Realtor® provided or a friend suggested. The State of Ohio requires testing and certification for a licensed inspector.
However, if you’re not sure about qualifications HGTV recommends that you consider the following 5 areas when choosing the right home inspector for you:
- Qualifications – find out what’s included in your inspection and if the age or location of your home may warrant specific certifications or specialties.
- Sample Reports – ask for a sample inspection report so you can review how thoroughly they will be inspecting your dream home. The more detailed the report, the better in most cases.
- References – do your homework – ask for phone numbers and names of past clients who you can call to ask about their experiences.
- Memberships – Not all inspectors belong to a national or state association of home inspectors, and membership in one of these groups should not be the only way to evaluate your choice. Membership in one of these organizations often means that continued training and education are provided.
- Errors & Omission Insurance – Find out what the liability of the inspector or inspection company is once the inspection is over. The inspector is only human after all, and it is possible that they might miss something they should have seen.
It’s critical to select an inspector or inspection company that can meet the contract dates for inspection and providing reports.
Assume it’s okay for you to tag along during the inspection, that way they can point out anything that should be addressed or fixed. It’s the best way for future homeowners to understand the mechanics of the property.
Don’t be surprised to see your inspector climbing on the roof or crawling around in the attic and on the floors. The job of the inspector is to protect your investment and find any issues with the home, including but not limited to: the roof, plumbing, electrical components, appliances, heating & air conditioning systems, ventilation, windows, the fireplace and chimney, the foundation, and so much more!
‘Ignorance is not bliss,’ when investing your hard-earned money into a home. But buyers need to understand every home has “something” wrong – so don’t expect perfection. Work with a professional who you can trust to give you the most information possible about your purchase so that you can make the most educated decision about your purchase.
Guest blog from Kathy S. Koops of Coldwell Banker West Shell