Home inspections are an essential part of the home buying process. Home inspections are a common buyer contingency in the purchase contract, allowing for a third-party inspection of the home’s structure and mechanical elements.
Put simply, a home inspection is a visual, non-invasive evaluation of the property. Your inspector will not take anything apart in the home, nor attempt to enter areas that are not openly accessible. While a home inspection can alert you to potential issues, it is not a guarantee of a worry-free home.
Here are the general areas examined by a home inspector, according to the standards of practice by the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors:
- Foundation, basement and crawlspace
- Attic insulation and ventilation
- Doors and windows
The home inspector is a neutral party. The home inspector is typically hired and paid by the home buyer, but he or she has no vested interest in the sale of the property. The home inspector renders no opinion on the home value, nor its suitability for any particular use or occupancy.
The home inspector cannot predict how long existing home components may last, nor diagnose the reason for any defective component.
There are a number of things that a home inspection does not investigate. Excluded issues include pest infestations, the presence of mold or radon, and the presence of lead-based paint or asbestos. For the list of standard practices, as well as limitations, exceptions and exclusions, visit https://www.nachi.org/sop.htm.
Some home inspectors may offer more robust inspections for an additional fee. You can also hire a specialist or contractor to examine any particular area of concern, and to obtain repair estimates, if necessary. It’s also a good idea to attend the home inspection, so you can ask questions and learn about the essential operations of the home.
Your Exclusive Buyer Agent can refer you to experienced home inspectors! If the home inspection discovers material defects, your EBA will help you negotiate them with the home seller. While a home seller is not obligated to lower the home price or fix the problem, your inspection contingency gives you the power to walk away from the deal if you are unhappy with the inspection report.
This is just one of the many reasons why working with an EBA is critical for home buyers! A typical “seller’s agent” may see the inspection as a nuisance and a potential deal-breaker. If an agent tries to talk you out of requiring a home inspection contingency, he or she is not acting in your best interests!