What to Expect
Managing Expectations for Your Home Inspection
The home inspector’s service to the purchaser is primarily one of education.
The goal of the inspector is to provide the purchaser with a better understanding of the physical condition of the home in order for them to make a well-informed decision. It is also the inspector’s role to keep his findings in perspective for the buyer. After the inspection is completed, a written report is prepared for the home buyer, documenting the results of the inspection.
The home inspection should not be confused with an appraisal, a municipal code inspection, an environmental audit, or a home owner’s warranty. A complete home inspection should cover all of the major systems of a house, including structure, exterior, roofing, electrical, heating, cooling, insulation, plumbing and interior. As a minimum, an inspection should meet the Standards of Practice of the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) or the National Association of Home Inspectors (NAHI).
Not all home inspectors have the same experience or provide the same type of report. Some inspections are a checklist format; others are a narrative format or a combination of both. Some may include pictures. Most belong to professional inspection associations and adhere to their ethics and standards, while others do not. Home inspectors with engineering or construction experience are the most qualified inspectors since they have a first hand on where the damages occur the most.
A home inspection is a professional, objective, visual examination of the condition of a home. Home buyers entering the marketplace view inspections as a way to gain valuable information about the biggest purchase of their lifetime. It helps them to determine whether there are any major defects or system inadequacies at the time of purchase.
In most cases when the sales contract is written, the buyer has an opportunity for due diligence by having a home inspection performed. The inspection can usually be arranged within a few days, after the sales contract is written. The home buyer is encouraged to attend the inspection, so that he/she can see first hand the workings of the home. It also represents an excellent opportunity for the prospective buyer to ask questions about the home or to discuss potential changes.
Home inspections should also highlight the positive aspects of a home. In fact, many of the home inspector’s observations or recommendations help to dispel home purchaser anxieties, and provide useful repair suggestions.
Our Inspector gave us a realistic idea of what to expect about a potential property my husband and I were considering. The inspection and insight ultimately lead us to consider another property saving us thousands in potential home repairs.