A big part of making a prudent buying decision is ensuring that you know what you’re getting. When it comes to buying a house, you want to takes steps to find out if there are any issues with it. If there are, you’ll want to identify how serious the problems are and whether or not they will influence your decision to go through with the deal.
That’s where a home inspection comes into the picture. It provides you with the opportunity to bring in a professional to check out the property in great detail to uncover any problems with the home that the seller may not have even been aware of. Any problems that are identified can be brought back to the table for renegotiation.
Unless you are a home inspector yourself, you’d be well advised to hire an expert who actually has some experience in this realm. But bringing an inspector on board is just the starting point. As the buyer, you need to tackle a few responsibilities as well in order to ensure that the process is a successful one.
Unfortunately, many buyers make a few seemingly insignificant yet potentially costly mistakes when it comes to home inspections. Don’t make these same mistakes.
1. Not Ensuring That the Inspector is Qualified
There are plenty of individuals out there who may claim to have the qualifications to inspect a home, but are they actually licensed home inspectors? It’s not uncommon for contractors or others involved in the home construction industry to say that they’re capable and competent when it comes to fully and adequately inspect a property, but they may not necessarily come with the qualifications that you will want them to have for this important job.
Make sure to check into the backgrounds of inspectors and identify if they are licensed and insured before you narrow down your choices. Interview two or three inspectors to see how experienced they are, what equipment they use, the types of components that they inspect, how far they’re willing to dig to uncover issues, and what their price is.
Speaking of the latter, don’t necessarily go for the cheapest price. In the grand scheme of things, a home inspection is a drop in the bucket, so don’t settle for the cheapest price if it’s going to compromise the actual inspection.
2. Not Going to the Inspection
Don’t wait for the inspection report to find out if there is anything wrong with the property. Instead, you should book off a few hours out of your day to attend the home inspection. This will give you the chance to see up close what the inspector is doing and ask any questions along the way.
The inspector will be able to explain to you in simple terms what issues that may be identified rather than having to depend on potentially complex terminology that’s used in the report. When you do get to read over the inspector’s notes, you’ll be better able to understand it.
Don’t worry about getting in the inspector’s way. A reputable inspector will actually expect you to be present. If they don’t want you there, that may be a red flag that they could possibly cut corners if they’re on their own.
3. Not Asking Questions
There’s no point in being at the inspection if you’re going to stay quiet. Take advantage of the appointment and ask questions that you may have. That’s the perfect time to get the answers you need right on the spot. You’ll find it a lot easier to get advice in person instead of from the inspection report. As already mentioned, a professional inspector will expect to be pressed with questions and will be happy to take the time to answer them.
4. Not Reviewing the Inspection Report
Speaking of the report, you’d be well advised to go through it even if you believe you’ve had all your questions answered about the property. It’s quite possible that you may not have inquired about any possible issues that may be in the report.
By reviewing the document carefully, you’ll have the chance to spot something you may not have been aware of before. If that’s the case, don’t be afraid to call up the inspector and have the issue explained in further detail. You’ll definitely want to know about any problems with the home that could possibly warrant a trip back to the negotiating table.
5. Not Hiring Specialists if the Need Arises
Home inspectors are very good at what they do and are able to identify a host of issues that the average buyer would likely not spot. That said, they are not specialized in any one particular component of a home unless they hold specific certifications and licenses.
If a specific system or components of the home appears to be problematic, you may want to call in professionals who specialize specifically in that department, especially if your inspector recommends it.
6. Forgoing a Home Inspection Altogether
Out of all the contingencies that can be found in a purchase agreement, a home inspection is one of the most common, and for good reason. This is the only chance you’ll get to find out if there is anything potentially wrong with the home before you commit yourself to buying it. Even if the home is new, don’t waive the inspection assuming that there can’t be anything wrong with new construction.
The Bottom Line
There are plenty of aspects of the home buying process that can be pretty stressful, and the home inspection is one of them. For buyers, there’s always the concern that major deal-breaking issues will be found. That said, an inspection is a necessary part of the home buying process and can actually give you some peace of mind knowing that you’re fully aware of all issues that the property may have, and make the appropriate plans to deal with them.
Considering how important the home inspection is to the process, you want to be sure that you make the most of it and avoid making any potentially expensive mistakes.