What Home Buyers Should Understand About Their Home Inspection
As a new home buyer, you’re about to embark on a journey full of information, stress, and excitement. One of the most important steps in the home buying process is your home inspection. It is not a step you should take lightly, as it will hopefully be one of the most informative steps to your home buying experience. You will likely have an agent the recommends a top notch inspector and as a buyer, you should do your due diligence in searching through their online footprint. Do they have good reviews? Are they prompt when responding to questions? Once you have decided on the right one, it is important to understand what they will do and how they will do it.
As a buyer, you need to understand that the home inspector is following a standard of practice. This standard ensures uniformity across the profession and provides you with the correct information when making decisions about a property. Ask your inspector what standards they subscribe to so you can understand what to expect. There are two dominant standards of practice in the industry; InterNachi (International Association of Certified Home Inspectors, and ASHI (American Society of Home Inspectors). These standards will explain what, at a minimum, the inspector should be explaining in your report.
It is important for your inspector to follow these standards in order to provide you with the most informative inspection report possible. As a buyer, you are looking for the most accurate, unbiased and objective information about the home to help you make one of the biggest financial decisions of your life.
We often get asked, will you inspect this…look at that etc. Always remember that the standards set the tone of the inspection and likely determine what the inspector should be inspecting.
Find the ASHI standards of practice HERE. Find the InterNACHI standards of practice HERE.
Things to look for during your inspection:
Does your inspector exceed the standards of practice to provide you with more information that may be useful in the future?
Do they make recommendations to correct or monitor the problems observed (Inspectors are NOT required to determine methods, materials, or costs of corrections) but in some instances may to better help address the buyers concerns.
How you can prepare for a more productive inspection:
Make sure the seller moves personal belongings from important components of the home ( In front of electric panels, waste line clean-out, attic access, etc.)
Have a list of questions to ask the inspector ( Where is this, or that and how would I go about doing this?)
Bring something to write on. Although you will be provided with a report, sometimes good information may come from an inspector while you’re just conversing. These tips and pointers may help you in the future.
Understand that the inspection is not intended to point out cosmetic defects. A scratch on the wall or a paint color you’re not a fan of is outside the scope of the inspection.
Great inspectors are not just good at visualizing a home and determining what issues are present. Great inspectors also provide you with the tools to be a successful homeowner. Look for inspectors to tag important valves and explain how things function, give you ways to document and organize the home and remind you when to perform important maintenance tasks.
The home inspection industry has come along way from the early inspections of the 1960’s and 70’s. As the consumer demand for more information on new platforms has grown, so has the inspection industry. Hopefully, your inspector helps you become a good steward of your home and provides you with the tools necessary to make home ownership enjoyable.