Whether you are a first-time buyer or you’ve already purchased a property, a professional home inspection is an essential factor in the real estate acquisition process. It’s crucial to thoroughly check your residential housing to address its current condition and determine if it has components that might need significant repairs or replacements.
How to Choose the Right Home Inspector
A qualified and knowledgeable property examiner looks at every nook and cranny of the house with close attention to detail, highlighting defects that you may miss on your own. In choosing the right and capable professional, you should consider several factors. These include:
- Qualifications, Certifications, and Training
- Number of Years Inspecting Homes
- Knowledge of Building Codes
- Referrals and References
- Related Work Experience
Your tasks don’t end once you have chosen your home inspector. As the owner or seller, you should also attend the assessment with your real estate agent and carefully review the examination report.
Home Inspection Checklist
The home inspector evaluates every part of the property for approximately 2 to 3 hours. Here are the items you will encounter to find in the inspection checklist:
The attic is assessed for proper ventilation and sufficient insulation. There should be no signs of any leaking or water damage on the property.
The property must have a solid foundation, walls, and floors. The examiner will look for signs of floor sagging, excess moisture, and water damage.
The property must have adequate water flow and pressure in all fixtures. This includes a functioning toilet, sink, bathtub, and shower.
There should be a straight and properly leveled ceiling; no stains or cracks.
Doors and Wood Trim
The property should have secure door frames and trim pieces. There should be no cracks, rot, or decay.
The electrical systems should have up-to-code circuit breakers and grounding, working exhaust fans and light fixtures, functional outlets, and working smoke detectors.
Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC)
There should be no furnace or air-conditioning malfunctions, no damage to the chimney or fireplace, and the water heater should be functioning seamlessly.
In the property’s plumbing systems, there should be no damaged or leaking pipes. The home should have functional hot water temperature and properly draining sinks, toilets, showers, and bathtubs.
There should be no damaged or loose shingles and no chimney damage. Aside from these, the house must have functional gutters and clear ventilation systems.
Professional Home Inspection Report
After evaluating the whole residence, the home inspector will provide you with a detailed and thorough report listing the defects that need to be addressed accordingly. Please read it carefully with your real estate agent and ask the home inspector about anything you don’t understand.
Purchase and Sales Agreement
If the home fails inspection, you may want to include a clause in your purchase and sale agreement, making the purchase conditional on a successful home inspection. As a home buyer, this could help you avoid repair costs. On the other hand, if the seller completes the repairs, you can acquire the house. You may also consider renegotiating the selling price to cover repair costs.
Final Walkthrough of the Property
If you decide to walk through the property before closing the deal, you may include that in the purchase agreement. Moreover, if the walkthrough uncovers any issues that are not in the home inspection, you can flag them to the seller’s attention.
Depending on the property issues found, you might ask the seller to fix them or reduce the purchase price. If you think the defects are severe enough, you can cancel the agreement.
What to Bring During the Walkthrough
During your walkthrough, you should bring these items to your final walkthrough along with your real estate agent:
- Home Inspection Report
- Disclosure Agreement
- Camera to Properly Document Any Unrepaired Defects
What to Check During the Walkthrough
- Electrical Outlets for Hazards
- Inspect Heating and Air Conditioning
- Test Appliances (Stove, Dishwasher, Washer, Dryer, Etc.)
- Ensure the Home Seller Has Removed All Unwanted Items
- Inspect Sinks, Faucets, and Tubs for Leakages, Molds, and Water Damage
- Make Sure the Home Seller Has Removed Debris and Garbage
- Flick Every Light Switch On and Off
- Inspect Walls, Floors, and Ceilings for Any Damage