For those who are waiting to close on their first home, the inspection can be one of the most stressful parts of the process. But learning how to prepare for an inspection and understand its importance can help both buyers and sellers protect their interests.
Defining the home inspection
To buy a home with confidence and peace of mind, have an inspector walk through the property and study the windows, HVAC system, plumbing and other mechanical systems and physical structures. You must know if the property has mold, faulty wiring or any other issues that affect your safety or investment. The inspector’s report can also help determine the true value of the home, so you know whether you received a fair price.
Timing the home inspection
Inspections often take place after the seller accepts an offer, but before the buyer closes on the property. Schedule your inspection ASAP after going under contract. Set aside seven to 10 days for the inspector to complete the process.
Hiring the home inspector
Buyers often pay for the home inspection. Even if the seller has a current inspection report, you may feel better working with someone you hired and checked out. Ask friends and relatives if they have someone they recommend, and check professional services such as the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors and the American Society of Home Inspectors. Aim for working with someone experienced in the property you want to buy.
Completing the home inspection
During the inspection, you can tag along while the inspector walks through the property and takes pictures or makes notes. Even after the inspection, you may learn your new home does not meet current local building code requirements. Also, inspectors cannot report on unseen damage and hazards, such as asbestos, mildew and pests.