There are a lot of misconceptions out there about what home inspections actually entail, what home inspectors do and don’t do, and even whose “side” they’re on. We’re here to set the record straight on the top 10 home inspection myths we come across on a daily basis. Through this list, we hope that home buyers, sellers and owners, as well as real estate agents, will understand the scope of a home inspection a little more clearly.

Myth 1: Home Inspectors Find Every Issue

Home inspections, while comprehensive, are visual and non-invasive. They typically take two to three hours to complete and essentially create a snapshot in time of the home’s current condition. Because of this nature, the home inspection might not reveal problems concealed by wall coverings, furniture, or personal belongings.

Myth 2: Inspectors Will Move Obstacles and Turn On Utilities

Inspectors respect the privacy and property of the current homeowners. We will not move personal items or turn on utilities like gas or water valves. If utilities are off, those areas or systems will not be inspected, and inspectors will note this in their report instead of taking the risk of turning them on. It is advised that the sellers leave the utilities on (even if the home is vacant) for the home inspection and clear access to the basement, attic, and crawlspace as well as to the breaker panel, HVAC unit and water heater.

Myth 3: Home Inspections are Pass/Fail Scenarios

Home inspections don't operate on a pass/fail basis. A home cannot “fail” an inspection. The inspection report simply provides detailed findings, allowing clients to make their own informed decisions. The decision to proceed with a purchase post-inspection is subjective and varies from buyer to buyer.

Myth 4: New Homes Don't Require Home Inspections

Every home, regardless of its age, benefits from a professional home inspection. New construction homes can have issues due to miscommunication among contractors or overlooked details before completion. The most common types of issues found in newly built homes include dirty air ducts, improper grading and drainage, and water intrusion.

Note: A Pre-Drywall Inspection can help identify issues with a new construction home early on in the building process, allowing ample time for the builder to address them before it’s too late.

Myth 5: Inspections Check for Code Compliance

While most inspectors are knowledgeable about building codes, we are not code enforcers. Home inspections are about assessing the condition of the home's accessible components, not checking for code compliance.

Myth 6: More Attendees Result in a Better Inspection

Home inspections are most effective when limited to the buyers and their agents. Additional people can create distractions, hindering the thoroughness and focus of the inspection. It’s also best to leave children and pets at home when attending a home inspection.

Myth 7: Sellers Must Fix Everything Listed in the Report

The inspection report can be a tool for negotiation, but it is not a mandatory repair list for sellers. In fact, in many cases, buyers choose to not disclose the information found during the inspection to the seller. Buyers and their agents should discuss and decide which issues, if any, to negotiate for repair or price adjustment.

Myth 8: All Home Inspections are Identical

Just as every home is unique, so is every home inspection, as they are designed to address the home and always maintain the buyer’s best interest. Each inspector also has a unique approach and method. Inspections can vary in order, detail, and report style. Choosing an inspector should be based on their methodology and your specific needs. Thay’s why is important to read reviews thoroughly and interview your inspector before hiring them to ensure they are a good fit and can be trusted with your future investment.

Myth 9: A Home Inspection is the Same as a Home Appraisal

Appraisals and inspections serve different purposes. An appraisal determines a home's monetary value, and is performed by a home appraiser, while a home inspection assesses the physical condition of the home's major systems and structures, and therefore is performed by a home inspector. While they may see a lot of homes within your community, home inspectors are not experts in pricing homes appropriately. You should always consult with your appraiser and real estate agent to get an accurate price.

Myth 10: All Inspection Findings are Costly to Fix

Not all issues identified in a home inspection are expensive to repair. Many common findings, like minor plumbing problems or clogged gutters, can be resolved at a minimal cost. While you should take all the items reported from the home inspection seriously, prioritize those items that are health and/or safety hazards.

Understanding the truths behind these myths is crucial for anyone involved in a home purchase. A professional home inspection, like those provided by WIN Home Inspection, offers an objective evaluation of a property, empowering buyers to make informed decisions. Remember, knowledge is power in real estate transactions, and dispelling these myths is the first step towards a successful home buying experience.