Buying and maintaining a home is one of the most valuable investments that a person can make, which can make it a stressful process. Once the purchase is complete, any issues that arise can put a damper on excitement – especially for new homebuyers that opted out of an inspection. However, homeowners can rest easy knowing there are options available well after the sale has been completed. What better time to learn more than National Home Inspection Month?
National Home Inspection Month is celebrated in April to help all those involved with the process learn crucial information and the benefits of a home inspection. Whether you are a new homebuyer, a current homeowner, selling a home, or a real estate agent, everyone can learn something valuable.
Home Inspections in 2022
According to the Business Research Company’s Building Inspection Services Global Market Report 2022, the global inspection services market is predicted to cross $12.82 billion this year.
As we begin to move past the COVID wave, the housing market is gaining significant momentum and is on a path to making millennials proud homeowners. Real estate trends show that 2022 will be a busy year, although not as competitive as 2021, making it a potentially favorable year to acquire property.
What is a home inspection?
A home inspection is performed either by a seller before listing their home on the market or a buyer after their offer has been accepted. As buyers navigate the market in 2022, it is important that they do not skip a home inspection before purchasing their dream home.
- The purpose of a home inspection is to assess a property's current condition and provide a visual and non-invasive inspection of all the major components.
- A detailed written report summarizes any significant issues found, a list of items that need to be addressed, and tips to maintain the home regularly. It allows buyers to understand what they are getting into and take care of items before they become large and costly.
- In addition to looking at the home's systems, an inspector will look at the interior, exterior, roof, and structure of the home, which includes the attic and the foundation area (basement, crawl space, or visible parts of the slab).
- By doing a standard home inspection, the inspector will determine the home's current condition at the time of inspection and report on needed repairs. For anything that requires an invasive inspection, the home inspector will provide advice for further evaluation to be completed by a specific experienced trade skilled person.
What to expect from your home inspector?
- An inspector evaluates the general condition of the property, including the heating and cooling systems, plumbing, electrical, roof, and interior/exterior of the home, as well as some fire and safety concerns
- The inspector checks for evidence of moisture-related issues, evidence of past repairs, and signs of structural damage or remodeling changes
- The summary and detailed report provide a plethora of information about the home’s current condition, which provides buyers a way to prioritize their repairs and potentially save money by addressing issues early
- Sellers can hugely benefit from an inspection before listing a property on the market, as it allows the seller to determine whether the home needs structural repairs, upgrades, or general maintenance. This not only increases the value of the home but also eliminates surprises and helps sell the home faster.
- If the report identifies material defects that negatively impact a home's livability or minor defects, the buyer can make a more informed decision on how they want to proceed with the purchase of the house. They may ask for additional inspections, repairs, renegotiate the sale price or cancel the contract.
- Additionally, if significant repairs are made, the buyer can ask for a re-inspection to ensure all repairs have been completed successfully
What are some tips for first-time homebuyers?
- It is essential to have a trained professional inspect the property’s overall condition when buying a home, no matter how perfect it seems
- In most cases, you can revoke an offer and get your deposit back if the inspection uncovers serious issues
- You can negotiate with the seller to have the repairs made or renegotiate the selling price.
- Daytime is the best time to visit a property to check for natural lighting - take your time to walk through the home and visualize yourself living in the space
- Take notes while you are touring the home to keep track of any concerns you may have to ensure they are addressed in your inspector’s report
What to look for in a home inspector?
Getting an inspection before you buy a house is a critical step in the process, so it is vital to find a highly trained and communicative inspector.
- Investigate and ask prospective inspectors several questions, such as their background, how long they have been in the business, the number of inspections they have conducted, and what kind of report will they provide
- Check the inspector's license and service history with your state's agency if they regulate licensed home inspectors
- The inspector should be objective, independent, and have no connection to the real estate agency selling the house
- Make sure the inspector is insured and certified
- Ensure you are confident in the inspector's skills and demeanor
- If you are considering a particular type of house, make sure your inspector is familiar with that style. For example, a home's age, design, and materials offer different risks, symptoms, and clues to hidden damage.
Lastly, be sure to choose an inspector who can deliver a comprehensive report in a timely fashion. An inspector should give you a narrative report with pictures to help you understand the issues found. Be aware that special tests that aren't included in the basic house inspection may cost extra, and your home inspector should inform you of the same. Pest inspections, sewer scope, radon and mold tests are examples of common ancillary services that will require extra charges. Ask your inspector which ones they can add to your services.
Most of all, this National Home Inspection Month, remember the importance of having a home inspected!
For realtors, keep in mind that a complete home inspection report provides valuable information and allows your customers to fix any major issues before moving into their new property. Even if they decide to purchase the home without a home inspection contingency to keep their offer competitive, recommend a verbal consultation or a post-close inspection to provide your customers with peace of mind in their new home.
Discover more with the WIN Home Inspection specialist near you for more information or to schedule a home inspection now.