Understanding and Preparing for a Home Inspection

Although a home inspection is a typical part of any residential real estate transaction, it is usually initiated by the potential buyer and paid for by that person – and some lenders conduct the inspection to give final approval for financing. Is required.

In a tough market, however, it is not uncommon for a seller to take the proactive step of conducting a pre-listing inspection to get on top of potential issues that could affect the price or sink sales at the last minute.

As a result, both buyers and sellers need to understand professional home inspection to get the most out of the process.

There are typically two inspections done on a home:

  • General inspection of all systems and structures of the house.
  • An inspection for the presence of termites or other wood-damaging insects.

Although this article primarily considers general inspections, note that termite inspections must be carried out by a licensed pest control specialist. Usually, if insects are found to be damaging the wood, the infestation will be treated and a second inspection will be necessary to verify the success of the treatment.

Choosing a General Inspector

There are several things you'll want to know about a home inspector's credentials. You probably contacted the inspector on a referral basis. For starters, can you count on referrals?

If the inspector works with a company that also provides home repair services, you may want to take a break. They may find "problems" that are in their best economic interest to solve.

What type of report will be generated?

Three types of reports are common in home inspections:

  • A form containing a checklist of items and conditions with limited room for comments.
  • A written report with details of the inspector's findings.
  • A computer-generated hybrid of both.

You want – and need – a detailed report with specific information, especially if problems are discovered. The inspector's report may well form the basis for further negotiations on the sale and should provide complete and actionable information.

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