What Does A Home Inspector Do?
When you are purchasing a house, the only people who truly know what condition it is in are the current owners and the real estate agent. If you trust their word, which you probably shouldn’t, you wouldn’t need a home inspector.
However, in most cases, there are some details that are deliberately kept from buyers. So, for your own satisfaction, and to avoid spending thousands of dollars on repairs after a purchase, it is better to ask for a home inspection beforehand.
Ideally, you’d want structural engineers, electricians, and plumbers to go through the house as a mechanic would a car. This would lead to invasive examinations and possibly cost a lot more to re-assemble damaged property.
Home inspectors aren’t all-in-one structural engineers, plumbers, and electricians, but they have a pretty good idea of when you might need one of these professionals to take a second look. Home inspectors take a thorough look at the house in question and create a detailed report on their findings – all of this at a fee amounting to a few hundred dollars.
This is how it happens: The listing agent shows you a house and you are interested. The home owner asks for an unfairly high price. You believe the price is fair, as long as there are no major issues with the place.
Since buying a house is a long-term deal, you want to be sure that everything is in order.
You should look for a trusted home inspector before proceeding with the transaction.
Make sure that the inspector is trained and certified from either NAHI (National Association of Home Inspectors) or ASHI (American Society of Home Inspectors).
A home inspector, ideally, provides you with an unbiased, thorough report of what condition each part of the house is in. Usually an outside-in, top-down approach is used and they start by examining the outer four walls of the house. Then they climb on the roof and after that go from the attic down to the crawlspace.
Home inspectors possess the strong observation skills, and keep an eye out for the smallest discrepancies or cover-ups.
Once they have completed their examination, some home inspectors hand over their reports to the client right away. Others take some time, usually around 24 hours, to prepare their report based on the notes taken during the inspection.
A home inspector’s contract is written in such a way that they can’t be held liable if the inspected home turns out to have defects. It is therefore advised to always accompany the inspectors during their examination so nothing gets overlooked. They are professionals in their own right and have to get through a series of courses and trainings to get their certification. However, their report is not a guarantee as they do not know what is happening underneath the surface.
Home inspectors and real estate agents have opposing interests; therefore, having both agents present during a house inspection is best for you as a buyer.
Home inspectors help in better valuation of the house in question and should be called upon for a second opinion before the deal is made.
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