A home inspection is an integral and usually necessary part of a home sale. Most banks and lenders will require a home inspection to be completed before any money is lent for the purchase of the home. Sometimes buyers decide to get it done quickly and hire the cheapest home inspector they can just so they can mark it off the to-do list. However, the home inspection should be something that is used to get to know the home better and see if there are any problems that may make the home less appealing to the buyer. Landmark Home Warranty has the 8 mistakes a homebuyer can make with their home inspections here:
HAVING THE SELLER PAY FOR A HOME INSPECTION
In almost every home sale, the buyer pays for a home inspection. Although that seems counter-intuitive at first, it's actually in the buyer's best interest to foot the bill. The primary reason being that not all home inspection companies are alike! In fact, they vary quite a bit in depth and detail. The best rule of thumb is that you get what you pay for, and a homebuyer has much more of an incentive to find a detailed (and more costly) home inspector than a home seller. Also, a home inspector works for whoever is paying for the home inspection. If the buyer covers the cost of a home inspection, the inspector has no reason to spin their findings about the home. If the seller was paying, it would be in the inspector's best interest to make the problems and needed repairs in a home sound better than they should, so the buyer would make an offer.
MAKING AN OFFER BEFORE A HOME INSPECTION
Do not make an offer before a home inspection is completed on the house. Usually your real estate professional will tell you to make an offer contingent with the home inspection. Every home will have a list of problems that need to be repaired, but you can decide if you want to go through with the offer after reading the entire home inspection. If the home has too many pitfalls, you can back out of the offer, as it was contingent on the home inspection. Never waive a home inspection either, even if the home is newly constructed. You want to know what problems the home might have so you don't have to pay for unexpected repairs.
NOT HAVING EVERY PART OF YOUR HOME INSPECTED
Many home inspectors don't take the time to look at certain parts of your prospective home. If your home inspector doesn't feel comfortable with looking at select parts of the house, it may be a good idea to hire two inspectors; one who has dealt with inspecting roofs, chimneys, sewers and mold. Sometimes, the home inspector may recommend having a professional tradesperson out to further inspect a system or appliance in question. It's always a good idea to follow their advice, and generally not too expensive to get a basic diagnostic from a service professional. Other things a buyer might want to have closely inspected are when termite damage or asbestos are found in the home. Buyers should make sure their inspector will report on if the home is up to code.
NOT COMMUNICATING WHAT YOU NEED INSPECTED IN THE HOME
This goes right along with making sure every part of the home should be inspected. Although many home inspectors have a list of what their company wants them to look at and write up in their report, buyers should make sure to communicate with the inspector just what they are expecting with their final report. Buyers should hammer out details of what items need to be included in the inspection so that everything is covered in their final report. If you are unsure about which things to ask for, consult further with your real estate agent. They are professionals for a reason, and have lots of experience to help you.
HIRING AN INSPECTOR WHO DOESN'T HAVE INSURANCE
Some inspectors do not carry liability insurance, which means if they miss something in the inspection (e.g. the furnace is going out, or the roof is leaking) the homeowner can't make them pay for the repairs. A buyer should ensure that the inspector has errors and omissions coverage so the homeowner can be protected if the inspector overlooks a costly repair that needs to be made.
HIRING THE SAME PERSON TO INSPECT AND REPAIR THE HOME
Having an inspector who looks at the problems within the home and then repairs them can be a hazard to your bank account. An inspector who is going to be paid to repair the issues that are found within the house will most likely find more potential problems than an inspector who is looking just to write up a report at the end of the day. The American Society of Home Inspectors actually forbids its members from performing repair work on a home they've inspected. The buyer should make it quite clear to the home inspector from the get-go that there will be no repair-work needed after the inspection is finished. Buyers beware if the home inspector continually finds problems and continually wants to provide solutions to those problems -- they're probably just looking to make a quick buck.
NOT ATTENDING THE HOME INSPECTION
A home inspection isn't just a way to see if the home you'll be moving into is up to living standards or not, it's a way to get up-close and personal with your new home's systems and appliances. You'll want to be performing maintenance on these items if you live in the home, (especially if you have a home warranty and want to get great coverage out of it) so a home inspection is a perfect way to see what repairs they need, and how they work from a qualified professional. You'll know where the systems and appliances are located in your new home, and you'll be able to ask question from the inspector as you go along. You can get more information from attending the inspection than by reading the report the inspector sends at the end of the day.
NOT USING THE HOME INSPECTION WITH YOUR HOME WARRANTY
Once the inspection is completed and the repairs are being fixed, it's a good time to discuss purchasing a home warranty with your real estate professional. Some sellers include listing coverage on a home, which can be moved to a full home warranty after the home has moved into the buyer's hands. Using the home inspection as a way to provide information on the state of a home's systems and appliances can help home warranty companies provide better coverage on the inner workings of a home. A home warranty protects homeowners from unexpected repairs and replacements, so if the home inspection shows that there was no pre-existing condition on a particular appliance that fails, a home warranty will cover that appliance for a service call fee.
For more information about home warranties, go to www.landmarkhw.com.