In my recent appearance on the Home Pro Real Estate Show, AM 700 KSEV in Houston, the topic of the day was home inspections. It was a good topic and everyone agreed that buyers should avoid purchasing property without an inspection by a licensed mechanical inspector. The reasons were many, but it came down to a few key points.
Protecting your investment is the overriding factor to have the property inspected. No one wants surprises once they have moved into their new home and months, or even years later, discover you are facing an expensive repair that a home inspection would have revealed.
As a seller or buyer do you have a realistic expectation of what an inspection report on the property is likely to find. Well, you say I’m not an inspector, how would I know what to expect? Here is where your real estate professional can help. Although, real estate agents are not inspectors, we have been through enough inspections to anticipate what might appear on the report and can prepare our clients on what they might expect.
If our clients are buying or selling a twenty year old home that may have some deferred maintenance issues, its likely those items will show up and it should not be a surprise when they do. Putting a plan in place to address the repair requests in advance can go a long way to keeping everyone focused on their objective, namely that buyers want to buy and sellers want to sell.
What happens when the initial inspection reveals the need to call in additional specialized inspectors. I wrote an earlier article about what to do when an additional inspection is required from a specialized expert, Home Inspection Tip – Why another inspector click that link to learn more about when additional inspections are suggested.
Major in the majors, don’t major in the minors. There are many things that can show up on an inspection report, at first look you might think every single item must be repaired in order for the seller to sell or buyer to buy. Not necessarily. Minimum code standards change over time and what was once an accepted practice now may not be the norm. Discuss with your inspector, service personnel and experts about what needs to be repaired before you move forward to purchase, or what can be a honey-do list or handyman project after you move in. Generally, the majors are structural integrity, roof life, foundation and heating and cooling systems.
The purchase of a home is the largest financial transaction most people ever undertake. In contrast, the small amount you would invest in a home inspection would repay itself many times over in peace of mind, knowing the true health of the property your about to purchased.