By Nancy Minor
In the past, I have written about the importance of home inspections. They play such a critical role in helping you during your due diligence period. I wanted you to hear from one of our best local inspectors on the importance of selecting a good inspector. It is also critical that you know how to pick a good inspector. John Miller is a well-respected local inspector and has shared some tips that you can benefit from.
The Importance of a Home Inspection
Nearly all of today’s home purchase contracts include a home inspection contingency clause, which is a provision allowing the buyer to hire a professional home inspector to thoroughly evaluate the home for structural and mechanical defects or potential safety hazards associated with the home.
When hiring a home inspector, ask them about the inspector's qualifications and years of experience. The American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), founded in 1976, is North America’s oldest and most respected professional society of home inspectors. ASHI’s goals have always been to build customer awareness of the importance of a quality home inspection and enhance the professionalism of home inspectors (www.ashi.org). If you’re purchasing new construction, an ICC (International Code Council) certified inspector can help ensure that your home was built to local building code standards (www.iccsafe.org).
What does a home inspection include?
The standard home inspection report will cover the condition of the home’s heating system(s) and central air conditioning system(s) - (temperature permitting); interior plumbing and electrical systems; the roof, attic and visible insulation; walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors; the foundation, basement and structural components. There may also be the need for other specialized inspections including EIFS/Stucco, Radon Gas, Indoor Air Quality Testing, Detection of Wood-Destroying Organisms, etc… depending on the type of home and the buyer’s requests.
A home inspection allows you the opportunity to learn as much about the home as possible from a third party not involved in the sales transaction. If major issues are identified, it allows you the opportunity to negotiate with the seller of the property prior to purchasing the home and can save you thousands of dollars! We encourage all of our clients to attend the inspection and to follow the inspector throughout the inspection process. The inspection is a valuable time to gather information and to see the home through your’ inspector’s eyes. The home inspection also provides you the opportunity to ask questions and to receive maintenance tips on how to keep your home in good condition.
In today’s competitive market, a pre-listing inspection can help you identify and repair potential problems associated with your home prior to placing your home on the market. By identifying possible defects early on, the seller is in a position to handle repairs prior to listing, making the listing more attractive and the property more sellable. This may mean more money to the seller and a faster sale. Making repairs ahead of time will limit objections over defects during the negotiation process. If the seller elects not to repair certain defects that turn up in the pre-listing inspection, they can disclose the defects to potential buyers in the disclosure documents.
Whatever side of the real estate transaction you’re on, hiring a qualified home inspector is one of the most important aspects of the home buying experience.
John Miller, President of HSI, Inc. has been a full-time, professional home inspector since 1998 and is certified by all major organizations including International Code Council (ICC), American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) and Exterior Design Institute (EDI) and can be reached at 770-246-9448.