Major Home Inspection Mistakes to Avoid
A home inspection is the best way to learn all about the home you are buying or selling, and the problems that it currently has or that are likely to occur soon. You will also learn how best to care for the home to minimize issues in the future. As it is primarily a visual evaluation, a home inspection may not catch all hidden damage, but it remains an absolutely essential tool for both buyers and sellers. Still, many people do not make the most of their home inspection because they make one or more of these common major mistakes. Here’s what you should know.
Skipping the Research
Because your home inspection is so important, it only makes sense to use the best inspector you can find. Rather than simply going with whoever is first suggested, or the first name you find in a Google search, make the time to learn about the home inspector you are considering. Here are a few key questions to ask:
- How long has the inspection company been in business?
- What certifications does the individual inspector hold, and how are inspectors at the company trained?
- How many inspections has the inspector completed?
- Does the inspector have a background in building, contracting, or other construction-related business?
Remember, you are looking for an inspector who can analyze the home and explain his or her findings, so effective communication skills are also an asset.
Skipping the Inspection
Although you are not technically required to be present for the inspection, it is too important to miss. A thorough inspection could take up to half a day, so block out plenty of time in your schedule. Accompanying the inspector during the inspection allows him or her to point things out as the inspection progresses, and gives you the chance to ask questions on the spot. Depending on local laws, your inspector may not be able to advise you on whether to buy a particular home, but you can get great advice on how much different issues may cost to repair.
If the inspector does not allow you to accompany him or her, or makes you feel like you are in the way, take it as a red flag. A good inspector should welcome the opportunity to spend this time with you.
Not Reading the Report in Detail
It is extremely common for both buyers and sellers to take only a cursory glance at the inspection report. Yet the report is packed with vital information about the strengths and weaknesses of the home. The best inspectors will include photographs with the report, and will take the time to sit down and go over it with you at length. Still, you should take it upon yourself to read and digest the specific information.
Sellers Skipping the Inspection
If you are selling your home, you may figure that a home inspection is the buyer’s responsibility. While smart buyers always have an inspection done, the best way for sellers to protect themselves is to have their own inspection done before putting the home on the market.
This gives you plenty of time to learn what needs to be repaired and shop around for the best person to complete the work. Waiting until you get the results of a buyer’s inspection forces you to rush the repairs to completion in order to keep the sale. This can mean skyrocketing costs and little control over the process.
Not Preparing the House
Whether hired by the buyer or the seller, the home inspector needs to get to all parts of the house, including the basement, shed, and attic. Unlock these areas, move items away from the walls, and provide clear access to crawl space hatches and other seldom-used doors or access panels. For buyer inspections, sellers whose homes are well-prepared can meet the inspector and provide their cell phone number and then leave during the inspection. For seller inspections, plan to stay with the inspector to ask questions as needed.
Not Having Professional Repairs Done
A reinspection is required after the initial issues are found and repaired. Many sellers try to save money by performing the work themselves or hiring cheap labor. But if the repairs don’t pass inspection, they will need to be redone, and then reinspected yet again. Save yourself both time and money by simply having the needed work performed by a professional who will do it right the first time.
At Best Inspection, we pride ourselves on our deep respect for every client. A thorough inspection, followed by a detailed in-person review of the report and photographs, ensures that you know exactly what to expect. We are honest, friendly, experienced, and dependable. If you are in the Anchorage area and need a professional, caring, certified home inspector, even during evening or weekend hours, give us a call today at (907) 522-2378 to learn how we can help!