Buy NowUnderstanding the home inspection process can help buyers during an exciting yet potentially nerve-wracking time in their lives.
Home inspections are a vital part of the home buying process. Such inspections can protect buyers as they’re on the cusp of making what will likely be the most significant investment of their lives. Understanding the home inspection process can help buyers during an exciting yet potentially nerve-wracking time in their lives.
The American Society of Home Inspectors defines a home inspection as an objective visual examination of the physical structure and systems of a house. Inspectors will conduct visual examinations from the roof to the foundation of the home. Additional structures on the property, such as sheds or detached outdoor living areas, are not typically included in the examination.
The ASHI notes that inspectors will examine the condition of various parts of the home. The heating system, central air conditioning unit, interior plumbing and electrical systems, roof (though inspectors will not climb onto the roof), attic and insulation will be examined. Inspectors also will examine walls, ceilings, floors, windows, doors, the foundation of the home, basement (or crawl space), and structural components.
Homes cannot fail home inspections, which are just assessments of a home’s existing condition. Municipal inspections are separate inspections conducted by government agencies to verify that a property is in compliance with local codes. Home inspectors will provide detailed reports describing the condition of a home and indicate if any repairs are in order.
A home inspection is a vital component that can help buyers make the most informed decision possible. Forgoing an inspection can leave buyers vulnerable to potentially costly repairs and issues with a home that might have been detected with a proper home inspection. In addition, some lenders insist that buyers have home inspections conducted before they will allow them to borrow money.
Home inspections can protect home buyers as they prepare to make the most significant financial investment of their lives. More information about inspections can be found at www.homeinspector.org.
Answers to your home inspection questions. Get recommendations for a home inspector from friends, family and your Realtor
Get recommendations for a home inspector from friends, family and your Realtor
Cathy Mitchell with MetroTex Association of Realtors answers home inspection questions.(Courtesy / MetroTex Association of Realtors)By Cathy Mitchell, 2019 President, MetroTex Association of Realtors
6:00 AM on Oct 6, 2019
Whether you’ve had a home inspection done before or this is your first time, there are a few basics buyers should know. To help clarify the process, here are the answers to five common questions.
Who pays for it?
The buyer chooses the inspector and pays the inspector directly for the inspection. The inspection report that is generated belongs to the buyer. Get recommendations for a home inspector from friends, family and your Realtor and make sure whoever you choose is licensed by the Texas Real Estate Commission.
ADVERTISINGWhat does an inspector do?
The inspector will go through the property and make note of any damage, need for repairs or maintenance issues. The buyer will receive a copy of the completed report based on those findings. It’s important to know that there could be defects a home inspector will not find – and wouldn’t be expected to find – if the defects are in areas with limited or no access. For example, your inspector may recommend getting a structural engineer for a closer look at the foundation.
When should I get an inspection?
Your Realtor will discuss including a “termination-option period” in your contract to purchase the home. This is an amount of time during which you can conduct inspections, negotiate with the seller for repairs and still have the option to terminate the contract.
Where should I be during the inspection?
You don’t have to be at the property during the inspection, but it can help you better understand the process, get to know the property and have an opportunity to ask the inspector questions.
Why should I have this done?
ADVERTISINGBuying a home is probably the largest investment you will ever make, so you want to know as much as you can up front.
A home inspector will point out items that need regular maintenance and identify any problems.
After your inspection is complete, talk with your Realtor to determine if there are any issues you want to ask the seller to address before you move forward. A Realtor has experience with the homebuying process and will make recommendations that are right for you.
Aly J. Yale The Mortgage Reports Contributor
July 4, 2019 - 1 min readSaving by inspectingHome inspections can offer serious value. In fact, according to a new analysis, they save buyers an average of $14,000 per home purchase.
Verify your new rate (Oct 28th, 2019)Serious savingsThough most buyers pay between $200 and $500 for their home inspection, a new analysis from Porch.com shows the fee more than pays for itself in the long run. In fact, a home inspection saves the average buyer around $14,000 on their home purchase.
According to the report, the average list price before an inspection is $226,600. Post-inspection, the average closing price is just $212,400.
As the report explains, “Home inspections can be extremely prudent investments, saving homebuyers from unforeseen fiscal challenges. Citing necessary repairs, agents can knock thousands off the price their clients might otherwise have paid.”
About 36 percent of buyers said their inspector even provide estimated repair costs for each issue found.
Home inspection checklist: What to expect on inspection day
Insights into inspectionsFortunately, it seems most buyers have recognized the power of inspections. Eight in 10 recent homebuyers used an inspector in their purchase, paying about $377 on average.
The majority of these buyers used the inspector recommended by their real estate agent. Others used recommendations from friends or family members, or the seller made the inspection decision. Most chose the first inspector they considered.
Buying a house? Know these common home inspection findings — and what they cost to fix
In 86 percent of cases, the inspector found an item that needed repairs. Nearly 20 percent of inspections revealed a roof issue and 18 percent showed an electrical problem. Issues were also often cited with windows, gutters, plumbing and fencing.
Problems with heaters and roofs helped negotiations the most. When inspectors noted an issue with the heating system, buyers were able to negotiate the price $1,250 lower on average. With roof issues, it was $1,000 lower.
Hey, Buyers: Inspectors Can Predict the Future—and 8 Other Common Home Inspection MythsBy Wendy Helfenbaum | May 24, 2018
iStock; realtor.comAfter seeing dozens of duds, you’ve found the perfect house. You’re all set with pre-approved financing and a grand vision of how you’ll make this place look fabulous. Best of all, after some nail-biting negotiations, the seller has finally accepted your offer.
You’re done, right?
Well, not quite yet. There's still the home inspection—arguably the most important step of the home-buying process. Simply put, it can make or break the sale.
It can be confusing, we know. So join us as we debunk some of the most common home inspection myths.
Myth No. 1: A home inspection is the same thing as a home appraisalIn fact, these two things could not be more different, says Tim Buell, president of the American Society of Home Inspectors and a retired home inspector in Hilliard, OH.
“An appraiser’s function is to determine the value of a house on behalf of the lending institution," he says. "Home inspectors are only interested in the safety of the home—not the value.”
That means if the seller offers up a glowing appraisal report, you shouldn't be swayed into thinking you’ve just saved yourself the price of a home inspection. Got it?
Myth No. 2: Home inspectors can advise you on whether to buy the house“That's not my field of expertise," says ASHI’s Executive Director Frank Lesh, of the Home Sweet Home Inspection Co. in Chicago. “Often people ask, ‘Would you buy this house?’ I can only tell you about the functioning portions of the house, not whether you should buy it.”
And don't forget: Even though most inspections are done at the buyer's request, inspectors are impartial. If you think inspections are meant to help the buyer renegotiate the purchase price, Buell says, think again.
Myth No. 3: It doesn't matter which inspector you hireIn the U.S., only 30 states require licensing for home inspectors, according to the ASHI. But even licensed inspectors have various levels of training or certification, so it’s up to the buyer (you) to find a competent professional.
“Just because someone is licensed doesn't mean they're qualified," Lesh says. "It means they have met a minimum requirement for their license.”
Do your homework by getting referrals from professional associations, agents, and other homeowners, and then checking references thoroughly.
Myth No. 4: The inspector will uncover every single thing that's wrong with the houseMuch as you wish they could, home inspectors simply cannot check every nook and cranny, Buell says.
“People think we can see behind walls, but I’m not Superman—I don’t have X-ray vision,” he adds.
Rather, home inspectors are guests in the seller’s home, which limits what they can do.
“We can't tear into a wall to look behind it, or rip something apart to see why it's making a noise,” he says. “We're there for a visual inspection of readily accessible areas of the home, so if there's a china cabinet in front of something, we're not going to move it.”
That said, home inspectors do use specialized tools such as infrared cameras and moisture meters that allow them to gather more information. But buyers should be realistic about what they’ll learn, Buell notes.
For example: If you're buying a house in the middle of the winter, an inspector probably won’t be able to check a roof with 3 feet of snow on it. Instead, they’ll check the attic sheathing for signs of leaks.
Myth No. 5: Buyers don’t belong at the home inspectionIt doesn't matter whether you know anything about home construction and maintenance. “Buyers absolutely should be there, without question,” Lesh insists. “I can go into more detail [than in the report], and you’ll have a three-dimensional view.”
Lesh also encourages all buyers—especially first-timers—to ask questions. While home inspectors can't tell you whether to buy the house, they can share maintenance tips and advice.
Myth No. 6: Brand-new homes don’t need to be inspectedFaulty construction can lead to all kinds of repair nightmares in the future, so sparkly new houses need to be checked—maybe even morecarefully than older ones, Lesh says.
“With a house that's already been lived in ... I can see whether there are signs of leakage, mold, or anything that occurs over a period of time,” he explains. “If it’s a brand-new house, nobody has showered in that shower or used the appliances, so it absolutely should be inspected, even though it’s under warranty.”
In related news...
Myth No. 7: A flipped home doesn’t need to be inspected, eitherIf everything was redone top to bottom, there’s no point checking it out, right? C'mon—you know better.
“Unfortunately, some flippers are more interested in money than safety,” Buell says. “If a house has been flipped, you’ll want to make sure that they had the right building permits, and that code inspectors verified the remodeling work.”
Myth No. 8: Home inspectors can predict the futureLesh once had a client whose father wanted to know exactly how long the furnace would last.
“I opened my case and said, ‘Oh, gosh, I forgot my crystal ball,’” Lesh recalls.
“A home inspection is a snapshot in time,” Buell says. “We can tell you how old certain appliances are, and what the useful life of something is. ... But we don't know when a plumbing leak is going to happen or when a fuse will break on an electric panel."
Lesh does, however, tell clients that everything in the house will need to be replaced at some point. Best practice? Budget 1% of the value of the house per year for maintenance.
Myth No. 9: A good house will ‘pass’ the inspectionHome inspection reports will never indicate whether a property passes or fails, Lesh says. That’s because everything depends on a buyer's tolerance level: What’s acceptable for one buyer could cause another to walk away.
“I'm the judge of the house in terms of whether it’s safe," Lesh explains. "But I always ask people: Can you live with this?”
If you can, then the house passes your test. And that's all that matters.
1. It Provides an "Out"
A quality home inspection can reveal critical information about the condition of a home and its systems. This makes the buyer aware of what costs, repairs and maintenance the home may require immediately, and over time. If a buyer isn't comfortable with the findings of the home inspection, it usually presents one last opportunity to back out of the offer to buy. (This step is important when purchasing a property because it may save you thousands. For more, see The 3 Most Important Factors In Buying A Home).
A home inspection can detect safety issues like radon, carbon monoxide, and mold, which all homes should be tested for. Make sure that your home-buying contract states that should such hazards be detected, you have the option to cancel the offer to buy.
3. Reveal Illegal Additions or Installations
A home inspection can reveal whether rooms, altered garages or basements were completed without a proper permit, or did not follow code, according to Chantay Bridges of Clear Choice Realty & Associates. "If a house has illegal room additions that are un-permitted, it affects the insurance, taxes, usability and most of all the overall value. In essence, a buyer is purchasing something that legally does not exist," she explains. Even new homes with systems that were not installed to code will become the new homeowners' financial "problem" to fix (and finance). (The home for sale/purchase must pass inspection. For more, see Housing Deals That Fall Through.)
Home inspections are even more critical if you are buying an "as-is" foreclosed property or short sale. Dwellings that have been boarded often develop hazardous mold problems, which are costly to remedy and pose health concerns. Greg Haskett, VP of shared services at HomeTeam Inspection Service says it's common for home inspectors to find that copper plumbing lines and outdoor compressors have been removed from foreclosed properties by people trying to sell copper to recyclers for money. (For more, see Should You Buy A House At Auction?)
5. Negotiating Tool
Realtor Jennifer De Vivo of Orlando-based De Vivo Realty says the home inspection report presents an opportunity to ask for repairs and/or request a price reduction or credit from the seller. Work with your realtor to understand what requests can and should be made to negotiate a better deal.
6. Forecast Future Costs
A home inspector can approximate the installation age of major systems in the home like plumbing, heating and cooling, and critical equipment like water heaters. They can diagnose the current condition of the structure itself, and tell you how long finishes have been in the home. All components in the home have a "shelf-life." Understanding when they require replacement can help you make important budgeting decisions, and it wll determine what type of home insurance coverage or warranties you should consider. (For more, see New Home Repair Troubleshooting.)
7. Determine "Deal-Breakers"
De Vivo suggests that home inspections can help buyers identify how much additional money or effort they are willing and able to spend to take the home to a condition that is personally acceptable. If you are unwilling to repair issues like faulty gutters, cracked walls or ceilings, perhaps you are not ready to end your home buying search.
8. Learn to Protect Your Investment
The home inspector is a valuable educational resource. He or she can suggest specific tips on how to maintain the home, and ultimately save you thousands of dollars in the long term, according to De Vivo.
9. Reveal the Big Picture
Haskett advises that people use the home inspection to understand the nuances of what may be the biggest purchase they ever make. "People fall in love with a piece of property based on the color of the walls, the location of the home, or something else; they are completely blind to the issues that can make that dream home a nightmare," he says. (For more, see Purchasing A Short-Sale Property.)
Some insurance companies will not insure a home if certain conditions are found, or without the presence of certifications like Wind Mitigation and four-point inspections, according to Haskett. "Qualified home inspectors can do these things at the same time as their other services and save the home buyer time and money in the long run."
BY ECHO SURINA
When you go to the doctor for an annual physical exam, you get professional feedback on your health. Often, this is when you learn if you have any medical issues that need to be resolved. And just like you can't fail a physical (no matter how poor your health may be), a house can't fail an inspection.
A home inspection is simply a visual examination of a house's overall condition. The home inspection report describes a house's physical shape and identifies what might need crucial repair or replacement. Although what's covered in a standard report can vary by inspector, typically the status of the following will be included: heating system, central air conditioning system, interior plumbing and electrical systems, roof, attic, visible insulation, walls, ceilings, floors, windows, doors, foundation, basement and all structural components.
So, what are the deal breakers of a home inspection? That depends entirely on you. What is and is not a deal breaker depends on each person's preferences and needs. For example, an inspection that identifies damaged floor joists might be a deciding factor for one person who feels the problem is too expensive or time-consuming to fix.
However, the same trouble with joists might be absolutely acceptable for another client who has resources to fix the issue. A home inspector does not tell a customer whether or not to buy a house. Rather, it's his or her job to provide all the available information so that home buyers (or sellers) can make the decision right for them.
By Megan Wild
To make sure you’re not buying a money pit, you need a professional home inspection before you commit.
An inspection should uncover any potential issues so you have a complete picture of what you’re buying.
Finding a Home InspectorMany first-time home buyers don’t realize that it’s their responsibility to hire a home inspector. Make sure you make your offer conditional upon inspection or get one done before you make a bid.
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To find a home inspector, people often turn to recommendations from trusted friends and family members. Your broker might also have an inspector to recommend. While other people’s opinions are helpful, what’s paramount is that you hire someone who is qualified.
Some states require home inspectors to have certifications. For those that don’t, membership in organizations like the American Society of Home Inspectors can give you some assurance about an inspector’s professionalism.
What the Inspector Should Look AtDuring a home inspection, the inspector should thoroughly evaluate the physical structure of the home as well as critical internal systems. You should make sure the examination includes the following:
● Electrical system
● Plumbing system
● Heating and cooling systems
● Radon detection equipment, if applicable
● Walls, ceiling and flooring
● Windows and doors
While an inspection will give you an idea of a house’s overall condition, it might not uncover hidden problems such as pests, mold or asbestos. It also won’t turn up flaws in areas that are below ground or otherwise inaccessible to the inspector, like wells and septic tanks. To identify those types of problems, you’re going to need additional inspections.
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For example, a Wood Destroying Insect Inspection can identify termites, carpenter ants and other pests. “More than 30 states require a pest inspection before a home loan can close,” Leslie Wyman, the owner of Epcon Lane, a pest control company said. “But even if you live in a state where it’s optional, it’s a really important safeguard.”
What Should You Do During the Inspection?You should make every effort to be present when the inspection is taking place. You can follow the inspector around the house and ask questions so you can learn more about your potential new home. If you can’t make it for the inspection, you should meet with the inspector to go over the report in detail.
If you have questions about potential issues or how to take care of parts of the home, feel free to ask the evaluator. Take care, however, not to get in the inspector’s way. Don’t start inspecting the home yourself, either. If you test a sink while the inspector is testing a shower, for example, you might alter the results.
It’s also important to remember that “an inspection is only a snapshot in time on the day of the inspection,” said John Bodrozic, a co-founder of HomeZada. So if you’re buying a house in the middle of summer, try to consider how the home might perform in different conditions, like the winter or fall.
A Home’s Report CardOnce the inspector completes an evaluation, you will receive a report with the inspector’s findings. Don’t be alarmed if you see a lot of deficiencies noted. Home inspections are detailed, so reports often include between 50 and 100 issues, most of which are relatively small.
The report should include information about how severe each listed problem is, plus estimates on how much it would cost to fix each problem. Ask the inspector for clarifications on this if necessary.
If the inspection finds more problems than you’re comfortable dealing with, you can choose to back out of the sale or try to negotiate to have the seller make the repairs or lower the price. If you’re satisfied with the condition of the home or the shape it will be in after the seller meets the arrangements of your negotiations, you can move into your new home with more peace of mind.
By Wendy Helfenbaum | Jul 17, 2019
AndreyPopov/iStock; realtor.comYou’ve lived in your home for years and haven't exactly been on top of regular maintenance tasks. Now, your windows are covered in plastic wrap to cut down on the cold drafts, your ceiling seems to be leaking, and those shrubs you planted to conceal a few small cracks in the foundation just aren’t cutting it anymore.
Hey, we’re not judging! But if you’re ready to put your home up for sale, know this: Buyers and their agents are going to zero in on all those things that need doing—as well as some things you hadn't even noticed yourself.
So why not get ahead of the curve by hiring a licensed home inspector who can pinpoint what needs fixing?
But if you're willing to invest the time and money, a thorough inspection before listing your property can make it easier to price your home, manage repairs, and even help sell it faster—and for more money.
So what are the some of the reasons why a pre-listing inspection makes sense? Let's take a look.
It can save you if you've neglected home maintenanceIf you have a busy life—or maybe even if you don't—chances are that obsessing over regular home maintenance might not be your No. 1 priority during downtime. Trouble is, letting painting, roof repairs, and other routine chores slide can lead to bigger issues down the road, says Chicago-based Frank Lesh, ambassador for the American Society of Home Inspectors.
“In a lot of cases, people think, ‘I've been here for 30 years; the house is fine. There's nothing wrong with it,’" he says. "But they’re looking at it with rose-colored glasses.”
Instead of worrying what a buyer’s inspector will uncover—and which could potentially kill the sale—be proactive with a pre-listing inspection, Lesh says. This way, rather than being blindsided, you can then decide whether to make the necessary repairs or to account for that deferred maintenance by reducing the list price. Which leads us to…
You can make a bigger profit on your saleSure, a home inspection that you don't have to do is going to cost money. (An inspection for a 1,200- to 1,500-square-foot house in an average market, for instance, will cost between $350 and $600, Lesh says.) But as the saying goes: Sometimes you have to spend money to make money.
After all, if you invest a little more to repair and spruce up anything the pre-inspection reveals, you can justify listing your home at a higher price, Lyman says. Plus, he adds, in most states, home improvement repairs you carry out before selling your house are deductible from the profit you make from the sale.
Sometimes, just knowing that a pro has given the house a proper once-over can persuade a buyer to make a bid (assuming that you actually follow the inspector’s recommendations).
“It minimizes surprises for a buyer, and can give a buyer more confidence in the property," Lyman says.
You won't have to scramble to fix things at the last minuteOnce a buyer’s inspector submits a report, sellers are usually faced with two choices: If problems are found with the house, they can then either slash money from the sale price, or opt to carry out repairs before the closing date. That often leaves sellers in the lurch, having to get work done pronto—and sometimes paying a premium for the rush work.
After a pre-listing inspection, sellers can research contractors and make the necessary repairs within a time frame of their choosing, so that everything is ready before potential buyers even visit the property.
Watch: Surprising Sale-Stoppers That Could Be in Your Home
It'll minimize back-and-forth negotiationBuyers often use their home inspection as leverage, asking the seller (that's you!) for steep discounts based on what their inspector’s report reveals. Not surprisingly, the buyer’s inspection is often where the deal falls apart.
If you’ve already uncovered the issues and addressed them, you can raise the price of your home accordingly, Lyman says. “That gives the buyer less leverage in the request for repair process,” he explains.
Also, in red-hot markets where multiple bids come fast and furious, there's always a chance that buyers might accept your pre-listing inspection without insisting on doing their own. This can make for a quicker sale, Lesh says.
But make sure a pre-inspection doesn’t work against youAs advantageous as a pre-inspection can be, don’t forget that the inspector’s report could be a double-edged sword: Once you know about a problem, you can’t ignore it, Lyman says.
Sellers are legally obligated to disclose any problems that a home inspection unearths.
“For sellers unwilling to do repairs, their own inspection could be used as leverage to negotiate on price and in the request-for-repair process,” he says.
Before committing to a pre-inspection, find out what other sellers in your area are doing. Your agent can help guide you on whether it's necessary to sell for more, or if there's a better—and more affordable—strategy for getting your home sold.
Looking to sell your home? Claim your home and get info on your home's value.
Wendy Helfenbaum is a journalist and TV producer who covers real estate, architecture and design, DIY, gardening, and travel. Her work has appeared in Woman's Day, Metropolis, Costco Connection, Garden Collage, Parenting, Canadian Living, Canadian Gardening, and more.
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August 2, 2019Before you sign on the dotted line when buying a home, it’s a good idea to get a home inspection to make sure you know of any issues with the home’s structure, heating and cooling systems, electrical systems, plumbing and more. If you don’t flag issues with the seller before buying, you’ll be the one responsible for paying for any necessary repairs.
But there are some times when getting a single general home inspection just isn’t enough. These are the signs you should hire an inspector for a second look to avoid a homebuyer nightmare.
The Inspector Recommends a Second Inspection by a SpecialistThe tell-tale sign that you should get another home inspection is obvious. If the initial inspector recommends that you hire a specialist for a second look, don’t ignore their recommendation — the cost of a second opinion will likely be less than the cost of a major repair.
“Most home inspectors are licensed to perform general home inspections only. In the event they find any defects with systems such as electrical, plumbing, structural engineering or HVAC, they have to recommend a secondary assessment and evaluation be performed by individuals licensed in the applicable field,” said Ron Humes, owner and principal broker at HomeSelect Realty. “This would be a valid reason for the buyer to obtain a secondary inspection.”
HVAC Issues in Particular Should Get a Second InspectionSomething as simple as rust on an HVAC unit can be a sign of a much larger issue. So if a general inspector flags something on the HVAC that should be looked at, it’s worth another inspection.
“I had a client who got an HVAC inspector to look at an older, rusty unit in further detail, and it ended up needing to be entirely replaced,” said Jennifer Winton, a RE/MAX Moves real estate agent in Greenville, South Carolina. “The seller did this $4,000-plus replacement while my clients only had to pay $125 for the HVAC inspection. So worth it.”
The Inspector Fails to Flag Issues You Are Already Aware Of“If an inspector omits to mention even minor issues in the home inspection report that you’re already aware of, there’s a good chance more has been overlooked by the inspector,” said Kimberly Blaker, a real estate agent and freelance writer. “Some of those omissions could be major, costly issues.”
Rather than chance it, it’s better to hire a second home inspector to take a look.
The Inspector Is In and Out in Less Than Two HoursQuality home inspections take time, so it’s a red flag if the inspector breezes through yours.
“If the inspection doesn’t take at least two to four hours, depending on the size of the home, it wasn’t thorough,” said Blaker. “A good home inspector takes time to examine every square inch of a home, inside and out. This includes sufficient time spent in the basement or crawl space, attic, garage and on top of the roof.”
The Inspector Doesn't Do Due DiligenceMake sure the home inspector you hire comes prepared.
Inspectors should “take their time testing all outlets that are visible, checking the furnace/air conditioning, plumbing, roof, chimneys, etc. If your home inspector is not taking photos of everything they are checking and/or [are not] equipped with the tools to properly test the above-mentioned items,” that’s a red flag, said April Macowicz, broker associate and team lead with The MAC Group.
The Inspector Comes Across as Inexperienced“Another red flag is if you ask [the inspector] questions about what they are doing or what they are looking for and they cannot properly answer you,” said Macowicz. “You may have someone who is inexperienced, and therefore could miss items that are hazardous or potentially hazardous.”
The Inspector Doesn't Have the Expertise Required to Make Certain Recommendations“If the home inspector gives any sort of ‘findings’ that are not within their scope of expertise, this is a definite red flag,” said Beverly Whipple, a real estate agent with ERA Brokers Consolidated. “I get nervous if I ever see anything that the home inspector took note of that I know they are not qualified to be making — something like, ‘There is settlement damage here.'”
This is a sign the inspector isn’t entirely trustworthy, and it would be worth it to get a second inspection from someone more reputable.
Repairs Have Been Performed Following the Initial InspectionIf the initial inspection found issues or damages that the seller was responsible for repairing, it’s best to get in a set of expert eyes to ensure that things were fixed properly before finalizing the purchase of the home.
“Most buyers get a second inspection after repairs have been performed and defects have been remedied from a prior inspection,” said Brian Ma, a real estate agent with Flushing Realty Group.
You Didn't Attend the Initial InspectionThere are observations an inspector could make that might not fall under a category in their home inspection checklist or make it into their official report, such as things that are OK now but could need a repair down the line. Being there alongside the inspector as they do their walk-through can give you more information than you’d get after the fact. So if you weren’t there for the initial inspection, it could be worth it to get another one.
The Inspector Was Not Licensed in Your StateIf you live near a state border, it’s very possible you could unintentionally hire an inspector that isn’t licensed in your state. If you make this mistake, the seller could deny making any recommended repairs.
“When we go back and negotiate repairs with the seller, the first thing the seller and seller’s agent will see is the inspector you chose was not licensed in that particular state,” Kim Soper, a Lexington, Kentucky-based real estate agent told U.S. News & World Report. “Therefore, your repair request may not be considered valid.”
It’s likely much cheaper to pay for a second inspection than to pay to make the repairs yourself.
The Inspector Isn't Up-to-Date With Building CodesBuilding codes can be confusing, so this part of the home inspection report is often overlooked by buyers. But not carefully checking the inspector’s assessment is a mistake.
“I always recommend confirming the accuracy of code requirements stated by home inspectors,” said Chris Murphy, a real estate agent with Washington Waterfronts. He recalled one inspection during which “the home inspector confused code requirements, and [it turned out he] was completely wrong about requirements after [I] fact-checked his statements with local and international building codes.”
Any issues with the initial inspection report are a sign that you should get a second inspection.
The Inspector Tells You Everything Is FineGetting a perfect report from a home inspector is either a sign that your home really is perfect — or it can be a sign that the inspector overlooked signs of damage or things that need repair. If not even minor issues are flagged, you should consider getting another inspection.
You Just Want the Added Peace of Mind“It is always a good idea to get a second home inspection done before closing on a property,” said Whipple. “This can create sound peace of mind, pose a second option and/or ensure issues that were noted in the first inspection were repaired properly. Making sure you hire a professional with a good history of work and reviews, or that has positive testimonies from other agents is very important.”
Signs You Should Get Another Home Inspection If You're a SellerIn most cases, buyers are the ones who will get a home inspection done as part of the homebuying process, but there are some scenarios in which getting another inspection will benefit the seller.
You're Putting Your Home Up for SaleIf you haven’t gotten a home inspection since you were the buyer of your home, it’s time for another home inspection. Ideally, you’d have the inspection done before listing the home, so you have an understanding of what repairs it needs.
“When selling your home, it is a great idea to get a home inspection beforehand,” said Nick Zolotas, a real estate agent with Herrick Lutts Realty Partners. “Often, you will have sellers who believe that their home has no issues, only to find out after a home inspector picks their property apart that a buyer now wants thousands of dollars off the initial agreed upon sales price. This will take the majority of homeowners by surprise, and really turn the deal sour.”
“If you were to have your home inspection done before putting the property on the market, you could get ahead of certain issues and potentially sell the property for a larger profit with less headaches.”
You Want To Dispute the Findings of a Buyers' InspectionIf you don’t agree or are skeptical of a homebuyers’ inspection, be sure to get another inspection to put any doubts to rest.
“Once the home inspection is completed and the findings are reported to the buyer, the buyer will request necessary repairs from the seller. If the seller wishes to dispute any of the findings, they would be well advised to obtain another home inspection of their own, or better yet, a review of the findings by professionals licensed in the area in question,” said Humes. “A professional licensed in the specific area of interest will always trump a general home inspector who does not hold a license in that area.”
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