by Paul Ballard with Avalon Management
When buying a home, it is expected that you will do a home inspection. But the home inspection is not just about checking the physical condition of the house; it can also be an essential negotiation tool. The outcome of the inspection helps you determine if you are getting a fair price for the property. It gives you an objective basis for deciding the actual value of the home.
This is why you must not treat the inspection as a formality but as a critical part of the buying process, says Avalon Management. If the inspection is not properly done, you could be paying the price for years to come. But a professionally executed home inspection will save you money and help you buy the home with relative peace of mind.
To get the most from your home inspection, you cannot leave it all to the home inspector. It would be best if you got involved, and here are some smart tips you can follow to do this.
Inspection tip 1: Do a visual inspection first
Your understanding of the inspection report and subsequent decision to buy or not buy the home depends on how much you know about the property. It is hard to understand an inspection report if you don't know anything about the house. Doing your superficial inspection of the property will help you make a better offer; it also prepares you to make the most of the steps that will follow.
Inspection tip 2: Make sure you have a home inspection
The home inspection is not a cost; it is an investment that could save you a lot of trouble. Every investment carries some level of risk, and buying a home is no different. The home inspection minimizes the risk of purchasing an overpriced house or one with hidden problems. Even when purchasing a newly constructed home, the home inspection is still necessary.
Inspection tip 3: Hire a competent inspector
Please do not hire a home inspector because they are cheap. If they cannot detect the home's problems, you have wasted the inspection fee and run the risk of making a bad investment decision. Everything depends on the competence of your home inspector. To ensure the best outcome, hire someone with practical experience and the right tools. The additional cost will save you the stress of buying a home with hidden problems.
Inspection tip 4: Be present during the inspection
Although the inspection report will eventually get to you, this should not keep you from being present during the inspection. A firsthand view of the problems is invaluable for understanding the inspection report and making the right decisions afterward. If you did a visual inspection of the home before the inspection, you get a chance to have a second look and also see if the home inspector will confirm your suspicions.
Inspection tip 5: Ask questions but don't interfere
The essence of the home inspection is to educate the buyer on the condition of a home they are about to buy. If you were an expert, you would not need a home inspector. So do not be afraid to ask for clarifications and the inspector's opinion. Most home inspectors will be happy to have you accompany them and answer your questions, as long as you don't get in their way.
Inspection tip 6: Read the report and expect problems
No home will ever get a perfect home inspection report, not even if it is a new construction home. Expect the inspection to reveal problems. The important thing is to distinguish between what you should ignore, those that you should fix, and issues that should make you walk away. But to do this, you must first study and understand the home inspection report. You would be able to do this easily if you followed the steps above.
Inspection tip 7: Do not overlook additional testing
Sometimes the inspector will note a problem and request specialty testing to determine a problem and its extent. This is because home inspectors do not do in-depth assessments of each component of the home; they offer a broad overview. Specialty testing takes a more in-depth look into the identified part of the house. Overlooking additional testing because you want to save money is a bad idea.
Inspection tip 8: Re-inspect repairs
If, after the inspection, you choose to go ahead with the purchase, but ask the seller to do some repairs, make sure you re-inspect those repairs. Add a clause in the purchase agreement that makes the completion of the sale contingent on re-inspection of post-inspection repairs. Doing this protects you by ensuring that all repairs are correctly done.
Buying a home is a huge investment. That is why the home inspection is indispensable to the home buying process. Following the above steps will help you get the most from the inspection, allowing you to minimize these investment risks.
Hi - this is Werner with Home Inspection Tennessee