Frequently Asked Questions
5 Things You Need To Know About Home Inspections Before Buying A Home
Question: Is an appraisal the same thing as a home inspection?
No, an appraisal and a home inspection are two very different yet important functions during the home buying process. The appraisal is a market analysis of your home (or the home you are buying) to determine current market value. This value is supported by comparable nearby sales of similar properties. While an appraiser may notice an issue and note it on their report, their primary function is to determine value.
A home inspection is a detailed inspection of the property performed by a qualified home inspector. This includes inspection of the foundation, attic, crawl space, etc... to look for any issues that point to a possible water leak, structural issue, pest problem and so forth. Obtaining a home inspection is an important part of the home buying process, and a good tool for buyers to use to protect themselves from buying a home with costly issues that will arise after purchase.
Question: When is a home inspection performed?
Typically a buyer makes an offer on a home, and once the offer has been accepted the buyer is given a certain amount of time to obtain a home inspection, review and move forward. If a buyer chooses not to purchase a home after reviewing their home inspection, their Realtor can advise the buyer on how to decline and receive their earnest money deposit back if they are still in the agreed upon time frame.
Question: When do I meet with the home inspector?
Since a home inspection can take a couple hours or more, I usually advise my clients to meet with the home inspector once they have completed their inspection. At that point the inspector can address any major issues they have found. In addition, many home inspectors will provide a detailed report via email after the inspection for the buyer to review.
Question: What if I still want to buy a home but want the seller to make some repairs?
This is pretty common, and is an another reason having a Buyer's agent represent you is so important. Once you have reviewed your home inspection, you can discuss your concerns with your Realtor and decide which items you would like to address with the seller. Your list of items is written up in the form of an addendum, and your agent presents this list to the seller or seller's agent. The seller has the option to respond to this request and agree upon what will and will not be done.
Question: How do I choose a Home Inspector?
Your Realtor works with many home inspectors in your local real estate market, and can provide you with a referral to a home inspector. You also may know of a home inspector from a friend or relative who recently bought a home, and can suggest an inspector they hired.
The home buying process is an exciting and sometimes stressful process. Make sure you have a Realtor representing you who can help you navigate the process and has your best interests in mind.