I always encourage buyers to have a home inspection prior to purchasing a house. According to NAR research, a majority of homebuyers – 77 percent – take this advice. Among these homebuyers:
- 81 percent had a contingency placed in the contract for the inspection
- 79 percent attended and participated in the home inspection
- 97 percent believe that the home inspection was a good value for the price they paid.
As you know, a home inspection can be the difference of making a sale or not. It’s important that when you refer your buyers to a home inspector, the inspector be one who works diligently with your clients to ensure that all of their questions about the property get answered. Avoid any appearance of a conflict of interest. The inspector should provide a written summary of his findings to the buyer and he should welcome the buyer to accompany him during the inspection to ask questions.
Obviously, different types of houses dictate different types of home inspections. A historic property will require a more specialized inspection than a newer model.
A good home inspection should cover the following:
- Structure: including the foundation and framing
- Exterior: sidewalks, driveways, steps, windows, attached porches, decks, balconies, siding, trim and doors
- Roofing: roof’s age, conditions of flashing, roof draining systems, shingles, gutters, downspouts, skylights and chimneys
- Plumbing: water supply and drainage systems, water heating equipment, fuel storage systems, drainage pumps and sump pumps
- Electrical: service entrance wires, service panels, breakers and fuses and disconnects
- Heating: heating system, vent system, flues, water heater and chimneys
- Air Conditioning: home cooling system, its energy source, and inspect the central and through-wall cooling equipment
- Interior: walls, ceilings, floors, steps, stairways, railings, countertops, cabinets, garage doors and garage door systems
- Ventilation/insulation: insulation and ventilation in the attic and in unfinished areas such as crawlspaces, and secured insulation in walls
- Fireplaces: fireplace structure, vent and flue.
Ultimately, home inspectors and Realtors® can be held liable for failing to point out serious problems with a home, so it’s in everyone’s best interests to have a thorough, high-quality home inspection.