Before purchasing a home, consider hiring a professional home inspector to perform a thorough inspection of the property. A home inspection is a critical part of the home buying process and gives you the chance to evaluate the home for faults that could change your mind on whether you want to purchase it or not. In order to get the most information about your property, it is important to know the right questions to ask a home inspector before, during, and after the inspection.
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Before the Inspection
As the homebuyer, you have the opportunity to pick the home inspector that will be evaluating your property. You may receive recommendations from your realtor or sellers, but it is important to do your own research before hiring. So before hiring just anyone, be sure to ask the following questions:
What will be checked and what will not?
From the roof to the basement, home inspectors will check many aspects of the home with some restrictions. A home inspector will likely be limited to a visual inspection which means they cannot cut into floorboards or walls to investigate further. If there is a problem, they will highlight it in the report so that you can contact an expert in that area, such as a roofer, electrician, or plumber to investigate further.
How much do you charge for an inspection?
On average an inspection costs between $300 to $600 depending on the market, size of the house, and the inspection company. We recommend reaching out to a few qualified inspectors for quotes. Be wary of the extremely low-cost inspectors as they may be not as qualified or are having trouble getting customers, which can be a red flag. Spending good money on an inspector will provide much more value to you in the long run.
What is your background?
When getting quotes, be sure ask the inspector how long they have been in business, their background and experience, especially if you are considering an older home or something with unique features.
Will I be able to come along?
Most home inspectors will allow the prospective buyer to come along to ask questions and learn more about the home’s features. If they immediately say no, this is a major red flag and you should consider someone else.
Do you have a sample report that I can view?
Before hiring the inspector, it may be helpful to view a sample report of their work. This report will also give you the chance to see how they communicate and the features that will be addressed in your home inspection.
Questions to Ask a Home Inspector During the Inspection
Most home inspectors will allow you to accompany them throughout the inspection, which allows you to ask them anything that comes up right then and there.
Is this a major or minor issue?
Inspectors will point out any items that should be addressed in their report. However, this does not mean that every issue will cost hundreds of dollars. From sticky windows to cracks in the foundation, the varying levels of severity will determine the cost and timing of the repairs. To get the most value out of your inspection, be sure to ask for details on any problems as well as recommendations for how to repair.
What is that and does it need repaired?
While the home inspector will perform an extensive examination of the property, if you see something, say something. From the home’s age to any potential issues, speaking up as the buyer will allow the home inspector to be more transparent throughout the process.
Are there any fire, safety, health, and water hazards?
Cosmetic repairs can be fixed but gas leaks, electrical wiring issues, and mold will lead to potential health and safety concerns. If any of these issues come up during the inspection or on the final report, be sure to have these fixed prior to purchasing.
After an Inspection
Following the inspection, you will receive a lengthy report detailing the findings for every aspect of the house. From the roof to the plumbing, it may be difficult to decipher, so here are some questions to ask a home inspector afterward:
Can you clarify this?
If you see anything on the report that you do not understand, ask the inspector directly for more information. While they may have told you during the inspection, the report should include more details and even photos of the issue.
Are there any serious problems?
While most problems in the home are normal wear and tear, there may be more serious issues to be addressed. Ask your home inspector if there are any problems serious enough to keep you from purchasing the home. The inspector will not tell you directly if the seller should address this before selling, but they will tell you if it is serious enough to be repaired immediately.
Can you recommend an expert for a follow-up inspection?
In the event that there are major concerns, be prepared to contact other industry professionals. From electricians and HVAC repair people to roofers and engineers, the home inspector will recommend an expert to come in and look at the issue if needed. In addition to requesting additional inspections, your realtor can take this information to the sellers to ask for concessions for the repairs.
Purchasing a home is a monumental and expensive undertaking. By choosing a professional and qualified home inspector, it can save you time, money, and effort to do it right the first time. We hope that these questions to ask a home inspector will come in handy and alleviate any headaches during the home buying process. To learn more about the home buying process or for recommendations on home inspectors, please contact the team at Millennial Title today. We are here to help!