Getting ready to buy a home is a significant life event and investment. As a prospective home buyer, you’ll want to cover every possible base to ensure the home that you’re purchasing is in optimal condition.
This is where hiring a home inspector plays a critical role. A home inspector is responsible for conducting a thorough inspection of the condition of the home, reviewing the state of the property and identifying issues and necessary repairs, whether current or possible over time.
A home buyer must hire a home inspector before purchasing the home, as the findings of the inspection can have an impact on the negotiating terms and sale of the home. A home seller can also consider hiring a home inspector before selling their home, allowing them to make necessary repairs before even listing, as well as providing a transparent assessment of the home that can help dictate its price.
How Do You Find a Home Inspector?
There are countless ways to choose a home inspector, and some easy ways to find one include:
- Recommendations from your professional real estate agent
- Word of mouth from family, friends, neighbors, and colleagues
- Online searches, such as review sites, the Better Business Bureau, and social media pages
- The American Society of Home Inspectors’ online database
Different states have different requirements and regulations for their home inspectors. Make sure to review these carefully against the expertise and skills advertised by your potential home inspector to see how they stack up.
Buyers: Consider These 3 Things When Hiring a Home Inspector
Having an inspection conducted on the home you’re looking to buy is invaluable, since it provides you with a view of the true condition of the home, including issues or features that are not apparently visible to you or the seller.
An inspection can uncover serious issues with the foundation, roof, electricity, or plumbing of the home. It can also expose potential health hazards, like mold or termites.
Considering how critical a home inspection is and the things it can uncover, you’ll want to hire a thorough, seasoned, and well-accredited home inspector. Keep these three things in mind:
#1. Find Your Inspector Early
Find, vet, and hire your trusted home inspector before you make an offer on a home. Take your time with this. You want to ensure you find an accredited, well-reviewed expert in home inspections before an offer on a home even gets to the table. Make a top 3 list and interview them each.
#2. Compare Reports
Of your top choices in home inspectors, ask each of them to provide examples of inspections they’ve conducted on homes that are similar to the one you’re buying, or similar to the type of homes you are searching for.
This will give you a real-life example of the inspectors’ styles, level of detail, and degree of thoroughness when they’re conducting home inspections. In turn, seeing their breadth of knowledge can allow you to choose a home inspector that has the degree of attention to detail to ensure you have a strong, informative, and thorough inspection.
#3. Review Their Credentials
Some states don’t require home inspectors to have specific licensing or certifications. Regardless, you’ll want to choose a home inspector that has extensive training, experience, and even is self-starting in pursuing and receiving additional credentials.
Home inspectors play an integral role in the buying process to ensure the home you’re buying is truly the home that you will receive.
By revealing the true state of the home to you as a prospective home buyer, you can have the green light to pursue the following:
- Negotiate: If serious repairs are needed, you can potentially negotiate the price of home as a result of necessary repairs, or a request to have the seller take care of the repairs. This can help save you money in the long run, while also ensuring the home is safe and satisfactory for you to move into. Your professional real estate agent can help you identify what requests and terms can be made in this scenario.
- Be aware of risks: A home inspection can uncover hazardous conditions that can harm your health, such as mold, termites and other pests, or carbon monoxide. By understanding the extent of potentially dangerous conditions of the home, you can plan for rectifying these hazards, or factor them into your negotiating terms.
- Back out: Finally, if the inspection uncovers uninhabitable conditions, conditions of the home that will require great investment immediately and over the long-term, or leads you to no longer be comfortable with purchasing a home in its condition, the results of a home inspection can serve as a final “out” of the offer to purchase the home. Your trusted real estate agent can guide you through the best next steps, as well.
What Should a Seller Consider When Hiring a Home Inspector?
While deeply beneficial and a necessity for home buyers, home inspections can help sellers, too.
Having a home inspection conducted before listing your home is also tremendously valuable. Knowing the issues of the home can give sellers an opportunity to identify the repairs that the home needs, and carry out this maintenance before listing. By preemptively having necessary repairs completed, the seller can help reduce the potential for negotiations to take place with buyers, easing part of the timeframe of the home sale.
Furthermore, by highlighting what the house needs, the seller also has an opportunity to disclose the true condition of the home, potentially adding an opportunity for selling the house “as-is”.
Each of these factors provided by the inspection allows the seller to adjust the price of their home, or gives them an opportunity to ensure their home is sold at its best value if they invest in repairing the home before listing.
Now that you’re equipped with factors to consider when hiring a home inspector, you’re ready to continue the buying journey. For hands-on expertise, connect with top real estate agents today on RealEstateAgents.com.