You Better Give Sherlock Holmes a Ring!
No, you don’t need the fictional detective inspector. However, you do need a home inspector! Think of this as a “pre-emptive strike” to maintain or increase your home’s value before you put it on the market. Here are the benefits an inspector provides you:
Benefit 1: The inspector can uncover any problems that need fixing, and you can correct them before any potential buyers enter your home. Such an inspection can prevent your sale from falling through!
Benefit 2: With an inspection, you can show prospective buyers receipts to prove the work has been done. Buyers love proof! In reality and in their eyes, it underpins the value of your home and the asking price.
Benefit 3: You may be able to factor the cost of the inspection into the asking price for your home!
Benefit 4: When you have a pre-sale home inspection completed, you’re able to estimate if the discount the prospective buyer is asking is reasonable. In other words, you can refuse unreasonably low offers if you know the value of your house, including the degree of its defects.
So, How Do I Find a Qualified Home Inspector?
I can recommend a certified home inspector who will do a great job for you. However, if you decide you want to do it on your own, make sure he or she is qualified!
Con artists sometimes pose as home inspectors, taking your money and giving you nothing but grief in return. Here’s how to know if an inspector is the real deal:
Ask your friends for referrals. If they’ve had a good experience, go with that home inspector. I’d recommend you interview a minimum of two or three inspectors before choosing one. Make sure they’re full-time professionals conducting several inspections a year.
If possible, select a home inspector who’s a member of The American Society of Home Inspectors or the National Association of Home Inspectors.These association members follow a stated code of ethics. In addition, they’re prohibited from having a professional interest in the sale, repair or maintenance of a property they inspect. They’re also forbidden from using their inspection business as a way to find customers for a handyman service that they “happen” to own. You may want to go on the Internet and use ASHI’s “Find a Home Inspector” link to identify potential candidates in our locality.
As part of the interview process, ask for samples of comprehensive reports (about 20-50 pages in length). The samples should be painstakingly done and backed up with complete details, including photos and diagrams. If an “inspector” refuses to give you a report or provides only a sloppily written 2-to-5 page sample, run the other way!
What Does a Home Inspector Cost?
Frankly, the rates vary. On a national level, the rates fall in the range of $200 to $400. As part of the interview process, I recommend you ask several inspectors for their rates so you can get an idea of the price range. In the end, keep in mind that while the cost of an inspection may seem high, it can actually add several thousand dollars to the value of your home! So, don’t think of it as a cost; think of it as an investment!
What Exactly Does a Home Inspector Evaluate?
In general, he or she will look at the following areas:
- Electrical System Wiring, Service Panel and Service Capacity
Energy Conservation/Safety Items
Exterior Walls, Siding, Trim
Floor, Wall, Ceiling, Roof Structures
Foundation, Footings, Crawl Space, Basements, Sub-flooring, Decks
Heating & Cooling Systems
Insulation & Ventilation
Interior Floors, Walls, Ceilings
Overall Structural Integrity
Roof & Shingles, Chimneys, Attic
Walks and Drives
- Windows, Doors, Cabinets, Counters, etc.
Should I Be Present During a Home Inspection?
You bet! A typical inspection takes three hours or more, so I recommend that you be present for at least the first 30 minutes to make sure the job is being done thoroughly. At the end of the inspection, the home inspector should give you a point-by-point summary of what needs to be corrected in order to add value to your home!
Hope you enjoyed this very useful information about home inspection! If you have more questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me!