Home inspections are an important part of the home sale process, both for buyers and sellers. When it's time for you to hire an inspector, here are five things you should be thinking about:
- It's your choice - You are not bound or obligated to use any particular inspector. Your real estate professional may have some recommendations, but it is ulitimately up to you. Ask around and choose wisely - it is far better to pay a little more now for a highly-respected inspector that to be surprised by a problem that the inspection didn't reveal.
- Looking for big problems - The inspector will be focused on the integrity of the home - safety, electrical work, foundation, load bearing walls, etc. The inspector is not there to point out poor floorplans, ugly paint colors, or poor taste in decor.
- The report - There are hundreds of items to inspect in a home, so the inspector's report will focus on the basics. They will typically itemize: What's damaged, What's in need of repair, What needs maintenance, What is performing as expected. The report should be easy to read and understand.
- Code of ethics - Though the inspector is working for the party that pays his/her fee, the inspector will not deliver a report that intentionally hides or omits damaging information about the home. The report is private between you and the inspector. But, if you are the seller, you're required to disclose any problems that the inspection reveals.
- The inspector is not liable - Even the best inspectors can't find every single problem in a home. They can't see inside walls or through the floors, so there could still be a problem lurking somewhere in a hidden area. If a problem is revealed down the road, the inspector generally cannot be held liable.
Your Engel & Völkers Real Estate Advisor can help you navigate the inspection process.