Common Home Inspection Mistakes to Avoid

December 11, 2018

Considering buying a home? While full of excitement, home buying can be very complex, too, which can lead to unintentional mistakes. A home inspection is an essential part of the buying process.

According to Rose Buckley, a home inspector with US Inspect, a partner of Long & Foster’s Home Service Connections, there are several home inspection mistakes you should try to avoid.

Hiring an Inspector without Doing Due-Diligence
Cheaper is not always better. Don’t hire an inspector merely based on cost or word-of-mouth. Instead, be sure to do your research to ensure the home inspector is certified, and has experience with good reviews from past clients.

Not Having Clear Expectations about the Home Inspection Process
After you’ve chosen a home inspector and your appointment is scheduled, it is important to have clear expectations as to what an inspection is and what will occur.

Home inspections, in general, are non-invasive inspections of a home, the surrounding property and the main systems. As part of a home inspection, your inspector should run appliances, test main systems, locate main shut offs, evaluate the structure and report all findings. The inspector should review all defects in person with you, as the buyer, and provide a written report outlining the defect, why the defect is a problem and recommend what to do about it.

Home inspectors do not operate shut off valves, conduct destructive testing, fix any problems, recommend contractors or estimate costs to repair defects. If a home inspector finds something out of the ordinary in the home, depending on the severity of the issue, they may recommend a treatment or further evaluation by a specialist.

Not Being Present During the Home Inspection
If possible, you should plan to attend the inspection, so you can have important conversations with the inspector, physically see any defects that are found, learn about maintenance and emergency shut off valves, and ask any unanswered questions. If you don’t live locally or are unavailable to attend the home inspection, consider scheduling a time to talk to the inspector on the phone to ensure you fully understand their home inspection report and discuss any issues that could affect the property.

Being Overly Engaged or Unengaged
Being too engaged in the process can lead to safety issues. Inspectors are responsible for the safety of all parties while on the premises, and they are trained to handle dangerous situations. While home inspectors want their clients to be involved and ask questions, clients should be present, yet hands off.

Similarly, being too unengaged in the process can lead to confusion and missed information. Buying a home is one of the biggest financial decisions you’ll ever make, so be sure to work closely with your home inspector and ask questions.

If you are considering buying a home, be sure to rely on your real estate agent to help guide you through the homebuying process, and don’t forget the importance of getting a complete home inspection before committing.