Whether You’re A Buyer or Seller, Be Fully Prepared To Take On The Home Inspection
Anyone who has bought a home knows that finding your dream home isn’t always easy. It can take buyers months, or even years, to find the perfect place to call home. And once you’ve found it, you aren’t going to want to let it go!
However, there’s one crucial element standing between you and your forever home: the home inspection.
It’s important for buyers and sellers to understand the importance of a home inspection. More often than not, the results of a home inspection are what determine if your home goes from “For Sale” to “Sold”!
We want to help you get through the home inspection process with ease. Here are a few things that both home buyers and sellers should do to prepare for a home inspection, and the most common issues inspectors find!
Home Inspections For Buyers: What You Need To Know
As a buyer, you’ll want to be aware of any underlying issues with your potential new home, because once you sign on the dotted line, those issues become yours to deal with. That’s why the home inspection process is so important, and one you should want to be a part of!
There are quite a few different types of home inspections, but here are a few you should consider before closing on a new home:
Types Of Home Inspections
This is the most important inspection to have completed when you are considering purchasing a home. During a general inspection, the inspector will take a non-invasive look at all parts of the home including the structure, exterior, roof, electrical, plumbing, HVAC, insulation, and interior of the home.
Completing this inspection is especially useful to a buyer because once it’s complete, the inspector will report all findings to the seller. Not only does this give the seller a chance to make necessary fixes, but also gives the buyer negotiation room.
Not to mention, if the inspector comes back with a long list of expensive fixes, you may decide this isn’t the home for you after all! A general inspection can give a buyer the opportunity to walk away from a home that needs many hefty repairs.
While having a termite inspection isn’t a requirement, it’s definitely another inspection worth considering. This type of inspection gives a buyer the chance to get an expert’s opinion on whether or not there is any structural damage due to termites or other wood-eating insects.
In some cases, this inspection can be completed by the general inspector, but they may recommend a specialist.
Lastly, consider having your potential home inspected for high levels of radon. Radon gas is natural and will fluctuate throughout your home. However, high levels of radon can be hazardous to your health.
Hazardous radon levels are usually found in the home’s attic or basement. To check the radon levels, an inspector would place a radon detection unit in the home for 48 hours. After that time, the results will be analyzed and reported to the buyer and seller. While it’s possible to repair areas with high levels of radon, these fixes could be pricey, so always consider the potential cost of mitigation before closing on the home.
How To Address Home Inspection Findings As A Buyer
When the inspector comes back with the results, understand how to appropriately go about handling them with the selling party.
Inspection findings are a great way for buyers to negotiate the home’s price with the seller. If the list of repairs is lengthy and expensive, you could ask the seller to make the repairs on their own, or apply a credit to the price and make the necessary repairs yourself.
Plus, knowing the potential fixes and damages to a home is crucial information during the home buying process. This is why we recommend that the buyer is present during the home inspection.
If the inspector finds a lot of damages, it might be an indication that the home wasn’t well taken care of and there could be more damages around the home that may not have been—or won’t be—found by the inspector. If you’re worried about a long list of repairs and damages, it may be a good time to look at other homes in the area.
Home Inspections For Sellers: What To Expect
Home inspections are just as important for the seller as they are for the buyer! Inspections are a great way to learn what’s going on with your home, either before or after you list it for sale.
When Should I Get My Home Inspected?
In most cases, the smartest thing for a home seller to do is to get their home inspected before putting it on the market. This way, sellers know what fixes need to be done around their home and can price it accordingly.
Sellers can always complete repairs beforehand, which can add tremendous value to your home. Installing a new roof or upgrading your HVAC system is a huge selling point, and very attractive to potential buyers.
However, if you decide against making repairs around your home before listing it, and opt for an inspection before listing, you can offer potential buyers a pre-inspection report. This way, you stay transparent and honest so buyers know what they are getting themselves into before making an offer.
How To Address Home Inspection Findings As A Seller
When the home inspection process is completed, sellers have two options: make necessary fixes, or sell the home as-is.
If you decide to make the fixes around your home, that could bode well for you in terms of the price of your home, and how you look to buyers. When buyers know you care about the state of your home, they will be more trusting when deciding to purchase it.
If you know your home needs repair, and decide to sell it as-is, always remember to stay transparent with the buyer. Adjust the price of your home accordingly, and don’t try to hide big fixes! Building trust with potential buyers is crucial in selling your home, so always be open and honest.
9 Common Issues Home Inspectors Find
There’s no telling what kind of damages could be hiding inside the walls of a home. However, here are some of the most common issues home inspectors find during their walk-through:
Water or moisture damage in a home is never a good thing and is usually costly to repair. The basement or crawl space is a common area for water damage, however, this type of damage can be found all around the home.
Common indicators of water damage are basement dampness, water stains in the walls or ceiling, or mold and mildew.
When getting your home (or potential home) inspected, the inspector will take a look at the electrical wiring throughout the house. Inspectors will check any breakers, detectors, switches, outlets and circuit boxes throughout the home to see if there is any faulty wiring.
When an inspector finds faulty wiring, there’s typically a wiring mismatch somewhere or the electrical system has become outdated. In these cases, the wiring will need to be repaired immediately.
You always want water to slope away from your home, never towards it. Signs of improper drainage around the home may be spongy or heavily saturated soil around the home’s foundation or excess moisture in the basement.
With any home, especially older ones, there’s bound to be some damage to the roof. Big storms, harsh seasons and fallen debris can leave roof shingles broken, brittle or curled. The roof may also be missing shingles or flashings.
In some cases, the roof may need to be completely repaired—or even replaced—so consider this type of expense when buying or selling a home.
This is one of the most important pieces of a home inspection. If a home has structural damage, it could be a sign of much larger issues. Inspectors will check the foundation for cracks, potential floor sloping, for doors or windows that stick and more.
As we talked about earlier, an inspector will be able to tell if the homeowner has taken good care of their home or not. If the carpet is worn down, or there are cracks in the sidewalk or driveway, you’ll get a pretty good idea of how the home was maintained.
If the home feels poorly maintained and unkempt, this might be a good indicator of larger issues that have yet to be found.
Inspectors will examine areas of the home like the attic and the basement for poor ventilation or insulation. If the attic and basement aren’t properly insulated, this could cause serious issues for the home. Improper ventilation and insulation can cause the HVAC unit to work overtime, increasing utility bills and costing you more money in the long run.
Defective Heating & Cooling
Speaking of HVAC, the inspector will check to make sure the HVAC system is working properly. Faulty parts or an outdated unit can be a pricey fix for any buyer, so plan around this accordingly.
Similar to the roof, it’s easy for gutters to experience some damage or clogs. If the gutters aren’t working properly, it could be the cause of excess moisture around the home. Always make sure the gutters are in proper condition. This way you won’t end up with improper drainage issues in the future.
Buying and selling a home can be stressful. On top of everything else to think about, you shouldn’t have to worry about inspections! That’s why having the right Realtor® in your corner is extremely helpful.
Here at Spencer Properties, our Realtors® will help make the home buying and selling process easier by advising well-known home inspectors in the Raleigh area, as well as what types of inspections you should have on your current or potential home. We’ll help you weigh the pros and cons so you’ll be confident in the decision to purchase or list your home.
If you have questions about home buying, selling, or inspections, feel free to reach out anytime to set up an appointment with our team!