Important Questions To Ask Your Home Inspector

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You know when you are buying a home, that you will need a home inspection.  But when it comes time to read the inspection report you feel like you need a translator!  Here are a few important questions you should definitely ask your home inspector to help you understand the inspection report before closing the deal.

1.  Clarify what is truly bad.  Have the inspector tell you exactly what is really bad, what will need to be fixed right away and what can wait.  Also,  have him let you know what he put in the report that he just wanted to let you know about, but was not a necessary repair.  This is important because the inspector may have something noted under the category "Health & Safety Hazards" and all it is a small plumbing issue that would only cost a few dollars to fix.  So it is important to clarify everything.

2   How hard is that to fix?  You should ask the inspector how something should be fixed and they will usually be more than happy to explain to you how easy the repair is to do yourself.  If it is not a simple fix, they may have someone they can refer to you to have the repair done professionally.  Additionally, they can also tell you about how much the repair should cost, whether you do the repair yourself or have it done professionally.  This information can be invaluable when you are not sure about a particular repair.

3.  If it were you, what would you do?  Ask the home inspector what they think you should have fixed or not fixed, whatever the case may be.  It is the home inspectors job to point out every little thing in their report.  That's what you are paying them for remember.  So find out what is and isn't a necessary fix.

4.  Get clarification on anything you don't understand.  Sometimes the inspection report contains a term or a repair that you have no clue what they are referring to.  Ask the inspector to show you each and every item on the report that does not make sense.  It is going to be your new home for years to come and you need to understand everything about it.

5.  How does that work?  There will inevitably be one or maybe several mechanical systems that you don't know how to work.  Most home inspectors would be more than happy to show you how to operate everything.  But you have to ask.  So go through the entire house and make a list of everything you think you may need help with - then ask.

The home inspection is one of the most important things you will be doing when buying a new home.  Finding out any major defects etc. could keep you from buying a money pit or could help you to renegotiate the deal if many repairs are needed.  Get your realtor involved in the process.  Your agent sees hundreds of homes every year and you might be quite surprised at what they can point out before you even begin the inspection process.  


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Peggy  Harmeyer & Associates

RE/MAX Real Estate Group

932 Shadyview Blvd.

Pleasant Hill, Ia 50327

Licensed in the State of Iowa

Peggy : 515-208-8132 

Caitlyn: 515-321-3821

An Independently Owned and Operated Member RE/MAX Real Estate Group

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Dan Hopper
Dan Hopper - Gold Way RE - Westminster, CO
Denver Broker / Author / Advocate/Short Sale

Buyers really need to understand the inspection process and what is expected from it.  We do our best to discuss this during our consultation prior to visiting any homes.  Too often, the inspection can scare folks, and they become "buyers in remorse".

Apr 25, 2013 04:37 AM #1
David Popoff
DMK Real Estate - Darien, CT
Realtor®,SRS, Green ~ Fairfield County, Ct
I always like to get a second opinion from a local experienced referred home contractor as well. Great tips.
Apr 25, 2013 05:13 AM #2
The Williams Team
Keller Williams Realty - Mandeville, LA

Great Article Peggy. 

Inspections are so critical, and asking the right questions can definitely help put a buyers mind at ease.


Apr 25, 2013 05:14 AM #3
Peggy Harmeyer- Harmeyer Team
RE/MAX Real - Altoona, IA
Licensed in the State of Iowa

Dan I agree that the buyers need to understand the inspection process.  David good idea if there is any questions.  Louis the rights questions are important. Question for everyone?  Do you go to the inspection with your buyers?


Apr 25, 2013 09:28 AM #4
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Peggy Harmeyer- Harmeyer Team

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