Why You Need a Home Inspection

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Realty

When buying a resale home a number of the homes will have at least one major defect.  All previous owned homes probably will need repairs and improvements.  Prior to making a major investment into your new home, need to be aware of possible problems, and what it will take to correct the problems prior to closing on the house.  As a home buyer, you need to be aware of potential problems that may exist in a house, and how to identify those problems.  Following are some potential problems that can be found in a house:

·  The furnace may have a crack heater exchange

·  Air-conditioning compressor is failing

·  The presents of radon, water contamination, lead base paint and underground storage tanks

·  Basement has moisture

·  Roof and flashing problems

·  Termites and/or carpenter ants

·  Problems with plumbing

·  Electrical problems such as: Aluminum wiring and wiring not up to recent standards, etc.

·  Vertical and horizontal foundation cracks including settling of the house

·  Chimney rot, settlement, and/or separation

When negotiating to buy a home, be sure to have a provision within the contract that provides you sufficient time to do an inspection, back away from the contract without losing your earnest money, and negotiate repairs or price adjustment.  When the inspection occurs, recommend the buyer attend the inspection, this is the good way to see problem areas first hand, and understand the extent of the problems.  In addition, this is a perfect time to ask questions that concern you about the condition of the house.  Many times the problems identified in the inspection report are minor, therefore, requiring minimal or no corrective action.  If major problems exist, usually the buyer has three forms of action available to him: require the seller to make sufficient repairs, negotiate so sort of cash settlement that will occur at closing, or back away from the contract.  As a buyer, I would recommend the cash settlement as your best option.       

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Trisha Bush-LeFore
Preferred Properties Land & Homes - Walla Walla, WA
Providing Realtor Services in the Walla Walla Area


Great post on the why behind the importance of home inspections. You are so right about the contract provision for the inspection and the ability to back out of the contract with earnest money if the results are very bad, and negotiating repair costs. Great tips on what to look for. Thanks for sharing.

Nov 20, 2013 12:40 AM #1
Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

I have new construction inspected. One must remember the term, man made.

Nov 20, 2013 12:57 AM #2
Bob Ratliff
Robert Ratliff Realty - San Antonio, TX
"Sold with Bob"

Hi John, great suggestion in your blog for buyers to consider when purchasing a resale home. I often feel some agents scare their clients to death when they get the inspection report but if it's pertinent to the home it should be addressed. Great blog post John.

Nov 20, 2013 01:12 AM #3
AJ Heidmann ~ CRS
McEnearney Associates, Inc. - Alexandria, VA
YOUR Alexandria & Arlington, VA Real Estate Expert

John - I totally agree and a good home inspector is worth their proverbial weight in gold.  Finding issues when there is time to deal with them in the contract versus after settlement is paramount.

Nov 20, 2013 01:13 AM #4
Bill Reddington
Re/max Southern Realty - Destin, FL
Destin Florida Real Estate

Should a buyer decide not to do an inspection I have the sign a decline letter on inspections. Inspections are a must.

Nov 20, 2013 01:26 AM #5
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667 (MT), 914-419-0270 (NY), Broker in NY with Grand Lux Realty and in MT with (coming soon!) - Kalispell, MT
The House Kat

Inspections are a must-do in preowned and newly constructed homes.   It's a small amount of money for a buyer to pay to know exactly what they're getting.

Nov 20, 2013 03:14 AM #6
Suzanne Otto
Six Twenty Designs - Lansdale, PA
Your Montgomery County PA home stager

It should be a no brainer when buying a house, that you need a home inspection. You never know what's hiding behind the stuff you can't see!

Nov 20, 2013 03:55 AM #7
Paul Miner
Affinity Inspection Group "For The Discerning Client" - Salt Lake City, UT

I can't imagine in this day and age that anyone would choose not to have a property inspected.

Nov 20, 2013 06:22 AM #8
Barbara Altieri
Kinard Realty Group - RealtyQuest Team, Fairfield and New Haven County CT Real Estate - Shelton, CT
REALTOR-Fairfield County CT Homes/Condos For Sale

John -- Can you believe I went through an inspection that identified 9 of the 10 bullets you have above?  Needless to say, those buyers walked.

Nov 20, 2013 10:20 AM #9
Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services

This is a very timely post.  With some properties getting multiple offers, buyer often toy with the idea of whether or not to have an home inspection.  This will be  good post for them to consider some things that could come up if the have a home inpsection (or if the do not).

Nov 20, 2013 11:15 AM #10
Kelly Young
The Platinum Group Realtors - Colorado Springs, CO
Colorado Springs Real Estate ~ 719-226-0126

John, I have had a few owners waive their home inspections and I have them sign off that I strongly eencouraged them to go ahead and get one just for what you are talking about. It only takes one issue that can be a big price tag.

Nov 20, 2013 11:24 AM #11
Rosie Moore
Serving Sugar Land, Richmond, Rosenberg, Missouri City - Sugar Land, TX
I totally agree. Whether it is new construction or resale, inspections are so important.
Nov 20, 2013 01:47 PM #12
Gerard Gilbers
Higher Authority Markeing - Asheboro, NC
Your Marketing Master

There are so many things that need to be looked at that I would always recommend a house inspection.

Nov 20, 2013 02:04 PM #13
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

John, so true - even for new constructions, I recommend the home inspections.

Nov 20, 2013 02:09 PM #14
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

I don't know why it is not standard and part of the deal by now...Who doesn't do an inspection nowadays?

Nov 20, 2013 10:06 PM #15
Janis Borgueta
Key Properties of the Hudson Valley - Newburgh, NY
LIC RE Salesperson

I have had a few clients that think they know it all and don't get an inspection. If they opt out I make them sign a form stating that it is usual and customary but that they did not want to anyway. Even with that happening I had a client come to the closing table after the walkthru and attempt to use it in his favor. The deal tanked at the closing and he lost money. I was more of an excuse not to close, but what a mess that was. I had him sign so it was not something he could claim he did not know was recommended to all buyers. 

Nov 25, 2013 08:05 PM #16
Donald Hester
NCW Home Inspections, LLC - Wenatchee, WA
NCW Home Inspections, LLC

John, Well I know this is self serving being a home inspector : ) But it really is one of the wisest things to do and finding the best inspectors is just as important. 

I had a Realtor call me because their client waved having an inspection done and used a family member that was some sort of inspector (I was not privy to what type). The Realtor tried to get them to use me or one of the other good inspectors in town. 

So I was just finishing a job a block or two from this home with the Realtor and I was asked if I would look at a specific plumbing issue. I get there to find that the main waste line embedded in the foundation wall was cracked and leaking. This would of been found when during the inspection process, also upon evaluating this I noticed much of the plumbing was repaired improperly. So much for having a family member do it and saving money.

Nov 25, 2013 10:23 PM #17
Pamela Madore
The Pamela Madore Group - Amarillo, TX
Team Work Makes The Dream Work

I so agree.  I recently had yet another client opt out of home inspection--they sign an opt out form--and the day they moved in they nearly died from carbon monoxide from the heater.  I will use this example form now on to make sure my cleints know the importance of a home inspection.

Nov 26, 2013 09:01 AM #18
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