If you answered yes to the above, no problem! Sure, some things have changed since you last listed or bought a home; but the real estate-related services now available are new and exciting. Below are some of the things you can expect along the way regarding the most common real estate-related home inspection services available and how they are conducted.
Why do they want to inspect my home?
It's not to check out your favorite Tiffany Lamp, or to critique your taste in carpet or fine china, either. Home inspections are simply an opportunity for the buyer to have a professional inspect the overall condition of the home.
What are they looking for?
Inspectors are checking for any material defects, which are conditions that substantially affect the value, habitability or safety of the house. This does not include decorative, stylistic, cosmetic, or aesthetic aspects of the home. The inspection can also point out positive aspects of your home and provide information to buyers about maintenance that will be necessary to keep the property in good condition.
How will buyers want to inspect my home?
The most popular inspection requested by buyers is the "general home inspection." There are also other additional inspection services such as termite inspections or radon testing.
Is a home inspection a pass/fail test?
It is not a test at all. You are not being judged or critiqued in any way. Inspectors are not assigning a grade or passing judgment on the saleworthiness of your home.
What areas are inspected?
Structural and exterior components, roofing, plumbing, electrical, heating, and cooling system components, interior and insulation components, ventilation systems, fireplaces and solid fuel burning appliances.
Are they going to tear through my home?
Inspectors only inspect accessible areas of your home, which means your home will not be disrupted, and inspectors will not remove or dismantle any structures of your home nor will they take any action which will likely involve risk to persons or property.
What if there is a defect in my home?
Many homes, new or old, can have material defects. There may be aspects of your home that you have become comfortable with and consider to be simple inconveniences that are in fact material defects. Defects are quite often a result of age or conditions that occur as a result of home modifications, or wear and tear. These conditions will simply be noted in the inspection report for the buyer with their significance and a suggested corrective action.
What is radon testing?
Radon is a tasteless, odorless, and invisible natural radioactive gas formed by decaying uranium in the earth's soil. Radon moves up through the ground and enters a building by seeping through cracks, etc. and then becomes trapped in the home. Research has linked radon gas with lung cancer, so the Surgeon General and EPA recommend homes be tested to make sure radon levels are within a safe range.
How do they conduct a radon test?
The common testing method for real estate transactions is the placement of an electronic monitor in a specific area of the home where it will remain for a minimum of 48 hours and a maximum of 6 days. The test unit must remain undisturbed and cannot be touched or moved but it is not harmful to humans or pets, so don't worry! Your real estate agent can explain any special procedures that need to be followed while the test is in progress.
What will a termite inspection entail?
This inspection will look for all wood-boring insects such as termites, carpenter ants, carpenter bees, powder post beetles and old house borers. Many lending institutions require this inspection for the buyer's closing. An inspector, certified or licensed as per state requirements will inspect for termites and other wood-destroying insects. Termite certifications are often requested of FHA/VA mortgages.
Posted By: US INSPECT Blog