Nearly 99 percent of Realtors will recommend to their buyers that they get a home inspection as part of the buyer’s due diligence in the home buying process.
Our firm recommends a home inspection 100 percent of the time. In fact, we feel that it is so important, that if a buyer declines to have a home inspected, the buyer must sign off on three different forms that they have been advised to proceed with an inspection but they have declined at their own risk and peril.
A home is a complex object and defects may be hidden without a professional evaluation.
Some sellers, in an effort to minimize any last-minute surprises during the escrow period have their home pre-inspected prior to obtaining a purchase offer. This allows the seller to address any problem areas that may affect a transaction. A home in good order, particularly in today’s market, will sell faster with less negotiation and at a better price.
A home inspector may belong to ASHI (American Society of Home Inspectors) or NAHI (National Association of Home Inspectors) which are professional organizations that promote education, professional standards, and the integrity of home inspectors.
Members of these organizations are committed to performing inspections to their respective trade group’s standards.
It is important for buyers to understand that Realtors are not and do not have the training of home inspectors. While a Realtor may note some obvious concerns about a home, the home inspection process goes much deeper. A typical home inspection will cover the structural system, exterior, roof system, plumbing, electrical, heating and air conditioning system, interior, insulation, fireplaces and appliances. Home inspections typically do not address mold or radon issues as these are a specialized field. In some instances, an inspector may advise the buyer to obtain further inspections by licensed individuals if they are suspicious about a potential defect but is outside their area of expertise.
A home inspection is the responsibility of the buyer; therefore the inspection is at the buyer’s cost.
The cost of an inspection is typically calculated by the square footage of the home and may cost as little as $265 for a smaller home.
In spite of warnings, some buyers still refuse to get a home inspected, thinking that they have the knowledge and experience to do it themselves and can save a few dollars. Unfortunately, too many stories could be recounted about being pound wise and penny foolish.
Ray Pugel is a Realtor and real estate broker.