Whether you are a buyer or a seller- Inspections can be stressful. Knowing some of the issues a qualified home inspector will look for during a home inspection can help you in knowing what to expect. As a buyer- the home inspection is your last chance to uncover defects within the home, potentially getting the seller to pay for them- before sealing the deal. As a seller, you want to know what the inspector will look for so you can be prepared for their visit and help everything go as smoothly as possible. We were able to get some professional insight from John & Sheila Barber- Owners of Barber Home Inspections Inc to help the process go as smoothly as possible and make your dream home yours!
Home inspection tips
- Tip #1: Remember that sellers are required to disclose known defects to the buyer in advance
- Tip #2: Keep your home clean and clear of clutter.
- Tip #3: Sellers should not attend the inspection so the buyer, agent, and inspector can speak freely
- Tip #4: Pre-Sale inspections: Sellers should attend the home inspection so he/she can speak freely with the inspector to get their home ready before selling.
COMMON FINDINGS AT A HOME INSPECTION
- Rundown roofing
Asphalt Shingle roofs last 15-20 years. If yours is nearing its end, don’t be surprised to see it come up in the inspection report. Things that may be noted are brittle, curled, or broken shingles, and any loose flashing or leaky spots. A severely neglected roof could cost thousands to replace.
- Drainage issues
Surface grading around a home can cause serious drainage issues and foundation damage. Improper grading can lead to leaky basements, causing mildew and other problems. It can also create spongy soil that causes foundations to shift.
- Faulty foundation
Foundation problems are a costly issue to fix. Signs of foundation issues include doors and windows that stick, cracks in walls above doorways, sloping floors.
Damaged pipes, malfunctioning water heaters, and backed-up sewage systems are expensive to fix. Some types of plumbing pipes found in older homes, like polybutylene have been discontinued and are prone to failure.
- Pest Infestations
There is nothing that will send some homebuyers running quite like an infestation of pests, especially termites. Termites & other wood eating insects can cause significant structural damage if left untreated. A home inspector is trained to identify signs of termites; however, your buyer might also want to perform a separate Wood destroying inspect inspection
Extensive mold infestations can be costly to remediate. But if you don’t detect musty odors in your home then you probably don’t have to worry. Mold is caused by excessive moisture and is usually a sign of a leak or drainage issue.
- Heating systems
A near-death furnace can turn off buyers due to the costly replacement cost. Other issues include non-working controls, blocked chimneys, damaged heat exchangers, and exhaust flues that are not up to code.
- Electrical Wiring
Home inspectors commonly encounter problems with electrical wiring such as reverse polarity, missing junction boxes, and damaged receptacles. Homes built between 1965 and 1973 may have inferior aluminum wiring, a concern home inspectors will also identify.
- Structural damage
Older homes are prone to structural issues such as sagging floor joists, rafters, and door headers. It may not be immediately apparent if a structural issue is major or minor, and many home inspectors will advise buyers to have the home inspected by an engineer if that is the case.
- Poorly maintained condition
While cosmetic issues like peeling paint and cracked caulk aren’t major problems on their own, an accumulation of small problems could be a big turn off for some buyers. Having numerous problems can signal to an inspector, and the buyer, that the home has been poorly maintained.
What happens if issues are found during the home inspection?
After the inspection report, a buyer has the option to back out of the contract without penalty. They can also renegotiate the sale price or request that the seller make specific repairs. Follow up with the professional recommended by your home inspector to assess.
Do I have to fix everything on a home inspection?
No. Sellers are generally not required to fix anything uncovered during inspection. But they have a strong incentive to consider making reasonable repairs because the buyer can back out.
Can I back out of buying a house after inspection?
Most real estate contracts today have an option period, during which buyers have a limited window of time to back out of a contract for any reason.
The buyer usually pays for the home inspection. However, on making an offer, some insist the seller pays. So that’s an item for negotiation.
It is important to note that no home is perfect. Every home inspection will identify issues with the property and the inspector will communicate the severity of the issues found. The home inspector's goal is to leave their clients with a deeper understanding of their prospective home, so the client can make a sound decision as they continue their home buying process.
We would like to refer your to John & Sheila Barber- Owners of Barber Home Inspections Inc. Barber Home Inspections Inc. has over 35 years of experience in residential building and remodeling specializing in quality home inspections- They are certified through the American Home Inspectors Institute and are in Weymouth, Ma and are available for all of your home inspection needs to ensure you have a smooth and positive experience!