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2019-10-07 13:52:50
What to expect from your home inspection.

A home inspection is a thorough check by a professional of the dwelling's condition, and a report is provided to the buyer.  It may sound simple but it can make or break the sale.  If you know what to expect from your home inspection then you can increase your chance of making sound decisions and decrease your stress level.

In North Carolina, part of the buyer's due diligence process once under contract to purchase a home is to have a physical inspection of the home.  A certified professional home inspector will do this, according to the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI):

The standard home inspector’s report will cover the condition of the home’s heating system; central air conditioning system (temperature permitting); interior plumbing and electrical systems; the roof, attic and visible insulation; walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors; the foundation, basement and structural components.

Many inspectors will also run appliances (like the dishwasher), check the seal on dual pane windows and basically give the home and outbuildings a thorough evaluation, inside and out. Their report will illustrate every finding with one or more photographs.

All inspectors find something. However, what they find may or may not be a problem. The buyer will need to decide whether or not to investigate further to see if a real issue exists.  Buyers need to be prepared for a lengthy report, packed with photos, sometimes running over 100 pages!  When buyers see a laundry list of items, it can seem as if the home is falling down.  Take a deep breath and you'll likely realize this is not the case.

I recommend other inspections, such as pest and radon gas.  Your lender will likely require the pest/termite inspection, and more, depending on your type of loan.  The home inspector may be licensed to perform these as well, or they may have a cooperative agreement with businesses that can do this for you.

Optional inspections may include items, if applicable, such as chimney, stucco, well and septic, pool and spa, HVAC and more.  I recommend new construction homes be inspected, too!  But you must work with your agent to get these inspections done at least a week before the end of your due diligence period.  

Once you have the inspection report in your hand, it's time for you and your agent to discuss what items to ask the seller to repair.  This is the perfect time to remind you that homes in North Carolina are sold 'as-is.'  A seller is not compelled to make any repairs, concede money in lieu of repairs, or reduce the purchase price of the home in lieu of repairs.  Be realistic on the requested items to be repaired or replaced by the seller. Sending an exhaustive list of repairs to the seller may cause them to become angry and it might change the entire tone of the deal.  It may be best to leave the 'loose door handle in guest bath needs to be tightened' off the repair request list and focus on safety or health issues, such as a loose deck railing or high levels of radon gas.

Keep in mind that the home inspector performs a visual survey. He/she will not tear up walls or floors to look for problems. A professionally trained inspector, however, knows what to look for and can spot warning signs.  The home inspection can make or break a real estate transaction. Inspectors and their inspections can kill a deal. If the buyer knows what to expect and understands how to navigate the inspection process, then they’ll be more calm, rational and objective in responding to whatever comes up and whether or not to move forward in the transaction.

For a look at some of my recommended inspections companies- check out these links:

Buyers Protection Home Inspection

Americas Choice Inspections


Keep in mind that the home inspector performs a visual survey. He/she will not tear up walls or floors to look for problems. A professionally trained inspector, however, knows what to look for and can spot warning signs.



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