Wednesday, August 19, 2009

10 Tips to get the most from your home inspection

As a Certified Home Inspector with Pillar to Post Denver I often run into situations that remind me that the home inspection process has room for improvement. My job as a home inspector is to be the buyer’s advocate during the process and to assist them in making an informed decision about the purchase of a home. The entire process is more effective and efficient when communication is a priority.

With that in mind here are 10 tips for you to consider:
  1. Get several referrals - If you don’t personally know a home inspector ask your Realtor, friends or neighbors for recommendations.
  2. Attend the entire inspection - If at all possible it is in your best interest to be present at the inspection and to accompany the inspector throughout. If you cannot be present have a personal representative, other than your Realtor, attend in your place.
  3. Share information - Before the inspection starts share all the information you have regarding the property. Remember, this is not a contest to see if the inspector notices everything. If you see a problem or have a concern, notify the inspector so that he or she can further investigate the issue.
  4. Understand the limits of your home inspection – A home inspection does not cover building code issues, nor does it offer a guarantee of future performance. Ask if you don’t know the limits of your inspection.
  5. Ask relevant questions - Don’t be afraid to ask the inspector questions about the home before, during and after the inspection. It is important that all of your questions are answered and that any concerns you may have are addressed.
  6. Don’t ask irrelevant questions - The Standards of Practice, and commune sense, do not allow home inspectors to give advice on topics outside of their personal expertise. For example: don’t ask his or her opinion about home values, neighborhood, city, schools or d├ęcor.
  7. Don’t rush your inspection. A thorough inspection of a typical 2000 sq ft home with a basement should take from 3 to 4 hours. Plan your time accordingly.
  8. It’s YOUR report – Home inspectors focus on the major components of a home and won’t necessarily concern themselves with aesthetic issues that do not affect performance. If you want something added to your report regarding aesthetics ask your inspector to have it included in the report. If you don’t ask, it may not be noted.
  9. Review your report carefully – If possible review your report at the completion of the inspection and again when you have more time. Contact your inspector immediately if you have any questions or concerns. This may be your last opportunity to get issues resolved before closing on the house.
  10. Remember inspectors are human and can make mistakes – if you move into your home and find a problem that you think your inspector missed notify them immediately. Give them an opportunity to review the issue and respond to your concerns. Unfortunately, it is not unheard of for sellers to hide defects to prevent them from being discovered in an inspection.

If you have any questions about the home inspection process feel free to contact me at judy.browne@pillartopost.com

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