The Importance of Home Inspections
Home inspections give potential buyers a deeper understanding of the property they’re considering and can help them make a more informed purchasing decision. They can also highlight areas that need maintenance and provide a checklist of items to address before move-in day. For sellers, a proactive inspection before listing can uncover issues that could affect the sale or help to negotiate a better price.
During a home inspection, inspectors evaluate the condition of a property’s visible components, such as the foundation, floors, walls, ceilings, roof and windows. They also check a house’s mechanical systems, including the heating and cooling equipment, interior plumbing and electrical systems, and the attic and basement.
The ABCs of Home Inspections: What Every Homebuyer Should Know
According to the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), a standard home inspection will take two to three hours for single-family homes and up to four hours for multi-family properties like co-ops and condos. Homebuyers don’t have to be present for the entire inspection, but it is highly recommended, since it gives them an opportunity to ask questions and interact with the inspector.
No home is perfect, and inspectors can’t identify every problem that might exist, but they will be on the lookout for signs of major problems, such as a cracked foundation, sloping floors or a leaky roof. They won’t open walls, but will recommend further specialized inspections to examine for the presence of Radon gas, lead piping or paint, pest infestations and mold. Depending on the findings, a buyer can decide whether to walk away from the purchase or request that the seller fix the identified problems.