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Understanding Your Home Inspection



One of the most important steps in purchasing a house is the home inspection. It’s also the step that tends to cause equal amounts of excitement and fear for both buyers and sellers. Why is that? 

Actually, it’s easy to understand how both buyers and sellers would have a mix of emotions regarding a home inspection. After all, most closings are contingent on the inspection which gives that report an awful lot of power. Neither buyers nor sellers want a home inspection to reveal large issues that wind up being deal breakers. Rest assured, deal breakers aren’t nearly as common as a lengthy report that highlights a few minor repairs that need to be made.

Here’s a look at the most common questions regarding home inspections.

Q: Do I need one?

A: Yes. Even with new construction homes, we always suggest getting an inspection. Your home may seem to be in flawless condition, but a trained professional may find issues you need to be aware of before closing.

Q: What is inspected?

A: Virtually everything. Your inspector should cover the house top to bottom, meaning he or she will be in the crawl space, on the roof, and the attic. Your inspector should examine and report on the following (but not limited to):

  • Walls, ceilings and floors
  • Steps, stairways and railings
  • Countertops and cabinets
  • Garage doors and operators
  • Installed kitchen appliances
  • The roof
  • Plumbing
  • Electrical components
  • Heating and air conditioning systems
  • Ventilation
  • Windows and doors
  • The fireplace and chimney
  • The foundation

Q: Does everything in the report have to be fixed?

A: No. You can expect the report to be lengthy and comprehensive, meaning every single item will be addressed. The inspector will include suggested actions for both minor and major repairs. After the report has been reviewed by both buyer and seller, then negotiations start. Certainly, buyers can request repairs be made before closing or negotiate for a lower price. It’s important to know too that the buyer typically doesn’t share the full report with the seller. If the seller has the whole report and the contract falls through, then the buyers have to disclose everything in that whole report. Typically the buyer only shares the parts that they want addressed. However, sellers can opt not to make any changes to price or the condition of the home and take a chance that another buyer won’t mind what shows up in the report.

Q: Are all home inspections the same?

A: Absolutely not. Like any industry, the inspection will only be as good as the inspector. It’s important to choose one that has experience and a reputation for doing a thorough job. Most of the time, real estate agents have recommendations for established inspectors. You can also read this article for questions to ask a potential inspector.

While the home inspection can create a wave of excitement close to closing, most of the time it’s a relief for both buyers and sellers as they move forward. We also highly recommend using an experienced real estate agent during this process to help answer any questions and guide potential negotiations. If you’d like to talk with one of the award-winning agents at DeSelms Real Estate give us a call today at 615.550.5565!

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Our agents write often to give you the latest insights on owning a home or property in the local area.