How Does a Home Inspection Work?

The inspection phase of a home will vary from county to county, state to state in the US, but in general, all inspections will involve evaluating certain aspects of the home before a seller can sell their home to a prospective buyer.

Health and safety are the most important considerations. Basic amenities expected of a modern building should also be in place and functioning properly

Inspections can be crucial to help arrive at a final sale price as well. This process should be used when you are looking to buy a rental property to see If there are any serious issues, and can then determine if the seller needs to fix them before the sale can go ahead. In some cases, you might agree to make the repairs, but would also expect to get the house for a lower price in consideration for the work and money you will be putting in. This process then can also occur if you are looking to sell a property as well, on the other side of the fence. Often though, as the property you are likely selling has been fully renovated, there usually will be less issues.

The usual areas of inspection are:

  • Structure
  • Exterior
  • Roofing system
  • Plumbing system
  • Electrical system
  • Heating system
  • Air conditioning system
  • Interior
  • Insulation
  • Ventilation
  • Fireplaces
    They will also look for problems like radon gas, carbon monoxide, asbestos, termites and more.

Inspection Standards
The American Society of Home Inspectors, ASHI, has “Standards of Practice” which stipulate what must be inspected, and how far home inspectors need to go to report those findings. Sellers who want to get a clear idea of the state of their home and what needs to be attended to urgently can hire their own inspector, who will then give them an evaluation of all that needs to be done. Inspections usually take 2 to 3 hours depending on the size of the house.

Hiring an inspector will cost money, but it can also prevent your sale from falling through further down the road because “deal breakers” have been discovered. I would also certainly recommend when purchase a property you do not intend to renovate

Buyer Inspections when Selling your house
Once a buyer makes an offer on your home, they will come with an inspector to assess the property. This is bound to make most sellers nervous, but if you’re worried, you can book yourself an inspection using your inspector beforehand and ensure you give yourself some time to get the urgent issues sorted in time. This can be a clever strategy to ensure the inspection does not pose issues for you, but again, if the property has been fully renovated, you shouldn’t have too many issues. The prospective buyer may also walk through with the inspector if the buyer is in town.

The Report
When the home inspection is complete, the inspector will write a report and give a copy to the prospective buyer detailing everything that has been found. If there are major causes for concern, they will usually require immediate attention before the sale can go through. They might also report on potential future issues, such as the boiler or furnace or roof, only having another three years under warranty. You probably won’t be required to buy a new boiler etc, but you may have to lower the price of the house.
Remember, the inspector’s generally will always find issues, even with a complete renovated property. I do feel that it is to justify the cost of their inspection with the buyer, but if the items are minor, it does get you a good indication that the property is in good condition

You will have time to fix the issues, and there will be a follow-up inspection. Once all the parties are satisfied that the house is in good condition or agreed price has bee reached, the sale can proceed.