Three Things Introverts Need to Know about Home Inspections

Welcome to the series of posts helping introverts with buying a home, selling a home or investing in real estate.  I tend to be an introvert more than an extrovert so I thought it would be appropriate to give some advice on how introverts can succeed in real estate.  My last post was on Three Ways Introverts Can Make Working with a Title Company Easier.  For all the posts, go here.

Once you get your house under contract, the next step is to get a home inspection.  You do this home inspection during the option period so if anything is discovered about the property that you don’t like, you can terminate the contract without defaulting.   Home inspections, and the resulting repair amendment, happens to be one of the most stressful steps in the home buying process.   No seller likes to hear from a buyer that their home is not perfect.  Buyers don’t like to find out that the investment they are making is not a perfect one.   It can get very emotional  for both parties. With this in mind, it is best to go into the process with an open mind, knowing that there is no such thing as a perfect house.  Home inspectors will note everything they find in their report from the very small things like light bulbs that don’t work to larger issues like possible roof or foundation issues.  Home inspection reports do not give any advice on repairs or costs to make the repairs.  The sole purpose of the home inspection is to convey to you any issues with the property.  

Below, you will find three things that you need to know about home inspections.   After reading over these items, be sure to check out to your real estate agent so you can discuss them.   Real estate agents should know this information, but they could sometimes forget to mention them since it becomes routine for them after several are done.   Good real estate agents will be able to tell you which home inspections they would recommend, but be cautious because many of these recommendations come from being a preferred vendor of the brokerage (which often requires the inspection company to purchase).  Be sure to contact several of them to compare their prices and schedules for the home inspection.  Some home inspection companies are much more flexible in both fees and scheduling so it is worth your time to shop around for the one that fits you best.  If you don’t want to make a phone call, most of them have web forms for communications about their services and to make appointments.   

1.  Home inspectors like solitude while doing the work – Home inspections are very comprehensive looks at a property to find any issues that might exist with the home.   Inspectors will want to be able to focus on their work and it is in your best interest to let them.  Most inspection companies like buyers to come to the property in the last hour of the inspection to allow inspectors a good full two hours for the work at hand.   Once you arrive at the property, however, be sure to quiz the inspector on anything you were curious about the house.  If you saw something during the showing that concerned you, be sure to ask their opinion on it.   Most inspectors love teaching others about properties so any question will most likely lead to a nice lesson on maintaining the property and it various parts.   You might even get taught about how certain parts of the house work.   Of course, if you prefer not to be at the inspection at all, that is you choice as well.  The home inspection company will send you a nice report listing all the issues found and be available to answer any questions you might have about the report.   

2.  Home Inspections are not required and do cost several hundred dollars – One the most common misunderstandings about home inspections is that they buyer is responsible for paying for it.   Some buyers will think the sellers pay for it, or the real estate agent, but it is the buyer’s responsibility to pay for the home inspection.   Neither Sellers or Realtors feel comfortable paying for an inspection on a house that you might not end buying.  Remember, the home inspections happen during the option period, which is a set time you have to due diligence on the property before you decide to go through with the purchase.  You might decide after the inspection to not go through with the purchase so you are the one stuck with paying for the home inspection.   With this in mind, you should expect to spend anywhere between $300 and $500 for the inspection.  Total cost depends on the type of inspection you request.  If you get a termite inspection in addition to the regular one, you will pay more for the job.   You also have the option of adding inspections for other systems like sprinkler, septic or well.   Just remember that you want the inspection so you can be sure the house you are buying is safe and secure for your family.   It is well worth the money!    

3.  Home inspection reports are comprehensive – As indicated before, home inspection reports are comprehensive covering all aspects of the property from the very basic to the structural aspects of the property.    One item the inspections do not give is advice on repairs or repair costs.   If you want to get more information on what it will take for  a specific repair, including cost, it will take you calling another vendor, one that specializes in the repair.   Will this cost money?   Most likely, it will.  Some buyers get very upset when they find out they have to spend even more money on a house that they might not purchase.  However, it is better to approach the seller with a quote from a vendor for a repair than just to blindly ask them to make the repair.    Sellers are human and will do the bare minimal to fix a problem with a house they are selling so unless you give them specific items to fix on a house, you most likely will get a repair that does not really fix the issue.  There are some websites that help to estimate the cost of a repair for you.  You could possibly use these quotes for the repair amendment.  It is always better, however, to have a vendor look over the damage as it presents a stronger case to the seller, which convinces them the repair needs to be done.  You want to be sure to speak to your real estate agent at length on how to approach these repair quotes as they might know some vendors who will do it for a nominal fee, or even at no charge.