The knowhow when it comes to home inspections

The words ‘home inspection’ can often send shivers down a seller’s spine. So, what exactly is it that a home inspector is looking for? We spoke to our expert Realtor with 20 years’ experience, Deb Sarsany of the Deb Sarsany Team at The Real Estate Group, to find out. 

As a seller, it’s important to prepare your home for inspection. A home inspection is a detailed look at the property that can find defects or potential problems. Most buyers will want to know what they are getting into, which systems work or need updating, and what areas of the home you are willing to fix or replace before you hand over the keys. Results of a home inspection will give the buyer peace of mind or will provide an opportunity to negotiate needed repairs.  

The home inspector can often detect problems not visible to the buyer’s eye, such as wiring, plumbing, roof, structural or safety issues. The primary goal of the inspection is to find anything that would prevent the buyer from living in the home safely or create costly repairs in the future such as roof or HVAC replacement. It is not an opportunity to nickel and dime the seller for cosmetic or normal wear and tear on a home. 

Think of a home inspection as you would your own yearly check up with your doctor. There are going to be many times detected that are common for the age of the home and most likely some cosmetic issues. You cannot expect or request a seller to correct these. However, the home inspector will flag these items for your own knowledge. You cannot ask for items that are approaching the end of life such as a 20-year-old roof or furnace to be replaced as long as it is in working order at the time of the inspection. Your Realtor will inform you of what items you can and cannot expect a seller to repair or replace. 

As a seller, the best way to prepare for a home inspection is to clean and de-clutter. Make sure there is easy access to attics, basements, and electrical panels. Get your paperwork together in case you’re asked about maintenance and repairs that you’ve done to the property. 

I always advise my seller to pay for a pre-inspection before they place their home on the market, this way they won’t be surprised by costly repairs and can be sure to address the repairs before signing contracts. A home inspection can cost anywhere between $300 and $600 depending on the age and size of the property. This is money well spent and will eliminate the stress of not knowing what might be found during the inspection. If the inspection does uncover a latent defect it is best to go ahead and repair or replace before listing your home. Remember, if your inspector points out a problem, you are obligated to disclose it to buyers if you do not repair it. 

If you have any questions, speak with your Realtor as he or she should have plenty of experience when it comes to dealing with home inspections, what to expect, and the consequences. 

For more information about the Deb Sarsany Team at The Real Estate Group visit: facebook.com/debsarsanyteam or call (217) 313-0580.