For buyers and sellers alike, having a good home inspector examine a property before making any deals can be the difference between swimming in profit or drowning in debt.
Hiring a budget inspector may seem cheaper at first, but the problems that they miss will cause you a lot more in the long run. Think about it, would you rather hire a good inspector who will allow you to fix any and all problems at one time, or hire a low-cost inspector who’ll do the bare minimum to get paid and leave you going mad whenever you find a new problem within the property.
Benefits to buyers
For someone looking to buy a home, spotting problems before finalizing the purchase is crucial, as once the deal is closed, any necessary repairs will come at your personal cost. In contrast, detecting problems before you finalize the deal will allow you to charge any repairs to the seller of the home. But wait, what if you miss some problems?
What if I told you that there was a Sherlock Holmes-esque character who could find all the problems for you? No, this isn’t a tale to amaze, it’s true, there is a person who could hear a dripping faucet from a mile away — in fact, there are a lot of them! This group of professional nitpickers are known as home inspectors.
Benefits to sellers
If finding problems in a home is important for buyers, it’s equally — if not more — important for sellers! Overlooked problems can become a nightmare during the negotiation phase of a sale.
Buyers will nitpick and use any and all problems to drive your price way down. Hiring a good home inspector will allow you to fix any problems before you put the house on the market to ensure that you don’t leave any nits for your buyers to pick. This is called a pre-listing inspection and can save you a lot of headaches when you’re nearing closing.
How to pick the right home inspector
Not all home inspectors are created equal. When choosing an inspector, it is paramount that you pick the sharp-eyed detective over the lazy “let’s get this over with so I can go home” kind of guy.
A good way to ensure that you find the right home inspector is looking for one prior to going house hunting. If you find a house you like but don’t have an inspector on speed dial yet, it’s likely that you’ll settle for the first one you see just because you’re in a rush to make a bid on your dream home. Looking for an inspector before looking for a house will give you enough time to shop around until you find the right person.
Another thing to bear in mind when choosing a home inspector is to find someone with a broad knowledge of a home and all its systems. In this case, it’s better to hire a Jack of all trades rather than calling a plumber, electrician, structural engineer, and pest control worker separately, as that would be extremely time-consuming and costly. Certification is also very important
Last but not least, make sure that your home inspector is in no way, shape or form affiliated with the real estate agency that is selling the home. Having a biased inspector who’ll turn a blind eye to every problem won’t do you any good.
Common problems that a home inspector could uncover:
- Plumbing. Dripping faucets, leaky pipes, clogged drains, and low water pressures are just a few of the countless problems that could be lurking in a home’s plumbing. Home inspectors have a good eye for these kinds of things — from water pressure to clogs, nothing can escape their sight.
- Wiring. Despite being preventable, thousands of house fires every year are a result of faulty wiring. Inspectors can point out loose or worn out outlets which will allow you replace them before your dream home goes up in flames.
- Structural issues. Cracks, bulges, and sloping floors can be warning signs of serious structural issues in the home. Hiring a home inspector who knows his stuff can help you find any structural issues so that you can address them before your dream home is reduced to a pile of rubble.
- Infestations. Whether it’s termites rotting the wood, roaches roaming freely, or rats the size of cats, a home inspector can detect an infestation early so that you can call pest control before things get out of hand.
- Insulation. Mice, squirrels, and other critters have a knack for destroying insulation and building nests in its place. Inspectors can pick up on early signs of burrowing and areas where the insulation needs replacing to ensure that your home stays nice and warm.
The bottom line
Buying or selling a home can be a big step, but as long as you take your time to find the right inspector, fix problems early on before they get out of hand, and put quality above all else, you’ll be surprised how easy it can all be.