He was extremely thorough and informative. Scott was also very personable and knowledgeable. He provided great insight and advice when appropriate. We would definitely highly recommend him!
- Kimberly & Peter
By Sean Rizzo
President, Tiger Home Inspection
Much has been written of the value a home inspection provides. To a buyer, it is a safety net -- a realistic assessment of a property's condition, and evaluation of deficiencies. Although not its primary function, a home inspection can serve as the catalyst for a re-negotiated purchase and sale agreement.
Such re-negotiations may result in repairs assumed by the owner, a reduced selling price, or, where serious defects are discovered, revocation of the offer by the purchaser.
More and more, buyers are having home inspections performed prior to purchasing a property. Buyers frequently seek that realistic, third-party, professional assessment to confirm that their choice is sound, or shed light on what future repairs may be needed. While inspectors do not recommend whether a buyer should or shouldn't purchase, their findings carry considerable influence.
Historically, inspections have been performed at the request of the homebuyer. But consider the plight of the seller. He (or she), too, has a lot riding on the transaction.
A sale that falls through can be disastrous for the seller, too! He may have purchased a new home, contingent upon the sale of the existing property. Without funds from the present sale, the new purchase would likely not go through. No one wins when a transaction doesn't go forward.
A home inspection report with negative findings may surprise the sellers as much as the buyer. The seller may genuinely believe the property to be in good shape. Unknown conditions, however - termites, for example - could alter that assessment.
Good Insurance for Sellers as Well
Homebuyers' sales agents or lawyers generally recommend an inspection. In this case, what's good for the buyer is also good for the seller. Because surprises are equally damaging to sellers of property, the seller should get a "pre-sale inspection".
While an inspection prepared for a seller will not be a substitute for a buyer's inspection, it nevertheless serves a useful purpose -- alerting the seller to potential conditions that could alter or delay a sale.
People who live in a house get accustomed to the property and may not see conditions as shortfalls that a potential buyer might. For example, a 22-year-old furnace may still be working wonderfully. But statistically, it will need replacement within five years. That's an outlay of $1,000-$2,500 that the buyer might not anticipate.
A professional home inspector is trained to notice what most people are not trained to see. An inspector serves as a detective, looking for existing or potential problems. With no vested interest in the sale of the property, the objective, diagnostic report of the home inspector will enable the seller to determine what needs repair prior to putting up the "for sale" sign.
Checking Everything, Including the Kitchen Sink!
An inspector will check the complete exterior of the house, including the chimney, surface condition of the roof, flashings, gutters and downspouts. He will check the exterior sill, foundation, and the grading of the lot to be sure it is pitched away from the house. The inspector will then enter the basement and view the mechanicals, such as plumbing, heating, electrical and central cooling system. He will check the sill, foundation, floor joists, main carrying beams and supporting members.
The inspector will also check for wood boring infestation and water penetration, past or present. He will check the kitchen and condition of appliances. All doors, ceilings and floors on interior rooms will be checked. An inspection will also check the ventilation and insulation in the attic, which provides a better idea of the exact condition of the roof.
Inspection companies provide two kinds of reports. One is an itemized list with written commentary that is delivered on site. The second is a written narrative that the client receives several days later through the mail. A thorough home inspection takes between two and three hours. It is advisable to accompany the inspector for the complete inspection.
Home inspections generally range in price from $350 to $500. The best source for finding a competent home inspector is the recommendation of someone who has used a firm's services in the past. In determining if this firm is the right one for you, ask about their level of experience--how many inspections the company has performed, how many they do annually, and what kind of training their inspectors receive. Also, the inspector you choose should belong to a national organization that requires compliance to a code of ethics.
As a prospective seller, an objective, realistic evaluation of your property's condition will be of great assistance when placing it on the market. Knowing what objections, if any, are likely to be raised in advance will help you deal with them in a way that keeps the sale moving along smoothly.