The Benefits of Getting a Home Inspection for Both Buyers & Sellers

Today’s topic is the home inspection: why should a homebuyer or seller have one done?

Let’s begin with the buyer’s side. I always recommend that buyers order a home inspection for a house they intend to purchase—it’s penny-wise but dollar-foolish not to get one. If a buyer elects not to get one, we’ll write into the contract that we suggested they get one so that later on, if something goes wrong with the home, they can’t blame anyone for not informing them of the risks.

Why is it so important for a buyer to order a home inspection? It’s pretty straightforward: Purchasing a home may well be the biggest transaction of your life, so it makes sense that you’d have a professional look over the product you’re buying to make sure it’s what you expect. Home inspections serve to catch the big problems a home might have, like issues with the roof, HVAC system, or other structural issues that could pose a safety hazard.

There are different types of inspections you can order:

- General inspections

- Septic inspections

- Pool inspections

- Mold inspections

- Wood-destroying organism inspections

- Four-point inspections

If there aren’t any issues with the home, great! The inspection is still useful since it helps you, the buyer, better understand the home than you did before.

Mind you, the home seller should have released a property disclosure that reveals all the known features of the house that could affect your decision to purchase it. The problem here is that the seller’s disclosure only details what they know about the property; if the seller doesn’t know about certain features or issues, the inspector can help fill in the gaps during the inspection.

If there are issues found during the inspection period laid out in the contract, you can renegotiate with the results of the inspection in mind or walk away. The seller will then have to disclose those now-known facts with the next buyer who orders an inspection for the home.

With that in mind, why should home sellers order inspections for their own homes?

Well, it stands to reason that someone who wanted to sell their home would also want to make sure that there’s nothing about the home that would scare away potential buyers. If you know what’s going on with your house, you can address any issues before buyers see it or at least be prepared to forewarn buyers about them and adjust the home’s price accordingly.

Even though a lot of sellers don’t bother to order a pre-listing home inspection, I do recommend that they do. At the end of the day, most buyers will order one anyway, so you might as well get ahead of any issues that would inevitably come up.

Finally, it is important to find the right inspector. You want someone who understands what to look for but also understands how to relay the information in a way that won’t necessarily freak someone out. Their job is to give buyers and sellers a better understanding of the home so they can make better decisions, not to steer a transaction one way or the other.

Whether you’re buying or selling real estate, if you want a great agent to assist with the process and a great home inspector to look over the house you’re buying or selling, reach out to the Haigh Group.

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