Home Buying- What to Expect from Your Home Inspection

Congratulations! You are on your way towards closing and we are about to approach one of the most important steps!  The home inspection is a BIG hurdle to get past in making sure you are moving towards a home you will be comfortable living in for many years to come.

Have you ever wondered why a home inspection is so important and exactly how it works?

Logistics of an inspection:

* Will last anywhere from 2-5 hours (ideally), depending on the home size.
* Will be attended by YOU, the inspector, and someone from our team
* Will usually be M-F from 8A – 5P.
* Will require payment to the inspector at time of inspection – please be sure to bring payment with you!

The purpose of the home inspection period is twofold.  First, and most importantly, it is an opportunity to learn about the maintenance and operation of your new home.  This is a chance to walk around with a licensed inspector, learn about the systems of the home, how to operate everything for different seasons and times of year, how to maintain and service the important items, and more. For a new homeowner, this is a wonderful opportunity to gain a comfort level with the things you will need to do consistently to keep the home operating in top condition.  Even for an experienced home owner, this is a time to learn the intricacies about this particular home.

The second purpose is to find and acknowledge any defects in the home.  The home inspector will inspect the roof, HVAC, hot water heater, appliances, outlets, sinks/drains, fixtures, fireplace, and more. They look at everything that they can get access to, in hopes that they will unveil any issues before you own it.  They will then provide you with a report documenting what they found to have been defective, as well as their suggested remedy for those items.

The list that the inspector provides often becomes the basis for another negotiation with the seller.  Most likely, unless you are building new construction or a brand new house, this negotiation period is NOT MEANT to try to perfect every minor imperfection or “nickel and dime” the seller for every single item on the inspector’s list.  If you are not buying a new home, we won’t be expecting it to be delivered in brand new condition.  That being said, if there are conditions or defects in the home that are unsafe, non-functional, or costly- we will be focusing on those.  We will then submit a list of “requested repairs” to the seller, and the negotiation will begin, whereby they will hopefully offer to repair some or all of the items we submit.

What, exactly is covered?

• Radon gas? Only if you choose to do this additional test.  If you do, the radon measuring equipment will be set out at the home and picked up 2 days later.
• Termites? No.  Termites and other wood destroying insects are covered in a separate inspection by a licensed termite inspector.  This is typically ordered and paid for by the SELLER, per the Virginia State sales contract.
• Mold? No.  If your home inspector suspects mold or fungus, they will refer you to another inspector who is licensed in mold inspection and treatment.  However, standard home inspectors are not typically also licensed environmental and mold inspectors.
• Well and Septic? No.  Any applicable well and septic inspections are covered in a separate inspection by a licensed inspector.  This is typically ordered and paid for by the SELLER, per the Virginia state sales contract.

We will help you throughout this negotiation period, but we always try to prep our clients on what to expect, and to remind them that the condition of the home being delivered will likely be in line with it’s age and it’s price.

The goal is always for every negotiation to end feeling like a win/win for both clients, but with OUR clients getting the lions share of the winning 😊  We will help advise you when the time comes, but this is just one in the many important steps (that can cause some stress) along the way to closing!