Whether you are a buyer interested in a particular house, or a seller trying to get the best sales price for your home, there will come a time in the real estate process where you should get a home inspection. The moment the inspector arrives to perform the evaluation, you may feel the need to leave them alone or silently follow a few steps behind while they are looking over all the features of the house. You may think you don’t want to break their concentration during the evaluation. Unfortunately, you are missing out on a great opportunity to find out more details about the home and any issues that could cause problems with the closing process. So don’t be afraid to accompany the inspector and ask the following questions during the home inspection.
Unfortunately, you are missing out on a great opportunity to find out more details about the home and any issues that could cause problems with the closing process. So don’t be afraid to accompany the inspector and ask the following questions during the home inspection.
How Would You Rate the Issue?
When a problem is found, you typically aren’t sure just how serious it is unless the inspector makes it a point to tell you that it is an unsafe condition. Yet for smaller issues, knowing just how bad the problem might become could impact your finances.
While you may read the inspection report about a small crack in the foundation and think it is a minor issue that doesn’t need fixing, the problem could actually mean there is something very serious going on with the foundation that should be repaired as soon as possible before it leads to a costlier fix.
How Old is the Water Heater, Furnace, and Central Air Unit?
Knowing the age of these mechanical systems in the house and how often they have been serviced can allow you to figure out if the units are on their last legs and need to be eventually replaced in the near future. It is also a good idea to find out the age of your furnace, water heater and central air because older, less efficient models can have a significant impact on your monthly utility bills.
A seller may decide to upgrade the systems themselves to raise the value of the house or lower the asking price to bring in more buyers. Home buyers can use the information from their professional inspection to come up with a competitive bid for the property as well as plan out their finances to replace old units.
How Should I Get the Problem Fixed?
While many states prevent home inspectors from giving you a construction bid to repair the issue for you, they can offer advice on what the repair may require. Some issues, while it may seem like a huge expense and hassle, could be as simple as running down to the home store to buy the materials and fix yourself. Other issues may seem like a do-it-yourself job, yet the inspector can give you more information about how it should be professionally handled and if you will need to pull permits to make any repairs or changes.
Can You Show Me the Issue?
Home buyers and sellers aren’t expected to have advanced construction knowledge. So there may be items on the report that you have no idea what the inspector is talking about and don’t understand how the problem could affect the home. If you are lucky enough to be with the inspector during the evaluation, have them point out where the issue is and what effect it will have if it is not fixed immediately. Since you will probably be at the house to take photos of the property, snap a quick picture of the issue as a reminder.
A home inspection is your way of knowing about any serious problems with the house that can impact your finances and slow down the closing process. Ask these simple questions to the inspection to learn more about the conditions of the house.