Buying a home can be a long and exhausting process. It is also likely the biggest purchase of your life, so saving money where you can is key. However, not paying significant attention to or skipping a home inspection is a huge mistake that could end up costing you thousands of dollars down the line, or worse. It can also feel confusing, so don't be afraid to rely on your REALTOR® to help explain the process or answer questions. So, once you find yourself under contract on a home, check out eight home inspection mistakes to avoid below.
Skipping the Home Inspection: Every home should be properly inspected by a certified inspector, and that includes new construction. Additionally, if the home has a pool or septic system, for example, it is important to have those inspected as well. Knowing what issues the home may or may not have can help you make the best possible decision in moving forward with the purchase or walking away.
Using the Cheapest Inspection Option: While there can be exceptions, in general, an inspector that is significantly cheaper than others is a red flag. They make lack experience or the most up-to-date tools and training. It is critical to do your research, read reviews, and ask questions. In addition, your agent can be an excellent resource in finding a reputable inspector they know and trust.
Not Attending the Inspection Yourself: At the end of the inspection, prospective buyers are invited to meet with the inspector and go over their findings. Inspection reports are often long and can be overwhelming, so having the opportunity to see the inspector's findings in-person and having the ability to ask questions can be invaluable.
Don't Miss Out on Learning from the Inspector: You are welcome to attend any and all of the inspection, and taking advantage of the inspector's knowledge can help you learn valuable information and access areas of your property you might not have otherwise seen.
Being Too Involved in the Inspection: Especially if you are present for the entire inspection or even part of it while they are still completing the inspection, it is important to not get in the inspector's way. For example, you don't want to be too chatty and potentially distract the inspector. It is also important to let the inspector do their job - it can be tempting to check faucets or look in the attic, but seemingly simple actions can impact the inspector's findings.
Overreacting if the Report isn't Perfect: There is no such thing as a perfect inspection report, even on new construction homes. The vast majority of the findings on an inspection report are minor. However, asking the inspector what they consider to be concerning or major findings, along with discussing the findings with your agent, can help you decide how to proceed. This can allow you to figure out what items need to be repaired, what items you'd like repaired, and what if anything you want to ask the sellers to fix before closing.
Focusing on the Wrong Things: Most items in an inspection report are minor fixes, but it is important not to focus on the number of items listed in the report and instead to focus on any major findings. Examples would include foundation issues, HVAC problems, roof issues, or other high-cost items.
Not Reinspecting Negotiated Repairs: This often comes with an additional cost, but it is well worth it to have the inspector check the negotiated items to ensure the repairs were completed, and completed correctly. Even though buyers are required to provide receipts, unfortunately, we have seen sellers provide receipts even though the work was not actually done or it was done incorrectly. Plus, having the repairs reinspected will give you invaluable peace of mind as you move into your new home!