5 Major Questions to Ask Your Home Inspector

Purchasing a home is an exciting time, and it’s also a stressful time. There are so many boxes to check. If you miss one thing, it can set your closing back by days or weeks.

After you spend weeks, or in some cases months, house shopping for the perfect home, the real work begins. You’ll need to secure financing and have a home inspector come in to check the house out. If major problems are uncovered, you’ll have to decide if you want to move forward or negotiate the repairs into the closing costs.

You may also negotiate with the seller to have money deposited into an escrow account to cover the repair costs.

Once you make it to the closing, you may feel as if you’re signing your life away. It will be well worth it once you place your keys in the lock and realize the home is really yours.

Are you in the process of buying a home? Keep reading for five essential questions you should as a home inspector before they are hired.

What Is a Home Inspector?

A home inspector is someone trained in inspecting the condition of a home from top to bottom. They are called upon when someone is in the process of selling their home or buying a home. You can also call on a home inspector to address concerns you may have about your home.

The inspector will provide a written report about the findings. The report should not be seen as an appraisal for the property.

When you hire someone to inspect a property, it should not be to see if he or she believes you should buy the house. They are there to give a professional opinion on the condition of items, as well as the house.

Some inspectors will also test for mold. If your insurance provider is seeking a 4-point inspection, you will need to state that’s what you need and provide the form.

1. What Does the Inspection Cover?

A home inspection covers a long list of items including:

During the inspection, the home inspector will check the condition of the items listed. A lot can be revealed from the inspection. They can tell if there is water damage in the ceilings or walls. They will test windows to make sure they open and close properly.

An inspection can also detect weaknesses in the roofing system and possible damage in subfloors.

You must ask questions during a home inspection to make sure you understand whether an issue is minor or major. It is easy for a prospective buyer to enter a home and instantly fall in love. Someone with expertise in construction can tell you if faulty wiring is a cause for concern.

2. How Long Does the Inspection Take

A good question for a home inspector is, “How long is the inspection going to take?” You will want to plan accordingly if you are required to take time off from work. It is also a good idea to find someone who can watch the kids or schedule for a time when they will be at school.

Inspections do not take all day. In fact, most are wrapped up in less than three hours. It really depends on the size of the house.

Keep in mind that the home inspection isn’t the same as a contractor looking for a specific issue that needs repair. The inspector is looking for standard operation of components of the home.

To test the hot water at the sink and tub, he may turn the water on in the house to see if each faucet is producing how water. In the meantime, he’s checking the pipes looking for leaks. There are also test for the water heater itself.

If you have questions to ask a home inspector, ask at the beginning or end of the inspection. Be mindful of the task he is there to complete and try not to shadow.

3. Will I Receive an Inspection Report?

The home inspector should provide a comprehensive written report of the findings. It is still a question you need to ask in advance. This could be the difference between a reputable company versus a friend of the family.

The seller of a home can hire an inspector, as well as the buyer. Neither is obligated to share their findings with the other. If the report reveals significant issues, the buyer can use the results to back out of a real estate sales contract that has such contingencies.

4. If Repairs are Done Will You Re-inspect the Property?

A buyer has the right to order a second home inspection, but it is an unnecessary expense. Once you receive the report, there are several things you can do.

1. Ask the seller to make the repairs listed.

2. Ask the seller to place repair costs in an escrow account so you can make the repairs following the closing.

3. If the issues are terrible, don’t buy the house.

It is important to understand that the home inspector is there to check for structural damage, a leaking roof, and things that could get you flagged for a code violation.

5. Do You Work for the Insurance Company?

Home inspectors work with home sellers and potential buyers. When purchasing a home or seeking to change carriers, you may be required by the insurance company to provide a 4-point inspection.

This is an inspection of the HVAC system, plumbing, electrical, and roofing. The insurer will often provide a form for the inspector to sign.

The homeowner is responsible for all costs.

Are You Looking for an Inspector?

Getting a home inspection is an important step in the home buying process. Hiring the right home inspector ensures you get a thorough inspection of the home.

If you’re buying a home in the greater Toronto area, we’d like to offer our services. Contact us to schedule your inspection today.