Any time you’re trying to buy a home (or for that matter, get one sold), you can count on there being a property inspection. During the inspection, a trained professional will analyze the home from top to bottom, seeking any potential imperfections or latent problems that the homebuyer would want to know about. And rest assured that inspectors always find something, even if the home is a brand-new construction!
Generally speaking, it’s advised that buyers be present at the inspection, along with their agents. This affords them an opportunity to hear from the inspector directly, and to ask any questions that come to mind.
Indeed, to get the most out of the inspection, we highly recommend being inquisitive! In this post, we’ll suggest a few particular answers that you might want to keep in your back pocket come inspection time.
And just as an aside, we’ll also note that, if you’re on the other end of things and want to get some tips for selling your house, we can provide them! Grab your SOLD.com report any time to get top tips for selling your house.
With that, back to the inspection.
What to Ask at Your Inspection
- Can you recommend an expert to help with this problem? Sometimes, your inspector may brief you to a pretty major, systemic problem with the house…for example, a heating or cooling issue, a plumbing problem, or an electrical failure. Remember, though, that the inspector, while very knowledgeable, may not be an expert in every single field. If he or she spots something that gives you pause, you may want to ask for a referral to a specialist.
- What are the top priorities? It’s not uncommon for inspectors to uncover a lot of small problems…but remember, not all of them have to be fixed right away! You may have a few tiny, cosmetic issues that can easily be placed on the back burner for a good long while. It doesn’t hurt to ask your inspector what the truly pressing items are…what he or she thinks you should tackle first.
- What would you do if you were buying the house? This is really another way of asking the previous question. If your inspector was going to purchase this property, what would he or she do first? What steps would he or she take to ensure the proper preventative maintenance and care?
- What could go wrong? Sometimes, your inspector may see some little signs of trouble that could point toward bigger problems down the road. For example, there may be plumbing problems that are minor now, but, if left unaddressed, could snowball into more complex, expensive problems. It’s always a good idea to ask for some sense of worst-case scenarios, or of looming threats that your inspector perceives.
- How much will these repairs cost? You may see some repairs that obviously need to be made…so, it’s only natural to ask for a ballpark estimate of how much those repairs will cost. Note that your inspector shouldn’t be expected to provide an exact figure but can probably give you a basic sense of how much you’re looking at in repair costs. You’ll want to weigh this against the cost of the house overall.
- Are there any safety hazards? Your inspector will note some cosmetic issues, most of which can be repaired easily…but of course, these are the non-urgent items. The repairs you’ll want to prioritize are things that could be fire hazards, electrical hazards, or even slip and fall hazards. This is doubly true for parents of little ones: If there are safety concerns in the home, those are the things you’ll want to put at the top of your repair list.
By asking these questions, you can get a better sense of the true state of the property…and with that information, you can make a more reasoned decision about which repairs to request from the seller, or whether to move forward with the home at all.
Find Out the Best Way to Sell a Property
Those are our tips for homebuyers…but what about sellers? If you’re thinking about selling your own property, we welcome you to download your free report from SOLD.com. In it, you’ll get some specific steps to get your place sold. Claim your report today!