The Most Common Errors Made When Inspecting A Home

Before buying or selling a home, the number one rule of the thumb is to have it inspected. A professional inspection can help unearth problems and damages that may otherwise be missed by either party before or during the transaction. For instance, no homebuyer wants to move into a home only to start suffering from respiratory infections from the mold growing in the attic or coming from dirty HVAC filters. On the flip side of the coin, you wouldn’t want to invite a potential client over to take a look at the home, only for them to end up walking away after they discover that the roof is leaking or mice are living in the ceiling. Inspecting the home ensures that both parties feel confident and comfortable when getting into the transaction.

But sometimes, homebuyers and sellers make certain mistakes when it comes to home inspection. These blunders often end up leaving one or both parties with regrets and losses of different dimensions. As if much hasn’t been said already, here are some common home inspection errors you should know about when preparing to buy or sell a property. 

1. Not Hiring a Home Inspector 

As a homebuyer or home seller, hiring a professional inspector is undoubtedly one of the first things you should do. Failing to hire one can be a grave mistake. This is because while you can be sure that the house is completely in good shape, there are certain issues that only a professional eye can detect. 

As a home seller, you may have an emotional attachment to your home, and this could easily cloud your judgment. You may not be keen enough to notice even the most immediate issues that need addressing, some of which could affect the home selling timeframe, as well as the price. On the other hand, buyers too can get emotionally attached to a home they view as their dream home. You could be tempted to skip professional inspection just because you’re too eager to settle in. But who will you have to blame when you have to spend more money a few months down the line in damage, excessive utility costs, injuries, and repair? When buying or selling a home, never assume that it is in perfect shape. 

2. Working with the Wrong Inspector 

An experienced home inspector will have the expertise, tools, and equipment it takes to thoroughly examine your property and will hardly miss problems. On the other hand, a quack will do a shoddy job, and this may end up costing you more money in the near future than you would have spent on a reputable professional. 

An inexperienced house inspector may also make various errors when inspecting your home, which could end up landing you in trouble. For instance, potential errors an amateur home inspector could make include: 

  • Failure to examine the roof thoroughly: – This could turn out to be catastrophic, especially for older homes. The last thing a home buyer wants is to discover the house they just moved in is raining inside out of leaks from roof damage. 
  • Overlooking drainage issues: – While a homeowner may not notice drainage issues until it’s raining heavily, a good inspector can help test for this. When buying a home, always have your home inspector test for proper drainage. This will help avoid future problems like foundation damage and mold growth.
  • Failing to examine the HVAC system: – As a homebuyer, you need a properly functioning HVAC system to keep you warm in winter and cool in the hot season. A professional home inspector should be keen enough to notice HVAC issues like dirty filters, cooling problems, and the like.
  • Misdiagnosing electrical systems: – This can be a dangerous mistake to the home occupants. If the buyer comes with their own inspector and they notice electrical system defects, you will easily kiss the deal goodbye.
  • Not being keen on plumbing problems: – Plumbing problems can be really costly. They impede on a home’s comfort and by far affect its value. An inexperienced home inspector is more likely to miss issues like dripping faucets, crack tubs, and running toilets. 

As you can see, all these errors on the inspector’s part can cost either the buyer or the seller dearly. Before hiring a home inspector, be sure to do your homework and vet them well. Ensure they are licensed, certified, insured, and bonded. They should be experienced and reputable, so you may want to check reviews from their past clients as well. 

3. Failing to Peruse the Inspection Report 

After a professional home inspection, you will be provided with a report as the buyer or the seller. This is supposed to help you make the decision on whether to go ahead with the transaction or otherwise. It is supposed to help you seek better terms when negotiating with the buyer or seller.

If you’re selling the property, you can either choose to conduct the necessary repairs/renovations, which may appreciate your property’s value. However, it will still be up to the seller to decide whether they will want the amendments to be made or walk away. This is all the more reason to conduct an inspection and do the necessary repairs (if any) before listing

your property for sale. As a buyer, an inspection helps you gauge whether you are getting into the right deal. As problems and damages are unearthed, it helps you avoid unforeseen costs and potential risks. This makes it important to read the inspection report carefully and ask questions where you need clarification. 

4. Ignoring the Outdoors 

While most of the parts checked during a home inspection are located indoors, the outdoors is not to be ignored by you or the inspector. For starters, outdoor upgrades can help improve your property’s curb appeal when selling it. The home can attract more buyers, and they will likely agree to pay more for it. As a buyer, you’ll be looking for a beautiful, comfortable, and safe home. No one wants to buy a neglected home with debris all over the sidewalks and long grass potentially harboring pest breeding zones. Ignoring outdoor inspection is a common error people make when buying a home. 

Before purchasing property, even if it’s new, inspection is an important requirement. It should also be a priority to sellers. The above are just a few of the common errors to be avoided during a home inspection.

Next article in this series: What Does An Inspector Look At During A Home Inspection

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