Most real estate agents recommend a home inspection before putting in an offer on a home. There are two types of home inspections: inspections for buyers and inspections for sellers. Your real estate agent may recommend having a home evaluated before putting it on the market to find out if there are any large structural issues with the home that could affect the asking price.
Some people feel that the burden of having a home inspection should be on the buyer and that if something major is discovered, they can deal with it then. The biggest problem here is you risk having an interested party walk because they are afraid of what else might turn up. By knowing what exactly is going on with your home, you are in a better position to negotiate a fair price or take the time to fix any problems that will help increase resale value.
For buyers, having an independent home inspector evaluate a home is a critical step in the home buying process. This is the most intimate you may ever be with your home. You will learn where your water pipes run, where your shut-offs for gas and water are, where the electrical outlets are, how your foundation was built and how solid it is.
Some people feel like all they need is a report and that they don’t need to be there in person, but I strongly disagree with that. Even though inspectors take photographs to include in the report, being present and being able to ask questions and take a look at problems for yourself is a huge asset. You have a professional at your fingertips, so be sure to make the best use of the time.
Sellers should not be present during a buyer’s home inspection. Both the home inspector and the buyer will feel more comfortable talking freely and asking questions without the seller in the house.
If there is a discrepancy between the information that has been found, for example, the seller’s inspector claims there are no problems with the home, but the buyer’s inspector has found tiles missing from the roof, then the buyer has the option to have an additional inspection or to walk away from the deal.
If the goal of putting your home in the real estate market is to sell it, make sure you know what you’re selling. If you want to buy a home, make sure you know what you’re getting into. Be present when the home is being inspected and ask questions even if they seem like silly questions to you.