FAQ - What is a Home Inspection and Why is it Important?

Home inspections are an important part of the home buying process. It is an opportunity for the buyer to get a high level picture of the homes condition and health. This allows you to make an informed request for repairs or repair credit when negotiating the continuation of the purchase contract. The licensed home inspector evaluates the home the buyer just purchased, it usually takes approximately 2 to 3 hours. The home inspection is usually scheduled during the first week after Purchase Contract Ratification.

What is the role of the Home Inspector?

Home inspectors are trained to look at systems, safety issues and identify potential problems. Their role is to determine if there are any safety concerns or repairs needed that may not be visible to you, the potential home buyer, prior to purchasing the home. It should be noted that they are there to identify the aforementioned issues as most contracts will state that only defects may be asked for when requesting seller repairs on the home, upgrades are not something homebuyers can request. Some home inspectors will review basic maintenance and identify locations of shut-off valves and electrical panels so that the new homeowner is aware of where these systems are located. 

Something to consider is that a home inspector is not necessarily an expert in every field. They are trained to identify issues, but buyers and sellers should always defer to a licensed expert in that specialty to determine how issues can be repaired or resolved and what the cost may be for that remedy. The home inspector always has a checklist of items to look for which includes possible defects or safety hazards that need to be addressed. This is why a home inspection is so important when buying a home. It breaks down any basic repairs and/or defects that need to be fixed before you make your major purchase. It minimizes risk and doesn't allow for any surprises once you move into the home. 

Next Steps After the Home Inspection... 

Once the home inspection is complete, the purchasers will submit an addendum or request for any repairs that they deem necessary to be addressed. In some cases, this may mean they will ask for a credit to cover the cost of the repairs. The response times are laid out in the purchase agreement and need to be adhered to.

Those that are best qualified to make those repairs and prices vary by vendor. In the state of Virginia, the sales contract is specific in that the buyer should not ask for routine maintenance or upgrades to code or systems. It is always advisable that sellers review basic maintenance items in the home prior to listing it and handle any routine maintenance prior to putting it on the market.  Small items, such as a leaky sink can be an easy task to remedy yourself but could cost hundreds of dollars if done by a professional plumber, which would likely be required should a repair to this be requested, as a result of a home inspection.

The Rick Cox Realty Group is with you every step of the way, especially during the home inspection process. Our agents will attend the home inspection with you and break down the report for the buyer and/or work with the seller on what repairs they will address. With the teams background and knowledge, the process will be easy and swift. 


Posted by Rick Cox on
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