We’ve been guiding buyers and sellers through the home inspection process for +20 years. In that time, we’ve developed a comprehensive understanding of exactly what it is that people should know about the home inspection process.
What should you know? Here are 4 simple truths about the Home Inspection process.
1. Your home is complex – There is much more to a home than meets the eye. Perhaps a seller has lived in their home for 25 years, unbeknown to them the foundation was shifting the entire time? The purpose of an inspection is to identify issues that the seller may not be aware of, issues like the one mentioned above. This, in turn, allows the respective buyer the chance to truly understand the property and any issues that may arise during the time of their respective ownership.
2. Put your worries on the shelf – As a seller, the home inspection can be worrisome. However, in most circumstances, we’ve found that a well-maintained home has far fewer issues than one that has not been well-kept.
3. All homes have defects – It isn’t the home you are looking at or selling that’s an outlier. In fact, most homes have defects and most of them that are found in a home inspection are vital to the integrity of the home. Reports typically have 5-10 defects per section and that’s for a house that would be considered ‘move-in’ ready. Home Inspectors perform their due diligence while inspecting the home through meticulous documentation, including photos. They will likely call out any defect they see, to include normal wear such as damaged siding or vertical cracks in a foundation. These types of defects might be insignificant, but the buyer still has a right to know. Usually, a house will have 1-5 “bigger” issues that are still not deal breakers. These include things like heating systems being near the end of their life or an older roof.
4. A report, not a grade card – After the home inspection, the buyer will get a detailed report listing all issues, both big and small that the home inspector noticed. The buyers will then review this with their agent and put together a list of items that they either want the seller to address or want the seller to give credit for at closing. This credit is then used by the buyer to cover the costs of any repairs. In Illinois, the agent on each side can advise on items to negotiate. The attorneys on each side are responsible for physically drafting the addendums needed.
Once all items are negotiated and the buyer and seller come to terms, the attorney review period is officially closed.