Buyers occasionally ask me, “Is a home inspection really necessary?” Some have even argued that inspections are expensive and they see it as an area that they can cut out to save money. I always insist on a home inspection and explain to my buyers that the cost of an inspection is pennies compared to the investment they are making when purchasing a home. I like to explain it in terms of “fully investigating” the property so they know what they getting themselves into.
Once under contract, the buyer or their agent should schedule the home inspection as soon as possible to allow enough time in the due diligence period to complete all inspections and to give the sellers enough time to make agreed upon repairs. Most inspectors prefer that the seller not be present for the inspection. However, they normally do not object to the buyer being present. In my experience, the inspector usually prefers that the buyer come near the end of the inspection so that he can talk with the buyer about the overall condition of the house. The inspector follows through with a written report that documents all deficiencies that were found.
Some buyers may not be aware of the scope of a home inspection, so it is important that either their agent or the inspector give an explanation. Licensed home inspectors are obligated to test the functionality of all systems in the house to ensure they are functioning as intended. However, inspectors do not conduct technically exhaustive tests on systems such as the HVAC. If he finds that there is a deficiency in the functionality of the HVAC, he will recommend an HVAC contractor do a more thorough evaluation. Buyers also may not be aware that home inspectors are only required to check a representative number of receptacles, doors and windows. They are not required to check each one for functionality.
Buyers and sellers should be aware that the home inspector must document every deficiency found during his inspection. Sellers sometimes become concerned when seemingly insignificant items are noted; and buyers may get nervous when they received a large report. However, the home inspector is responsible for documenting every deficiency he finds and cannot make the decision to leave an item out of his report because it is seemingly minor. Since he works for the buyer, he wants to be sure the buyer knows everything about the house that he finds.
We would all agree that it is in our buyers’ best interest to have a thorough home inspection of the property that they have contracted to purchase. However, should our sellers have their home inspected prior to listing?
Some agents advise their sellers to do so, while other agents do not think it’s necessary. Keep in mind, when our sellers have their home inspected prior to listing, they are able to see their home from a buyer’s perspective. The inspection report will identify defects that the homeowner may not be aware of and it gives the seller the opportunity to make repairs prior to being put in the position of having a buyer request repairs. The seller has the advantage of hiring the contractor he chooses, rather than possibly handing that choice to a prospective buyer.
It also gives the seller the opportunity to price compare, whereas time constraints during due diligence may not allow the seller time to price compare, especially in a busy market. Another advantage is that when the seller discloses that the house has been inspected and repairs have been made, it gives the buyer confidence that the home is well maintained and there should not be any significant defects found by the buyer’s inspector that have not already been identified. While home inspections are very important, it is also important that we discuss with our clients the options of septic inspection, radon inspection, termite inspection, water quality test, etc.
Our buyers may not choose to have every available inspection done on the property, but they should be given the opportunity to make that decision. A well-informed buyer tends to make great decisions!
About Tammy McGee.
Tammy McGee a full-time sales associate of the Fonville Morisey Realty Brier Creek Office.
As a North Carolina native, Tammy has lived in the Raleigh area since 1983. She attended Garner High School and holds her Bachelor of Arts degree from Campbell University. After graduating from Campbell, Tammy spent ten years in in property management. She went on to earn her MBA from Liberty University and pursued a career in financial management, specializing in corporate budgeting, forecasting, recruiting and contracts, accounts management, and business development.
After enjoying a career in property and financial management, Tammy transitioned her career to real estate. Her background in property and financial management prepared her to be mindful of the needs of each client. As a Realtor, Tammy is committed to providing every client with outstanding service while helping them reach their real estate goals.
She currently lives in Raleigh with my husband and their 3 daughters. Their son is currently serving in the United States Marine Corps.
Tammy is a member of the Raleigh Regional Association of REALTORS®, the North Carolina Association of REALTORS®, and the National Association of REALTORS®.
Fonville Morisey Realty has 11 sales offices, with over 850 associates and employees throughout the Greater Triangle region. FM offers mortgage, insurance, property management, title services, real estate education courses and relocation services through its divisions and partners. For more information about Fonville Morisey Realty, visit www.fmrealty.com.