The thorough home inspection

Back in 2005, one of the first columns I wrote for the Montgomery County Sentinel was about getting a thorough home inspection.  The market was similar to the recent sellers’ market, where homes sold in hours after receiving multiple offers.  Home buyers were making non-contingent offers, foregoing a home inspection, and many times offering incentives to the seller (such as free rent back, cars, vacations, etc).  The point then, as it is now, is that inspections are important and helpful.

home inspection
Home improvements

Of course, the last year-and-a-half has been just as brutal to home buyers. Many buyers paid way over the list price.  And of course, many also had to forego an inspection just to be in the running with the competition. 

Although home sales have waned recently, it is likely that sales will rebound in the fall.  That said, the recent mini cycle allowed buyers and sellers to take a breather to figure out where the market is headed.  As an increasing number of homes are for sale, the market will become be more balanced.  A balanced market allows for mutual negotiation, including having a thorough home inspection.

It’s undeniable that home buyers have high expectations during the buying process.  And that includes the home inspection.  Buyers expect a thorough and exhaustive inspection.  They rely on the inspector to identify concealed and latent defects. Basically, buyers expect the inspection to help determine the condition of the home and its systems/components before they move forward with the purchase. 

Even though home buyers view the inspector as all-knowing, home inspections are not infallible.  Home inspectors are limited in their inspections and can miss items and/or make mistakes.  Additionally, according to the state’s home inspector state licensing, a home inspection is “not technically exhaustive,” and it may not identify a concealed condition or a latent defect.

Home inspections are for all types of homes.  Besides resale homes, inspections also are for new and recently renovated homes.  It is not uncommon to discover incomplete installation of a system in new or renovated homes. 

Overall, there is still a benefit of conducting a thorough home inspection. However, home buyers need to understand the limitations of their inspection.  They should also attend their inspection ready to take notes and ask questions. 

By Dan Krell
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Disclaimer. This article is not intended to provide nor should it be relied upon for legal and financial advice. Readers should not rely solely on the information contained herein, as it does not purport to be comprehensive or render specific advice. Readers should consult with an attorney regarding local real estate laws and customs as they vary by state and jurisdiction. Using this article without permission is a violation of copyright laws.

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