A home inspection is a necessary part of buying or selling a house. As a buyer, you want to make sure there are no serious problems with a home before you buy it. As a seller, you want to know about problems in advance so you can fix the ones you can and adjust the price of your home accordingly. Here are some important things to know about having a home inspection.
The Seller Has To Disclose Problems That Are Found
If you're selling a house and have an inspection done before you list your home for sale, you are required to let the buyer's agent know about all problems that are found. While you might be aware of some problems, such as an HVAC that's near the end of its life, you might not know about outdated plumbing pipes the new owners might need or want to replace. Still, it's better for both sides to know about the condition of your home so a potential sale doesn't fall through at the last minute and prolong the time your house is on the market.
A Home Inspection Targets Accessible Areas
As a buyer, you should be aware that a home inspector doesn't move a lot of things around or try to access areas that aren't readily accessible. For example, a video inspection of the sewer line wouldn't be done unless you order one separately. The inspector may note on the report that stacks of storage boxes, clutter, or furniture blocked a wall so you're aware of parts of the home that couldn't be viewed during the inspection.
Since not being able to access these spots could be troubling to a potential buyer, if you're the seller of the home, you should try to make as much of the home accessible as possible. Your agent can give you tips on how to prepare your home for an inspection so it doesn't appear as if you're trying to hide damage.
Testing Isn't Done For Environmental Hazards
As a buyer, you're concerned about whether a house has mold, lead, or asbestos. However, a typical home inspection doesn't test for these environmental hazards. However, an inspector has enough skills and experience to suspect when environmental hazards could be present.
For instance, if there are signs of water damage to the ceilings, floors, or walls, the inspector may consider if mold is present too. Or if it looks like your property is sloped so rain rolls toward the foundation and the basement has a musty odor, the inspector may wonder if the basement has problems with moisture and if mold may be growing in a hidden area.
While the inspector can't say for sure if environmental hazards are present unless they can be seen, if they suspect there is a problem with mold, lead, or asbestos, they might suggest further testing be done that's beyond the scope of a typical home inspection.