A house inspector can give you a heads-up on a wide range of things. Buyers, sellers, insurers, lenders, and other parties often ask a home inspector to help them protect their interests. You still might wonder how important a home inspection is. Inspectors can highlight the following five potential issues.
One of the biggest reasons to hire a house inspector is to reduce your liability exposure. In real estate law, sellers have obligations to disclose a house's known defects. Also, they can't just ignore things and hope for the best. Sellers have to make good-faith efforts to identify defects.
A home inspector can see what the building's defects may be. They can also provide a detailed report. Sellers can then choose to fix the issues or disclose them to potential buyers.
This is fundamentally the liability issue running in reverse. A buyer needs to conduct due diligence to protect their interests. Likewise, any insurers or lenders involved with a property also should perform due diligence.
Even if the seller has an inspection report in hand, it never hurts to get another set of eyes on the house. A second home inspector can provide a different perspective. Likewise, hiring one is a hedge against the risk that the first inspection is old or invalid.
Particularly if you're in love with a house, an independent perspective is critical. A house inspector will approach their job with the expected vigilance of a professional who doesn't have a stake in whatever deal is in the works. You can then reflect on their assessment versus yours to ensure you're taking a clear-eyed approach to making a deal.
You also want to document the inspection effort. For sellers, the inspector's report may be their first defense if an upset seller accuses them of failing to disclose everything. Using the report, they can show that the seller knew about specific issues.
The reverse is also true. Buyers, insurers, and lenders can use the reports to show that a seller didn't disclose a key problem.
A house inspector can usually give you ballpark estimates for addressing a home's issues. If the roof is damaged, for example, they can provide a rough estimate. You can then use the estimate to gauge potential contractors' bids. If you haven't closed the deal, you can factor these estimates into your offer. Sellers also can use the estimates to adjust their homes' prices for sale.
For more information, contact a home inspector near you.