Whether you’re in the market to buy a home, or you’re planning on selling your home in the Chicago area, it’s important to understand what a home inspection covers, and how it affects the sale or the purchase of a house.
What Exactly is a Home Inspection?
A home inspection is an visual examination of the structure & systems of a home by a neutral third party (usually a professional). It shows you what’s potentially wrong with the property, and if the problem is serious enough, it may affect the sale of a home.
Three main parts of the inspection are to 1) evaluate the physical condition of the property, 2) identify what is in need of repair or replacement, and 3) estimate the remaining life of the systems, equipment, structure and finishes of the home.
An inspector can’t report on problems if they are not visible, such as defects hidden behind finished walls or beneath carpeting, for example.
Hiring a Home Inspector
When considering hiring an inspector, you can usually get a good recommendation from your Realtor. When interviewing a home inspector, remember to ask for references. It’s also a good idea to ask about the inspector’s professional training and experience.
You should always be present during the inspection for a few reasons:
1) you can ask questions during the inspection
2) the inspector can to point out areas of potential trouble
3) your inspector may offer some maintenance tips throughout the inspection
Your Inspector May Make Suggestions on Repairs
Even though, the home seller is not required to make any repairs or replacements, the buyer can use the inspection report as a negotiating tool. For instance, if certain repairs aren’t made, the buyer may ask for a credit at closing for the cost of the repair.
Costs and Time Involved in the Home Inspection
A home inspector’s number one priority is accuracy, and accuracy takes time. There is a good chance that a mistake may be made if the inspector rushes through the process. Your inspection could take between two and five hours. Older homes usually take longer than newer homes.
Home inspections range in price. Expect to pay $200-$500 depending on size of the home. It is definitely an important investment when purchasing a home!