What To Expect?

What a Homebuyer Should Expect from a Home Inspector

The days of people asking their father-in-law to inspect a house before they buy it are over. Homebuyers now understand that there is a lot of money at stake and a certified home inspection is the only safe bet.

Despite this fact, however, there is still some uncertainty about what homebuyers can anticipate when they hire a certified home inspector. Here are some of the basics that homebuyers should expect from someone who has received professional home inspection training.

1. Standards of Practice: Good home inspectors will give homebuyers the standards they follow, either from the state, province or from a professional home inspection organization: (at Inspection Time Inc. the SOP is included with your Home Inspection Report). They will then go over what will be included in the inspection. When the home inspection is over, the report should include a description of:

  • The property's classification (age, size, location, condition)
  • What inspection methods were used (probing, visual, measurement and research)
  • Problem areas/deficiencies (the evidence doesn't need to be conclusive)
  • The possible consequences of these problem areas
  • Unsafe areas that will require a third party inspection

2. Limits: There are also a number of things a certified home inspector isn't required to do. These include: determining the market value of the property, offering any kind of warranties or guarantees, entering the under-floor crawl spaces, or inspecting detached structures another than garages or carports. Thes are just a few examples: clients should come prepared with their own questions.

3. Inspection Agreement: This is what home inspectors think of as their "contract" with homebuyers. After going through the standards of practice, the homebuyer's expectations, the home inspector's restrictions, and any other items unique to the situation, homebuyer's must sign this agreement before the home inspection begins. The signed agreement should generally include:

  • Name of the certified home inspector
  • The property's address
  • Date of the inspection
  • Date when repair work will be finished
  • Cost of the inspection and the method of payment
  • Information on dispute resolution resources

Finally, homebuyers shouldn't expect a home inspector to assign blame for defects. Their job is to identify problems in the house, note them accordingly, but not to pass judgments.