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What to look for in a home inspection as a buyer’s agent

What to look for in a home inspection as a buyer’s agent

Home inspections are a critical part of the homebuying process. They give the buyer an opportunity to ensure red flags within the property are addressed before the sale is finalized. Undiscovered rot or mold, issues with the electrical system and other concerns can be a shock for homebuyers if they aren’t discovered before the sale is finalized.

While home inspections are generally the responsibility of the buyer, real estate agents can support their clients during this process by offering guidance based on their professional expertise. Use this guide as a handy reference for helping your clients get the most out of a home inspection.

Are home inspections required?

Home inspectors look for potential issues within a home, whether minor or major. It’s important to remember that home inspectors don’t meticulously survey every inch of a home. Nor are they generally expected or authorized to damage or alter the property in any way as part of their work.

That means certain issues, like water damage localized to the interior of a wall or a sagging beam within a ceiling, may not be identified. And, as the Homebuying Institute pointed out, home inspections are generally not a requirement even when a property is purchased with a mortgage loan.

However, for homebuyers, it’s simply a good idea to have an inspection conducted. While home inspections are limited, this process can still highlight potential problems and ensure the major systems within a home are functioning properly – or bring to light a repair that must be made or similar action that needs to be taken for safe habitation.

What do home inspectors look for?

There are many potential issues which an inspector may look for, depending on their training, experience, knowledge of similar issues in the area around the home and other factors. These include:

  • Mold, mildew and water damage, both throughout the home and in areas sometimes prone to attracting moisture like basements and crawlspaces.
  • The foundation and the major structural elements of the home.
  • Heating, venting and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, regardless of type.
  • Plumbing conditions, e.g. water backup or broken pipes.
  • Windows, doors and any other access points to the home.
  • Electrical panels, wiring, switches and other parts of this system.
  • The roof as well as the chimney, if present.
  • Ceilings, walls and floors.
  • When possible based on state or local regulations, major appliances that will remain in the home, as noted by the American Society of Home Inspectors.

This isn’t an exhaustive list, but it paints a picture of the extent of home inspectors’ efforts.

What things should you and your clients look for in a home inspection report?

Part of the home inspector’s duties is producing a report that generally includes a list of significant issues, photographs of them and descriptions of the impact that the problems present could lead to, home inspection software provider Spectora explained.

Because home inspections are focused on concerns and not an overall evaluation of the home, a short report is not a sign of a lack of interest or care on the part of the inspector. Similarly, a long report that only identifies minor improvements needed is not a call for alarm.

What are reasonable requests following a home inspection?

In a worst-case scenario, where many serious and extensive problems are discovered, buyers may decide to walk away from a deal. In these cases, the requests for repairs and remediation might also drive the value of the transaction for the seller down to the point where they view it as no longer worthwhile. As a real estate agent in such a situation, you’ll lose out on a sale. However, supporting your clients and helping them find a new property can help you earn your commission eventually.

Homebuyers have two avenues to consider when it comes to dealing with issues uncovered in a home inspection: Asking the owner to remedy the issue or reducing the sale price in line with estimated costs for the buyers to handle repairs. One or a mix of both approaches may make the most sense depending on the individual factors involved, ranging from a desire to close the sale quickly to ensuring the home is as fit as possible for occupation before closing the deal.

Encourage your clients to think about their priorities and make the decision that best aligns with their interests.

Managing the fallout of a bad home inspection on your business

An especially poor home inspection can mean your clients move on to other listings, which delays your commission. Just Commission Advance is here to help you stabilize your cash flow, offering advances on pending sales that keep your operations running smoothly and leave you ready to help all of your clients find the homes of their dreams.

Home inspections are a critical part of the homebuying process. They give the buyer an opportunity to ensure red flags within the property are addressed before the sale is finalized. Undiscovered rot or mold, issues with the electrical system and other concerns can be a shock for homebuyers if they aren’t discovered before the sale is finalized.

While home inspections are generally the responsibility of the buyer, real estate agents can support their clients during this process by offering guidance based on their professional expertise. Use this guide as a handy reference for helping your clients get the most out of a home inspection.

Are home inspections required?

Home inspectors look for potential issues within a home, whether minor or major. It’s important to remember that home inspectors don’t meticulously survey every inch of a home. Nor are they generally expected or authorized to damage or alter the property in any way as part of their work.

That means certain issues, like water damage localized to the interior of a wall or a sagging beam within a ceiling, may not be identified. And, as the Homebuying Institute pointed out, home inspections are generally not a requirement even when a property is purchased with a mortgage loan.

However, for homebuyers, it’s simply a good idea to have an inspection conducted. While home inspections are limited, this process can still highlight potential problems and ensure the major systems within a home are functioning properly – or bring to light a repair that must be made or similar action that needs to be taken for safe habitation.

What do home inspectors look for?

There are many potential issues which an inspector may look for, depending on their training, experience, knowledge of similar issues in the area around the home and other factors. These include:

  • Mold, mildew and water damage, both throughout the home and in areas sometimes prone to attracting moisture like basements and crawlspaces.
  • The foundation and the major structural elements of the home.
  • Heating, venting and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, regardless of type.
  • Plumbing conditions, e.g. water backup or broken pipes.
  • Windows, doors and any other access points to the home.
  • Electrical panels, wiring, switches and other parts of this system.
  • The roof as well as the chimney, if present.
  • Ceilings, walls and floors.
  • When possible based on state or local regulations, major appliances that will remain in the home, as noted by the American Society of Home Inspectors.

This isn’t an exhaustive list, but it paints a picture of the extent of home inspectors’ efforts.

What things should you and your clients look for in a home inspection report?

Part of the home inspector’s duties is producing a report that generally includes a list of significant issues, photographs of them and descriptions of the impact that the problems present could lead to, home inspection software provider Spectora explained.

Because home inspections are focused on concerns and not an overall evaluation of the home, a short report is not a sign of a lack of interest or care on the part of the inspector. Similarly, a long report that only identifies minor improvements needed is not a call for alarm.

What are reasonable requests following a home inspection?

In a worst-case scenario, where many serious and extensive problems are discovered, buyers may decide to walk away from a deal. In these cases, the requests for repairs and remediation might also drive the value of the transaction for the seller down to the point where they view it as no longer worthwhile. As a real estate agent in such a situation, you’ll lose out on a sale. However, supporting your clients and helping them find a new property can help you earn your commission eventually.

Homebuyers have two avenues to consider when it comes to dealing with issues uncovered in a home inspection: Asking the owner to remedy the issue or reducing the sale price in line with estimated costs for the buyers to handle repairs. One or a mix of both approaches may make the most sense depending on the individual factors involved, ranging from a desire to close the sale quickly to ensuring the home is as fit as possible for occupation before closing the deal.

Encourage your clients to think about their priorities and make the decision that best aligns with their interests.

Managing the fallout of a bad home inspection on your business

An especially poor home inspection can mean your clients move on to other listings, which delays your commission. Just Commission Advance is here to help you stabilize your cash flow, offering advances on pending sales that keep your operations running smoothly and leave you ready to help all of your clients find the homes of their dreams.