Residential Home Inspection
December 13, 2022

A residential home inspection is a professional, third-party assessment of a prospective property purchase.

Its purpose is to examine the home from a structural and safety aspect and to guarantee that you are purchasing a hazard-free, up-to-code property that is a solid investment.

You may choose to forgo a residential inspection in a few models. Here is the checklist that everyone should be familiar with: 

Include an inspection clause in your contract:

First, ensure that a residential home inspection contingency — sometimes known as a “due diligence” contingency — is included in your sales contract.

This gives you a specific period to complete a professional residential home inspection. 

Learn How Your Residential Home Inspection Contingency Works:

In most circumstances, the inspection period lasts between one and two weeks from when the sales contract was signed. However, this can vary depending on the terms of your agreement.

The contingency period is intended to provide sufficient time to:
  • Find a competent inspector.
  • Set up your consultation (and, ideally, attend it).
  • Receive your report of the residential home inspection.
  • Get any further or follow-up inspections (more on that later).
  • Determine how you wish to proceed. 

Employ A Reliable Home Inspector

It is crucial to hire a thorough, competent home inspector.

They must be up-to-date on all certifications (NACHI, ASHI, etc.), training, and educational courses.

Additionally, they must have comprehensive insurance coverage (which protects you if they are wounded on your property) and extensive expertise in the region you’re purchasing.

This guarantees they are aware of any current soil, insect, or even home-building issues in your location. 

Ensure that your inspector uses this home inspection checklist:

Inspectors must follow an essential, standardized property or residential home inspection checklist, even though their methods may vary.

Certain inspectors may go beyond this or report their results differently. 

Check Your Property Inspection Report:

After completing their property inspection, the home inspector will compile a comprehensive report of their findings.

The report should include a section for each room or part of the home, as well as a list of everything that requires repair, is broken or is inaccessible.

Typically, you will see the following words for any problems they identify:

• Material defect: A problem that may represent a possible safety risk or substantially influence the home’s value.

• Major defect: A system or element that is nonfunctional and requires replacement or repair.

• Minor flaw: A minor fault that a contractor or the homeowner can often repair.

• Cosmetic defect: A surface fault or imperfection that does not affect safety or functioning. 

Helps Manage Inspections

You should also use your report to determine if more inspections are required.

You will need a termite inspection if the inspector identifies possible termite damage.

If mold is mentioned in the report, you should have a mold inspector examine the property.

Among the additional inspections, you may possibly consider the following:

• Inspections for asbestos.

• Infestation checks.

• Radon testing.

• Wood-destroying insect (WDI) or termite checks.

• Mold and mildew inspections.

• Lead examinations.

• Inspections of the sewer or drainage system.

• Structural examinations

• Inspections of chimneys.

• Geological examinations 

Determine What Is Significant — And What Is Not

Once you receive the findings from your inspections, you must determine what to do with them.

You will have to think about the following: 

• What challenges constitute a threat to you and your family?

• Which ones would be expensive to fix?

• Which ones would impede your ability to move in on time?

• Which repairs can you perform yourself? 

Then Make Your Decision

After reviewing your inspection reports and determining which faults are significant and which are not, you will be directed to make a decision.

Do you proceed with the transaction, renegotiate it, or return to the drawing board?

As long as you are inside your contingency period, you have the following choices:

• Proceed as planned, with the same agreed-upon sales price and conditions.

• Renegotiate the price with the seller or get closing cost credits to compensate for the damages and repairs.

• Request that the seller perform specified repairs. 

Confirm That All Repairs Have Been Completed Properly

If you decide to have the broker make repairs to the home, you must ensure that the inspection process is finished and meets your satisfaction.

Have your realtor plan a walk-through of the property once the repairs have been completed so that you may inspect the work and maintain the closing on time.

In the case that the seller made significant repairs to the house’s foundation, roof, or other important aspects, you may choose to have your inspector do a “reinspection.”

These allow the original inspector to return and confirm that concerns have been fixed appropriately.

They come at a cost (albeit often a small fraction of the initial inspection fee). Still, considering that they can avoid safety hazards and future repairs, they are typically well worth the minor expense. 

Close Once The Process Get Done 

After you have revised and checked that the necessary repairs have been done (and made properly), you may proceed to the closing stage.

On closing day, you should be able to sign your papers and obtain the keys if all goes well with your lender.