As an experienced real estate broker I know the importance of working with a home inspector you can trust. Home inspection is a crucial part of buying or selling a home. A truthful, comprehensive property inspection can make or break the success of a real estate transaction. That is why in order to intelligently discuss this topic I went to an expert, Grant Morrill, of “A Well Home” Home Inspection in Asheville, North Carolina. Grant has been a home inspector in NC for 5 years and has over 20 years of home repair experience in North Carolina, California and Massachusetts. (1) In our interview he was kind enough to provide insight into things homebuyers and sellers must consider when choosing a home inspector.
Q. What is a common mistake home inspectors make?
A. Time is a defining factor in the quality and the comprehensiveness of a home inspection. The biggest mistake is for an inspector to hurry or allow him or herself to be hurried. Inspectors committed to top notch service stay focused and cover all of the bases. An experienced home inspector knows to take time and carefully observe all areas of the home, even ones that appear fully functional. Oftentimes an area believed to be okay at first sight is where a defect is found later.
It’s important for a homebuyer to remember that it is beneficial to obtain as much information as possible through the home inspection report and that the details of a home inspection will be useful for years to come. It is tough for an inspector to absorb and convey a great deal of detail about the home if he or she only spends 45 minutes on the inspection, unless it is a very small property
Q. What advice do you have for homebuyers?
A. The best advice I have for homebuyers is: hire a professional home inspector and let them do their job. It is worth the expense. I once watched a buyer refuse to have a home inspection prior to closing on his home because he thought he knew how to inspect the house himself.
A week after he moved in he found the furnace did not work and he had to replace it. Another buyer had old mold in the basement, but the mold seemed dormant. It was later discovered that the mold was due to improper drainage from the driveway that would flood the basement when it rained. The buyers could have avoided unexpected, major repairs if they had done a comprehensive inspection in both situations.
Q. Why is it important for a homebuyer to pay for a home inspection, even if the home seller has already had one?
A. A home seller’s inspection is a good tool for the homebuyer’s inspector to use, but it is not a substitute for the buyer’s own inspection. The buyer’s inspector will review the home from the perspective of a potential occupant, as opposed to an owner vacating the property. The support and expertise of the home inspector is key for the buyer.
Q. What should a homebuyer or seller look for when hiring a home inspector?
A. Look for someone who has an adequate amount of experience, at least 3 to 5 years, to work effectively in the buyer’s best interest. Hire an inspector who communicates clearly and answers all questions. A seller’s inspection is the BEST way to preserve the asking price and to eliminate negotiation items, which WILL come up later in the transaction. Spending a little money early can save thousands later in reduced selling price.
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