Getting a home inspection before you sell your home is a smart choice on your part. Not only can it be a great negotiation tool but more importantly, disclosing as much information upfront via a home inspection will give your potential buyer the peace of mind and confidence that they will be investing in a structurally sound home.
So why get a home inspection?
There are many things beyond the curb appeal, the interior décor, and the square footage that are important to know before you sell your home. Unfortunately, most of these things are behind the walls or beneath the floors. Even if you had the home built less than a year ago many issues can pop up that you may not be aware of. One of the most important things to have inspected is the foundation of the home. Some foundations can be cracked or have termite damage and this can be costly. Other things that need to be checked during your home inspection would be the electrical wiring and panels, the heating and air conditioning units, any appliances or mechanical units, backup generators, or alarm systems, proper insulation, and the roof and skylights. Also make sure to have your inspector check for any mold throughout the house. In some areas, a seismic inspection might be needed in order to check the ground your home was built on, especially if the home is built on the side of a hill or in earthquake country. Taking these steps before you list will give you a full understanding of the condition of your home and an idea of what you need to fix before you list. This can save you a lot of time and money prior to escrow.
Finding the right Inspector
Finding a good inspector is imperative. You will have to place a lot of trust in the person who is inspecting your home. Referrals are the best way to find a great home inspector and your agent has a knowledgeable source of professionals who work in the area. It would be more important to find a qualified reputable inspector who has been in business 3 years completing 500 inspections than an inspector who has been in business 10 years and has only completed 20 inspections. Some inspectors have been around a long time but only work part time and do not have as much experience. Also, make sure your inspector is a licensed professional before they perform any work. You can check their license status online and see if it is up to date and that they carry the proper insurance and boding necessary to do the work.
It would be a good idea for you to be around during the inspection to ask questions and make sure you are getting the service you paid for by your home inspector. Your inspection can take between 2-4 hours and longer for larger homes. You will receive the final written report usually within 24-48 hours and possible more time dependent of the size of the report or the requirements by the state.
Cost can vary depending on the size of the home and location. For example, if you live on the side of a hill it might be more work than if you live on a flat parcel of land. You get what you pay for so do not look for the cheapest service available. Instead look for the most professional skilled inspector.
Having a home inspection is worth every penny and having a professional home inspector’s objective opinion about the home assures a solid knowledge of the next steps you may need to take prior to selling your home.