Expect an Inspection

February 2, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Once you get an offer, you can be sure that the buyer will want to have the house inspected to ensure that the house is as it appears, and to avoid surprises. The magnitude of home inspections can vary greatly. For example, some inspectors will go up on the roof and some will not. Some will open a furnace and watch the operation, while others will not. The state of North Carolina sets the minimum standards that a home inspector must follow. Some exceed these limits and some only meet the minimum. The home inspector is required to examine the: roof, exterior, structure, electrical, heating & cooling, insulation/ventilation, plumbing, interior, appliances, and fireplaces (if applicable).

Home inspectors are looking for the obvious issues (rotten wood, damaged framing, leaky pipes, etc) and the not-so-obvious (dry rotted floor joists, poor drainage, electrical issues, etc). The inspection may last an hour or so, or up to several hours depending on the size of the house, the age of the house, and the condition of the house.

At the conclusion of the inspection, the inspector may hold a debrief and go over findings with the client (buyer). A report will follow within a day to a week. The information provided in the report and/or at the debrief most likely is not shared in its entirety with the seller. Usually the buyer’s real estate agent and the buyer discuss the findings, and present information or repair requests to the seller via the seller’s agent.

According to one home inspector, the 10 most common items found in a home inspection are:

  1. Rotten wood
  2. Roof shingle damage
  3. Non-operational windows or doors
  4. Plumbing leaks
  5. Missing temperature/pressure relief valve discharge pipe on the hot water tank
  6. Damaged/non-operational foundation vents
  7. Broken (foggy) thermal pane windows
  8. Drainage issues
  9. Damaged framing
  10. Incorrect electrical wiring

A savvy seller should review his/her house prior to selling to minimize surprises at the home inspection. This may entail looking at the roof, crawling through the crawl space, walking the exterior and checking all interior items (plumbing fixtures, appliances, windows, doors, etc). A pre-sale home inspection may be used to provide this service.

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