Should I be at the inspection?
Absolutely. We want to explain how systems work, how to maintain them, and when they’re likely to need replacing. Also, if we run into an issue, we can explain it and suggest who can repair or replace it. Going through the inspection will take the better part of 3 hours, but your investment of this time will pay off many times over.
I have friends in the construction business. Why shouldn’t I get them to inspect the property?
Your friends are undoubtedly good at what they do, but home inspections involve a different type of training and job skill. Regardless of an inspector’s background and previous experience, each of us had to go back to school and then hone those skills under trained supervision.
Should my Realtor be there? Yes.
The Realtor provides access to the house and will prepare needed documents that are needed after the inspection is completed. The Realtor will need a first-hand understanding of any issues discussed in the inspection report, so the Realtor is a key participant in the process.
Does the Seller have to make any repairs the inspector discusses?
That depends. In today’s market, there are lots of foreclosed properties offered by lenders “as is”—that is, they rule out making repairs. Other properties are so-called “short sales”, which are properties offered at a price that is less than the current owner owes on the mortgage. Few of these Sellers are willing or able to make repairs. It also depends on the Buyer. Many Buyers prefer to have those repairs made by a contractor of their choice, and under their control. After all, they will be the ones living in the house. Let your Realtor guide you.
What if the house fails the inspection?
There are no “pass/fail” grades in a home inspection. The inspection report will describe conditions that are found, and the likely courses of action needed. Then, you decide, we don’t. There are many considerations that go into choosing a house, and the condition of the systems is just one of them.