Common Home Inspection Questions
1. How long is a home inspection? We are typically on site for 2-4 hours, but please allow for more or less, depending on the size, age, and overall condition of the home.
2. Should I be there for the inspection? If you can, yes. I think you'll get more out of the service if you're present and able to ask questions as we go along. It's also helpful to observe the systematic approach of a home inspection because it will teach you a different way to look at your home. Using this approach yourself will help you maintain your home better. If you can't be there, don't sweat it, you'll receive a detailed report with photos and we can review over the phone.
2.5 Can I bring my dad/uncle/brother? The short answer is yes. Just be sure whomever you’re bringing along is respectful of the process you are embarking on, and won’t distract you too much from learning about the home. This is your inspection, don’t hesitate to schedule a different time for well meaning friends and family to come check out the house.
3. Should I read the report? I was present for the inspection so it seems redundant... YES. We cover a lot of ground quickly during the inspection and the report summarizes it all and is neatly organized. Reading the report will give you additional clarity.
During the inspection your goal is comprehension. Feel free to ask as many questions as necessary to fully understand the problems that are brought to your attention; this is your inspection.
4. If a home inspector is a generalist, why hire one? Wouldn't I be better off hiring specialists? Yes and No. Hiring specialists for all major systems (building envelope, structure, electrical, plumbing, heating) is cost prohibitive and difficult to schedule within the time constraints of a real estate transaction. Many specialists are also selling repair work. We are not a repair company. We are a problem finding company. I have nothing to gain by trying to create a problem where there isn't one. You are paying us for a professional opinion of the overall condition of the major systems in the home.
5. Can I schedule on the weekend? Yes. I do work weekends, but those slots tend to go very quickly so I wouldn't count on it. Also realize we have to work around the sellers' schedule, and many people do not want to leave the house on a weekend. Once you have an accepted offer on a house you typically need to get your inspections done fairly quickly according to the dates on your contract. Your agent can help you understand this better, but be prepared to have your inspection on a weekday since that is the most likely scenario.
6. Should my buyer agent be there? Yes. Your agent can help you put the information we are providing in context to the value of the home, whereas we cannot relate our findings to the value of real estate, or the cost of repairs; the state of Massachusetts specifically prohibits home inspectors from doing so. The advice of an experienced agent, qualified contractor, real estate attorney, or other professional is crucial in helping you relate the information we are providing to the framework of your real estate deal.
7. What should I bring? You needn’t bring anything. Dress appropriately for the weather so you’ll be comfortable if we need to talk about the exterior of the home. And try to leave anything (or anyone) you might find distracting at home:) The written report with photos should circumvent the need for taking notes.