SOP & Ethics







Can a home fail inspection?

A professional home inspection is an examination of the current condition of your prospective home. It is not an appraisal, which determines market value, or a municipal inspection, which verifies local code compliance. A home inspector, therefore, will not pass or fail a house, but rather describe its physical condition and indicate in their opinion what may need major repair or replacement.

Can't I do it myself?

Sure you can but even the most experienced homeowner lacks the knowledge and expertise of a professional home inspector. An inspector is familiar with the many elements of home construction, their proper installation, maintenance and observes these conditions on a routine basis.  He understands how the home’s systems and components are intended to function together, as well as how and why they fail.  Above all, most buyers find it very difficult to remain completely objective and unemotional about the house they really want, this may affect their judgment. For the most accurate information, it is best to obtain an impartial third-party opinion by an expert in the field of home inspection.  

Cost, is it worth it? 

The inspection fee for a typical one-family house varies geographically, as does the cost of housing. Similarly, within a given area, the inspection fee may vary depending upon the size of the house, particular features of the house, its age, and possible additional services, such as septic, well or radon testing. It is a good idea to check local prices on your own.  However, DO NOT LET COST be a factor in deciding whether or not to have a home inspection, OR IN THE SELECTION OF YOUR HOME INSPECTOR. The knowledge gained from an inspection is well worth the cost, and the lowest-priced inspector is NOT necessarily a bargain. The inspector’s qualifications, including experience, training, and professional affiliations, should be the most important consideration.

What does it include?

The standard home inspector’s report will review the condition of the home’s heating system, central air conditioning system (temperature permitting), interior plumbing and electrical systems; the roof, attic, and visible insulation; walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors; the foundation, basement, and visible structure.

Why do I need a home inspection? 

The purchase of a home is probably the largest single investment you will ever make. You should learn as much as you can about the condition of the property and the need for any major repairs before you buy, so that you can minimize unpleasant surprises and difficulties afterwards.  Of course, a home inspection also points out the positive aspects of a home, as well as the maintenance that will be necessary to keep it in good shape. After the inspection, you will have a much clearer understanding of the house you are about to purchase.  
If you are already a homeowner, a home inspection may be used to identify problems in the making and to learn preventive measures, which might avoid costly future repairs. If you are planning to sell your home, you may wish to have an inspection prior to placing your home on the market. This will give you a better understanding of conditions which may be discovered by the buyer’s inspector, and an opportunity to make repairs that will put the house in better selling condition.

When do I call the Home Inspector? 

A home inspector is typically contacted right after the contract or purchase agreement has been signed, and is often available within a few days. However, before you sign, be sure that there is an inspection clause in the sales contract, making your final purchase obligation contingent upon the findings of a professional home inspection. This clause should specify the terms to which both the buyer and seller are obligated.

For a pre-listing inspection you should call before you contract with a realtor to sell your house. 

Do I need to be there? 

It is not necessary for you to be present for the inspection, but it is recommended. You will be able to observe the inspector and ask questions directly, as you learn about the condition of the home, how its systems work, and how to maintain it. You will also find the written report easier to understand if you’ve seen the property first-hand through the inspector’s eyes.

What if the report reveals problems? 

No house is perfect. If the inspector identifies problems, it doesn’t necessarily mean you shouldn’t buy the house, only that you will know in advance what to expect. A seller may adjust the purchase price or make repairs if major problems are found. If your budget is tight, or if you don’t wish to become involved in future repair work, this information will be extremely important to you.

If the house appeared to be in good condition, did I really need an inspection? 

Definitely.  Now you can complete your home purchase with your eyes open as to the condition of the property and all its equipment and systems.  You will also have learned many things about your new home.

How long do inspections take?   

A typical single-family home inspection will usually last about two to three hours.

Do new homes need an inspection? 

New homes are not without their problems.  A home inspection will inform you of issues that need to be corrected before you purchase your dream home or prior to the expiration of a builder's warranty. 

 What is the cost? 

The cost of the inspection will vary with the size and structure of the home. An average home inspection fee varies from $275 to $350. Call for a firm quotation prior to the inspection. Payment is due at the time of the inspection.  The inspection fee includes an itemized report and a verbal summary. The inspector will also provide you with maintenance tips. At your request, a copy of the inspection report can be faxed or emailed to your realtor.



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