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What Does a Home Inspector Do?


A home inspection report is very different from a home appraisal inspection. Inexperienced real estate salespeople sometimes do not understand the difference.

Although real estate professionals that have worked in the mortgage industry and decide to shift into sales, will.

What do home inspectors check?

Home inspectors inspect the immediate functionality of foundation, roofing, electrical and other possible problems. They provide you with a written report with potential issues they can see or anticipate, and include remedial recommendations and further evaluation.

They also check major appliances for functionality and poke around the attic and basement.

It can sometimes be as simple as a punch list versus a more in-depth report with a specific issue.

They are the frontline for raising the red flag on potential problems, they are not experts in foundational issues, roofing, mold, swimming pool, HVAC issues or anything else that may be red herrings. But they will alert you to these general issues.

You will need to get the advice of an expert in that potential field, if there are potentially deeper concerns for what he or she has found. This will be an extra cost to you as a buyer or seller.

Sometimes this can cause a deal to fall through or go back to the negotiating table with the seller for how these costs will be resolved for remediation.

Do home inspectors check for mold?

The duty of a home inspector is to examine every square inch of your home and identify any possible issues, including mold. They search in all of these spots where you haven’t checked and can assist find other locations where water may have leaked in or gathered.

When purchasing a home, it is customary to do a home inspection. During the course of the examination, the home inspector may see a buildup of moisture or other symptoms that may suggest the existence of mold. Due to growing awareness of the potential dangers of mold, home inspectors are trained to conduct a comprehensive mold inspection.

Even while it may be disheartening to discover mold in your house just as you’re preparing to sell, your realtor or home inspector will likely have tools to assist you handle the issue.

Do home inspectors check for asbestos?

No, your home inspector will not make holes in your home as part of the examination.
Testing for asbestos would entail collecting a sample, which would need cutting into suspected asbestos-containing walls, floors, or roofs.
Asbestos testing necessitates the collection of various, random samples from the region suspected of harboring asbestos, which frequently necessitates multiple openings in a floor, wall, ceiling, etc.

Do home inspectors have to go in crawl spaces?

Crawlspace inspection is often not the portion of an examination that most house inspectors like the most.

However, investigating the crawlspace is one of the most crucial aspects of a home inspection, and it is an area that customers and agents typically do not investigate prior to closing. The home inspector will make a decision to crawl beneath the property and identify flaws that they cannot detect with a simple walk-through.

Home Inspectors are not compelled to enter crawlspaces that are unsafe and/or inaccessible to avoid injury. Regulations will vary from state to state.

Do home inspectors need to inspect retaining walls?

Generally speaking, a retaining wall is not part of the dwelling to be inspected, and the home inspector may not investigate a detached retaining wall unless specifically requested to do so. However, the home inspection of the retaining wall may necessitate the services of a competent engineer. This is a good question to ask home inspection companies.

Older Homes Versus Newer Homes

You can expect older homes to have a more extensive report due to effective age.

Effective age is the age of the property based on its condition, rather than its actual age. If a property is a 75-year-old, which is the actual age when it was originally built, but was just fully renovated last year, the effective age will be one year old.

Effective age is important that the actual age of a property. In fact, properties that have a deeper history can command higher prices.

Don’t be surprised if it is a fifty plus detailed page report especially for homes that have not been updated recently.

Newer homes when bought directly from a builder will be under warranty and give you a punch list of minor items to remedy upon closing. Find out what the builder warranty is.


Do not be afraid to request that you attend the home inspection and ask questions.

If home inspectors spot something out of the ordinary, they are not allowed to give you quotes for how much it costs to remediate the problem. But they can point you to the right direction of a specialist who can ascertain the deeper issue of the problem.

The end goal of a home inspection is to uncover issues with the home itself. Any specialized further expert inspection that is out of their realm, expect to be paying out of pocket for this or re-negotiate with the seller to help shoulder the cost.

It will be beneficial for you to hire a home inspector, especially for an older property to help you make the smartest, heftiest investment decision of your life.

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