Although every home buyer wants a home inspection, there really isn’t any set criteria to help them know what to expect.
If you are a home buyer, an inspection typically takes place after a contract has been accepted or ratified by you and the seller. There will be a set contingency period when you will hire a professional home inspector to make a visual inspection of the major systems in the house. It is an example of home-schooling because most buyers learn more in three hours than they ever would otherwise.
Your home inspector should provide you with a complete, written report of the systems that he was able to get a look at. It should note how old appliances are, give you an idea on the condition of the home, and make recommendations for repairs or future replacements. Remember, a home inspection can’t possibly catch everything, but keep in mind that you are hiring a “trained eye” who looks critically at homes every day.
I always recommend a couple of good inspectors, but you can easily Google local home inspectors or look on Angie’s List or Yelp. Online reviews are good but you’ll need to contact them and ask a very specific question.
Skipping the photos is a risky shortcut
My easy tip for home buyers: ask your potential inspector if his report will include digital photos?
It is going to be essential for Northern Virginia home buyers to have thorough reports that provide good documentation including digital photos in their home inspection reports. In my opinion, the new NVAR Regional Sales Contract is going to put greater emphasis on home inspections.
Even if you aren’t working with me, please make sure your home inspector uses a digital camera.
If you are just starting the process of finding a home to buy then check out my Home Buyer Tips , or you send me an e-mail at email@example.com to discuss your plans.