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Ready For Inspection…

Home inspections are kind of an awkward issue when it comes to selling and buying a house.

Let’s just admit that.

Who is this guy telling us what’s wrong with the house we’re selling?! What does he know about anything, anyway? A less-than-favorable home inspection has left buyer and seller at odds many a time; sometimes completely derailing the sale of the house. But, the fact remains that knowing the condition of a home is a must, and an inspection is key in the steps to purchasing a home.

Most homebuyers are not experts on matters of residential construction, and they need a competent professional to look at the property with impartial eyes. If there is a mortgage to purchase a house, the lender will almost always require a home inspection. Therefore, the decisions about your home inspector and the decisions made based on their report are extremely important.

But how do you evaluate and ultimately select your inspector?

Just like all houses, all home inspectors are different. NEVER use a home inspection company or home inspector that isn’t state licensed. Issues that are raised in a report can make or break the deal when you sell your home. Conversely, an inspection can disqualify your dream home for financing. Would you really entrust an important issue like this to someone who isn’t even licensed? You can check their license number with the State of Tennessee’s website here. Thorough research and evaluation is a MUST when selecting who performs the inspection. Be sure to read reviews of the inspectors themselves- not just the company they work for.

Okay, so you’ve found a house to buy. You’ve found an inspector. How do you read their inspection report? Which issues are critical, and which ones are simply cosmetic?

Here’s a good tip for this: asking your real estate agent for any references in that field. For example, if you’re buying a home and the inspection report shows a wiring issue, but you’re not sure if it’s really a serious problem… ask your REALTOR® for a vendor reference list; specifically, one with some good electricians. A good REALTOR® should be able to provide you vendor reference list one in short order, and a good, experienced contractor is the perfect second opinion on any repair recommended an inspector.

What if you’re selling your home, and your hopeful buyer’s home inspector submits a negative report? HGTV’s Tara-Nicholle Nelson’s article on managing a bad home inspection offers some great tips. Having a list of reliable vendors in contractors is going to help you tremendously. It will certainly help you fact check anything claimed in your buyer’s inspection report.

IMPORTANT! Not all home inspectors will climb on a house’s roof to check it out! I HIGHLY recommend having a contractor inspect the roof prior to purchasing the home; especially if the home’s roof is 10 years or older. Ask your REALTOR® for some recommendations of reputable, experienced contractors.

What if you are about to sell your home? According to June Fletcher of the Wall Street Journal, while an appraisal is probably unnecessary to sell your house… getting a preliminary home inspection probably isn’t a bad idea. Getting a list of items that are probably in need of repair can help get you a step ahead of the game to ensure a smooth transaction once you find a buyer for your house.

Just like most things, the key to a successful home inspection process is preparation. Do your research. You’ve read this article! You’re already on your way;) Talk to your friends; talk to your colleagues… how was their experience when they pursued buying a house?

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