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What to Expect When you’re Expecting a Home Inspection

  • 6 min read

For Potential Home Buyers

Congratulations! You’ve found a property you love and have put an offer on it, and you’ve already made the next crucial step in the home buying process by scheduling a home inspection with Inspector Jo. As a smart investor you are doing your due diligence in taking this important opportunity to assess the condition of the property and ensure there are no hidden surprises. Jo’s goal is to make this process as smooth and easy for everyone, so we will walk you through what to expect as a buyer when scheduling a home inspection, helping you navigate this critical stage with confidence and peace of mind.

1. Prepare for your inspection

  • Ideally, as the buyer you will be able to attend the inspection and explore the property with the inspector, however Jo is aware that not all buyers are located in the state or able to get off work during the day to meet the available inspection times. 
  • As a buyer, you can get the most out of your home inspection by preparing and planning questions or concerns for the inspector beforehand. For example: we’re not sure if the dishwasher works, or is this crack in the living room a structural concern? Every homeowner Jo encounters comes to each property with different experiences, and perspectives on what is “okay” and “not okay” for them to tolerate. By bringing up and concerns you as buyer noted with the property either on the walk through before or from photos online, you are giving Jo a better idea of what types of concerns are important to you specifically allowing her to shape the report and information accordingly. 

2. Duration and Scope of the Inspection: 

  • A standard home inspection typically takes 2-3  hours, depending on the size and condition of the property.
  • The inspector will assess various components, including the structure, roof, plumbing, electrical systems, HVAC, insulation, and more. If you are present during the inspection, you generally will get a quick on the site summary of the large observations noted at the end of the inspection. Typically that evening (48hs at the latest), Jo will provide a detailed report, full of images and comments, highlighting any issues or areas that may require attention.

3. What Not to Expect

  • Although a home inspection is a technically exhaustive report on the condition of the home, there are some aspects of homes and households that you might expect to be inspected, that may not be inspected or tested during the inspection time either due to safety, or due to the potential  for damage to the system. Examples of some of these items that lie outside of the Scope of an general home inspection are: saunas, pools fountains, home outbuildings, landscaping irrigations systems, septic tank systems, well water and water treatment systems, propane tank storage systems, fire alarms and sprinkler systems. 
  • Examples of items that might not be inspected due to weather or lack of access: Roof decks that are covered in snow, slick from rain, or too steep for safe walking; A/C systems often cannot be tested throughout most of the fall and winter in IL due to the low exterior temperatures; systems that are shut down or winterized (inspectors DO NOT turn ON or OFF valves), enclosed systems such as sump pumps, sewer ejectors, or access panels that are painted over. In some instances if a system cannot be tested and the buyer would like Jo to return for a re-inspection at time when the seller can make the system available to inspect, this is available, often it is negotiated to be at the expense of the seller. 

4. Accompanying the Inspector: 

  • As the buyer, you have the option to accompany the inspector during the inspection. This allows you to ask questions, gain insights, and better understand the property’s condition. However, if you’re unable to attend, the inspector will still provide a thorough report for you to review. 
  • It is very common for buyers to not read the entire Home Inspection and just go over the major highlights. If you aren’t present during the inspection you can miss important details, like regular schedule maintenance, or small issues like minor moisture intrusion that can become BIG issues if not noted or maintained. For this reason, Inspector Jo always recommends attending the inspection, or sending a trusted representative so that buyers can get as much clear information as possible. No matter what READ THE FULL INSPECTION REPORT. 

5. Reviewing the Inspection Report 

  • After the inspection, the home inspector will provide a comprehensive report detailing their findings. This is where the true value of an inspection report comes in. Take the time to review the report carefully and discuss any concerns or questions with your real estate agent. This information will help you make an informed decision regarding the purchase of the property. Often the reports come with itemized repair lists and summaries detailing the most important potential repairs or defects, from this list you and your agent can help make an informed decision on how to pursue the negotiation part of the contract process. 

You’ve already started your home buying process off on the right foot by scheduling a home inspection. 

This crucial step in the home buying process, provides valuable insights into the condition of the property, allowing you to make an informed decision. By understanding the scope of the inspection, and reviewing the report thoroughly, you can navigate this stage with confidence. Remember, a home inspection is an investment in your future, helping you ensure that your dream home remains a solid and secure foundation for years to come.

Thank you for Choosing Inspector Jo

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