The Honest Broker : The Inspection Period
A Real Estate Blog by Diane Lott
An inspection of a home or condo is an extremely important part of the buying process. It has the power to make or break the sale. However, the inspection itself has its limitations with regard to the extent of the background of the inspector and the limits of what they can definitively say about an item.
The quality of the inspector depends upon whether he is a general contractor that also does home inspections or someone that has taken the 120 hour online course. Both, of course, would be required to pass a state licensure examination. However, the general contractor has more extensive knowledge of building and quality of workmanship.
Most inspectors have a basic form of what is to be checked and the performance of the item, such as, the kitchen sink, roof, a/c unit, water heater and any other appliances of the home. However, the impression of most buyers is that the inspection will discover all of the problems of a home. Unfortunately, not all problems are caught on the inspection.
The inspected items “pass” if currently in working order and may be flagged only if obvious repairs are needed; the air conditioner, hot water heater, roof, plumbing and electric pass if no evidence of a problem exists. The age of the item, appliance, etc. would be referenced if approaching or exceeding its longevity only. Also, the inspection is limited with respect to what is outwardly available to be checked, not by what cannot be seen. Therefore, with a recently remodeled home, any pertinent aspect of the home; ie, old plumbing, electrical, structural, could be “hidden” by the remodeling process and therefore hidden from the inspector. This is a major roadblock to determining the entire picture of the condition of the home. If it was recently purchased and remodeled to sell again, the quality of the work may or may not be able to be determined.
Even with the restrictions and flaws of the process, the actual inspection of the property is the only insight that the buyer has to somewhat determine the quality of their purchase. Therefore, it remains important and necessary.
Diane Lott, Broker
Paradise Found Realty, Inc. of Palm City
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