The process can be stressful. A home inspection is supposed to give you peace of mind, but often has the opposite effect.
You will be asked to absorb a lot of information in a short time. This often includes a written report, checklist, photographs,
environmental reports, and what the inspector himself says during the inspection. All this combined with the seller's
disclosure and what you notice yourself makes the experience even more overwhelming. What should you do?
Relax. Most of your inspection will be maintenance recommendations, life expectancies and minor imperfections. These are
nice to know about. However, the issues that really matter will fall into four categories:
- Major defects. An example of this would be a significant structural failure.
- Things that may lead to major defects. A small water leak coming from a piece of roof flashing, for example.
- Things that may hinder your ability to finance, legally occupy, or insure the home. Structural damaged caused by
termite infestation, for example.
- Safety hazards. Such as a lack of GFCI-protection.
Anything in these categories should be corrected. Often a serious problem can be corrected inexpensively to protect both
life and property.
Most sellers are honest and are often surprised to learn of defects uncovered during an inspection. Realize that sellers are
under no obligation to repair everything mentioned in the report. No home is perfect.
Keep things in perspective. In today's real estate market homes are sold in a matter of days and some times hours. Don't
kill your deal over things that don't matter. It is inappropriate to demand that a seller address deferred maintenance,
conditions already listed on the seller's disclosure, or nit-picky items.