A home inspection is a vital part of the home buying process. As the homebuyer or seller, you must have a clear understanding of the home’s condition. A home inspector will guide you through the inspection process and help you understand everything. You should also be well informed of the questions to ask your home inspector during the process to ensure you are well equipped for everything that may come up.
There are various situations that require you to ask questions during the home inspection process – not only when you are hiring your home inspector but also before the inspection, during the inspection, and after the inspection is complete. The more we know, the less stressful the experience will be. Read on to see what types of questions to ask your home inspector throughout the process.
Questions to ask before the home inspection
Though asking questions ahead of the inspection won’t likely change the outcome, the answers help ease the overall process. Knowledge is power, and having some information ahead of time helps calm fears and may help you decide what inspection service is right for you.
How much does the home inspection cost?
Service providers usually have a general cost range for home inspection services that you can look up online. While prices vary, the cost of a home inspection ranges between $300-$500, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The national average cost of a home inspection is $340. These numbers are just average cost ranges. Some may charge less. Some may even charge much more. Ask the inspection service how much it will cost so you aren’t surprised when you receive the bill.
What do you check, and what don’t you check?
Asking a home inspector what they check for exactly will give you an idea of what other things you may need to look out for. For instance, the service probably checks for signs of termites but might not be qualified to make a final determination as to whether there’s an infestation or not. Some may do in-depth inspections using x-rays or other high-tech imaging devices or use drones to check for roof leaks.
How long have you been a home inspector?
Experience is vital. A more experienced home inspector is more likely to find issues that can worsen things in the long run. They tend to know of other services that can help and are usually good at offering recommendations. They’re typically better communicators because they’ve been doing their job long enough to present things in a way that’s not frightening but relates to the importance of issues that need addressing.
Questions to ask during the home inspection
It’s only natural to want to know what’s going on during the course of a home inspection, and asking questions during the home inspection will help calm your fears and become better informed on the situation.
What does this mean?
Feel free to ask this question whenever you feel. There is no such thing as a stupid question, so always ask what something means. For example, a home inspector might make utterances such as “hmm,” or a scowl of concern might fall across their face. Address it right away. Knowing what’s going on as they’re doing their inspection will work wonders in keeping you calm as you follow along.
Should I be concerned about this?
It is perfectly natural to feel a sense of panic when a home inspector finds anything during the inspection. If there is anything noted, simply ask if you should be concerned. There can be many questions during the home inspection process, but ask if something is a big deal or not. It may not be a deal breaker.
Does this need to be repaired?
If you notice something about the house, like a water spot or damaged drywall. Ask if this is something that signifies a more serious problem that needs to be repaired immediately.
Have you seen anything I should be concerned about?
As the home inspector wraps up the inspection, ask if they came across anything that might require you to repair or bring up to the seller for negotiation. There’s a chance the inspector will tell you that you need to wait for the report. A good inspector will let you know if there’s something of great concern to them. Knowing this information ahead of the report allows you to prepare a way to bring it up to the seller if you’re a homebuyer, giving sellers a headstart on looking up possible repair services.
Questions to ask after the home inspection
You will get an inspection report of the home inspection a couple days after the inspection is complete. There is a lot of information, and once you have digested everything there are a few questions that you may want to ask.
Is there anything I should get fixed right away?
Specific issues, such as roof or plumbing leaks, shouldn’t wait to get repaired. Whereas most issues won’t change all that much between the time of the inspection and receiving the report, unchecked leaks can create a fair amount of damage in a short amount of time. A leak could considerably compound if it gets larger before it’s corrected.
How much can I expect to pay to fix this issue?
If the inspector brings an issue to your attention, find out if they can give you a ballpark figure as to how much something like that specific problem costs to fix. Inspectors who’ve been in the business a while — especially those who began in construction — usually have a good idea of basic repair prices.
Do you recommend anyone to fix the issue?
Experienced inspectors have dealt with numerous repair and maintenance outfits and usually have a good line on who can fix what — and who does it best. Ask who they’d recommend taking care of an issue they encountered to take some of the legwork out of searching on your own.
Did you see any maintenance concerns?
When they’ve completed their inspection, it’s helpful to know if they have any concerns about issues that could arise down the road if they aren’t taken care of soon. Typically, these issues result from “delayed maintenance” and often take only a small investment or a little work on your part to correct before it becomes a problem in the future.
Buying a house is both exciting and a little scary. A home inspection is one of the more stressful elements in home buying. Getting ahead of your worry with well-thought-out questions and responses to the inspector during their visit is a great way to simmer your fears and calm your concerns. Information is vital — the more you have, the better off you are.