Be sure you have the right home inspector


By Vicki Aubry

Vicki Aubry, Realtor, ABR, SRES, Prudential Prime Properties

Once a buyer has selected their home and have gotten their offer accepted most likely they will choose to have a home inspection. Often, the buyer might get a referral from someone who has purchased recently, check the state website that shows the licensed home inspectors, or their buyer's agent might recommend a few to contact.? In any case they should probably speak to a few before making their final selection.

If the buyer has purchased an antique this buyer might want to ask the level of experience the home inspector has with antique homes. Multi-family homes might also be homes that might require a specific bit of expertise.

In any case, in Massachusetts, the inspector must now be a licensed home inspector. If a Seller's Statement of Property Condition is available the buyer should have reviewed it and signed off on it prior to making their offer so they were aware of the disclosures the seller was making about his property. By the time the inspector discovers the item, it should be old news to the buyer. Examples of this might be blown skylight seals, seepage in the basement during heavy rains, or a past roof leak now repaired. Few are the homes that never have any issues!

It is the inspector's job to point out any and all current and potential issues. One question I often ask the home inspector as a listing agent is, “Is this consistent with the age of the property?” Why, because the delivery of the information by the home inspector to the buyer often results in a laundry list by the buyer after the home inspection for which the buyer is either asking for money back from the seller or extensive repairs where none might really be required if the condition is consistent with the age of the property.

A popular one is the roof: if the seller has disclosed that the roof is 20 years old, but it is not leaking, then the buyer, already knowing that the roof is old by way of the Seller's Statement of Property Condition he has already signed, should not be asking the seller to replace the roof because the home inspector has told him it will start to leak at some point in the future. The correct response to the buyer should be that he should put money in his budget to prepare for future replacement when it does start to leak.

Occasionally, there are safety issues of which the seller is not aware, and in this case these items should be addressed either by the seller or when the buyer moves in. The most underutilized function of the home inspector is their ability to open things up such as a furnace or circuit breaker panel and show the buyer how it works and what to look for to see if things are going right (or wrong). This is information that the buyer needs and to which the buyer should be paying close attention. Even if one is not mechanical, it can help to become aware of potential issues.

You won's believe how many prospective buyers don's go to the home inspection! What could really be more important than getting acquainted with the home you plan to live in for the next decade or so?

If you need a hands-on agent that will help you with the entire process, just give me a call! There are some wonderful homes out there and rates are still good – don's wait! It can's get much better than this!


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