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Common Questions We Receive About Home Inspections

Being in the home inspection business for many years, we hear a lot of the same questions about home inspections such as Who pays for the inspection?, When do I schedule an inspection?, and What does a home inspector look for? We put together a list of eight common questions we receive and our answers to help clarify the home inspection process.

What is a home inspector and what are the requirements of an inspector in Texas?

According to The Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC), a real estate inspector is a person who is licensed to perform an inspection of a property that is the subject of a real estate transaction. An inspector can work for either a buyer or seller and is required to follow a Standards of Practice, which provides the minimum standards an inspector must follow when inspecting a property.

Each of our Inspectors at The Home Inspectors is licensed by the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) as well as the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) allowing us to perform both the Home Inspection and Wood Destroying Insect (WDI) inspection. Each Home Inspection adheres to the TREC Standards of Practice and the WDI inspection is performed in accordance with the official inspection procedures of the TDA. At The Home Inspectors, we do more than inspections involved in a real estate transaction. We also perform New Construction Inspections before your final walk-thru with the home builder, Builder Warranty Inspections to detail any deficiencies that may have arisen during a newly constructed home’s first year, and Home Maintenance Inspections to see the current condition of your home.

What does a home inspector look for?

During your home inspection, one of our licensed home inspectors will walk through six key areas in the inspection that encompass multiple aspects of the home including: Structural Systems, Electrical systems, Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Systems, Plumbing Systems, Appliances, and Optional Systems. Included with all of our inspections is a FREE Wood Destroying Insect Report which reveals the visible presence or absence of active or previous infestation of wood destroying insects.

Who hires and pays for the home inspector in a real estate transaction?

What many home buyers don’t realize is that getting their potential new home inspected is the buyer’s responsibility — not the seller’s. By allowing the buyer to hire a home inspector, you eliminate any bias or seller’s impact on an inspector. In a real estate transaction, the buyer is responsible for choosing the home inspector, scheduling and paying for the home inspection, and the inspection report produced belongs to the buyer.

When do I schedule an inspection?

Once your offer is accepted, you are officially under contract and can then schedule an inspection. Once the Purchase Contract is executed, the clock on the Option Period starts ticking so you should schedule the home inspection as early on in the buying process. This way you leave yourself plenty of time to have the inspection performed, review the findings and negotiate any requested repairs or propose price changes.

If you are preparing to sell your home, it may be wise to order a pre-sale home inspection. The last minute discovery of problems by a prospective buyer’s inspector can lead to delays, added expenses and can even derail a deal altogether. Knowing the current condition of your home before putting it on the market ultimately allows you to be in control of the sale!

Am I required to have a home inspection performed when buying a house?

A home inspection is not a requirement when buying or selling a home in Texas. However, if you are buying a home, a home inspection can help you identify potential risks and make an informed decision. Inspecting the physical condition of the home’s systems and components is an important part of buying a home and will provide you with the education you need in order to move forward in the buying process and negotiate any repairs or price reductions. Though paying for a home inspection may seem like a lot for a house that doesn’t belong to you just yet, if you’re thinking of purchasing a home, a home inspection will always be worth the investment

How do I prepare for a home inspection?

Sellers should provide proper access to attics/crawl spaces, electrical panels, HVAC components, water heaters and the like as home inspectors do not move personal property or belongings. Sellers should also ensure that all utilities are on and take measures to kennel, cage or otherwise remove pets. Buyers should prepare a list of any questions or specific areas of concern that you may have about the property.

Do I need to be there for the inspection?

While most buyers are present during the inspection, it is generally preferred that sellers are not (unless a seller is doing an inspection on their own). For buyers, the best way to get the most out of your inspection is to be there and be an active participant. At minimum, we recommend showing up for the last thirty minutes in order to go over the findings with the inspector.

What if the home inspection report reveals problems?

Keep in mind that there’s no such thing as a perfect house, so you aren’t going to receive a perfect report. Even new builds come up with negative things in their inspection reports. When a deficiency is reported, it is your responsibility and in your best interest to obtain further evaluations and/or cost estimates from qualified service professionals. While no deficiencies are required to be corrected, they should always be investigated further, and any repairs can always be negotiated between the parties. Ideally, any corrective action should be addressed prior to the expiration of the Option Period.

Whether you’re looking to buy a home, getting ready for a sale or building a home, The Home Inspectors is here for you every step of the way. We want to help you make confident, informed decisions about your home. Download a few of our FREE resources, schedule your home inspection online or get in touch with one of our experts.

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