We do our best to help our home inspection clients understand the home they are buying. Sometimes we just can not protect them from themselves. Here are the most costly mistakes I have seen made and how to avoid them.
Mistake 1: Hiring on Price
It is understandable to get a little price conscious once it gets time to schedule the home inspection but this is not the time to go with the cheapest price. The reality is that the lower the price of the home inspection, the less the home inspector values their time and usually the less experience they have.
The home inspector that charges $300 needs to do 3 inspections to earn the same as a home inspector that charges $450 for 2 inspections. The $300 inspector depends on volume and speed. The $450 home inspector has likely done hundreds of inspections, will actually take less time because of experience, and make fewer errors.
Mistake 2: Not Attending the Inspection
Most buyers make their offer after only a few minutes in the house. The home inspection is their chance to spend a few hours really looking at the place and spending time in their new home. Why would anyone pass that up?
I tell all my clients to follow me around so I can show them what I am looking at and they can ask any questions. By the end of the inspection they know as much as I know about the house they are buying.
If you can’t be there for the whole inspection, make sure you are least there at the end. Can’t be there at the end? At least send someone you trust. Not being there at all could be a costly mistake
Mistake 3: Not Reading the Whole Report
The home inspection report is much more than a summary. It has descriptions, suggestions, information, and explanations. Take the time to read it all. There is tons of information.
Hopefully the home inspector is a great better communicator that can describe your home in a readable report less than 35-40 pages. If the report is over 100 pages it can be a nightmare and read like a text book but give it a try and stick with it. If you were not at the inspection, the report will be everything you have to go on.
Mistake 4: Missing the Big Picture
It can get easy to freak out after listening to a list of 20 electrical issues in your new home. Relax and look at the big picture. It’s probably not like the home needs to be rewired. Get the issues fixed and move on.
All home inspections have a ‘lead story’. Keep your eyes on the big picture and the little stuff will not cloud your judgement or distract you. This can lead to making costly mistakes.
Mistake 5: Asking Sellers For Wrong Things
Once you can see the big picture from your home inspection you know what to ask the sellers to do. Remember that you will be maintaining this home for years to come and have different tastes in finishes and quality.
It can be a costly mistake to ask the sellers to replace the deck railing when you have no control over what it will look like or how it is done. Sure, the railing was replaced but not the way you would do it.
Mistake 6: Not Asking the Seller to Fix the Right Things
I have personally inspected the same home over and over with the same issues that has never been fixed. This could be unique but it has happened in more than one home. How could that be?
Too many home buyers think they will fix the problem once they move in but life gets in the way. You get busy with packing, moving, changing addresses, and all the other stuff that goes with buying and even selling your home. It just slips through the cracks until the next home inspection gets done.
It can be tempting thinking especially if you are handy. Don’t make this costly mistake and just get it fixed before you move in.