8 Home Inspection Mistakes Buyers Should Avoid at All Costs

The home-buying process is an intricate journey, from attending open houses to negotiating final prices. As you reach inspection day, it’s tempting to feel a sense of relief. However, the home inspection is a critical step that demands attention and should never be rushed. It holds the potential to be as nerve-racking for buyers as it is for sellers, revealing hidden issues beneath the surface of that dream home. To ensure a smooth process, avoid these common mistakes during your home inspection.

1. Forgoing an Inspection in the First Place

Many buyers mistakenly skip inspections when purchasing new construction homes. Eric Karwowski, Broker and owner of id8 Real Estate in Brentwood, Ca, emphasizes that new-construction homes often have issues. Buyers should be assertive about getting an inspection, even when builders or other agents discourage it. Additionally, don’t overlook extra inspections for specific property needs, such as pools, chimney, roof, septic systems, wells, or other items that are outside the scope of a standard home inspection.

2. Choosing the Cheapest Inspection Option

Opting for the cheapest inspection may lead to inexperienced or struggling inspectors. Conduct thorough research before selecting an inspector. Look for credentials and use inspectors employing the latest equipment. Your real estate agent can guide you to a competent professional, and reading online reviews provides additional insights.

3. Not Being Present for the Inspection

Being present during the inspection is crucial. Even with a detailed report, being physically there allows you to hear the inspector’s comments directly and ask questions. If you can’t attend, have your agent present to learn firsthand about the inspector’s findings.

4. Not Making the Rounds with the Inspector

Take the opportunity to learn more about your home by being present throughout the inspection. Eric Karwowski, Broker, encourages buyers to take a closer look at parts of the home not typically explored. Utilize the visit to gain insights into the property.

5. Being Overly Involved in the Inspection

While it’s beneficial to follow the inspector, being too present can be counterproductive. Avoid distracting the inspector by being in the way or engaging in excessive conversation. Let the inspector focus on the task at hand to ensure a thorough examination.

Inspectors like to focus at the task at hand and having a buyer hovering over them during the inspection can disrupt the inspector. “It’s best to leave them be and talk to them once they’ve completed their inspection” says Eric Karwowski, Broker/Owner of id8 Real Estate.

6. Expecting a Perfect Report—And Overreacting if It’s Not

Understand that an inspection is not a pass-fail test, and every home will have flaws. Aaron Hendon with Keller Williams in Seattle advises buyers to ask questions to comprehend the magnitude of each issue. Differentiate between “nice-to-repair” items and “must-repair” defects to prioritize necessary fixes.

7. Focusing on the Wrong Things

During negotiations with sellers, concentrate on significant red flags discovered during the inspection, such as issues with the roof, foundation, HVAC systems, or other costly problems. Avoid nickel-and-diming for minor issues, as sellers may respond more positively to a reasonable list of demands that don’t impact the condition of the house (like painting rooms a different color).

8. Not Getting Negotiated Repairs Reinspected

After negotiated repairs are completed, consider getting a final signoff from your home inspector, even if it involves additional costs. This step ensures that the agreed-upon repairs have been properly executed and provides peace of mind.

🌶 Hot Take-away

In summary, the home inspection is a crucial phase in the home-buying process that requires careful consideration. By avoiding these common mistakes, buyers can navigate the inspection process smoothly, making informed decisions about their dream homes.

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