Real Estate April 20, 2023


An inspector evaluates the CONDITION of the home. They provide written information on the structural & mechanical integrity of the property. Most people when they talk about an inspection are referring to a basic home inspection. Does the air conditioning work? Are the windows functional? Are there GFCIs in the appropriate places near water in the kitchen & bathroom – all those sorts of things.

However, there is a litany of other inspection options:

Pest Inspection: looking for wood-destroying insects like termites or carpenter bees.

Water Inspection: if there’s a well, you should probably have the water tested & have the well pump evaluated.

Radon Inspection: radon is a poisonous gas that seeps up through the earth. In Western PA -about 50% of the homes that my buyers have tested test high for radon – it’s just the nature in this area. Realtors in Florida rarely test or even suggest testing for radon. It’s not something Floridians have to worry much about in that area.

Those are just a few examples, & an experienced agent can guide you on your options.

If my buyer wants to waive their inspections, that’s my trigger to have big conversation with them. Most of the time they say something like “Oh, my Uncle Ralph went to the open house, & he built a shed once. He gave it a good once-over & said that home is solid. We’re good…”

If my buyer insists on waiving their inspections – I ask them to sign something saying “My awesome Realtor, Katina, whom I trust & has never steered me wrong told me that a home inspection is important. Alas, I am deciding to go against her stellar advice & rely on the fact that my Uncle Ralph, who has been sober for 4 months now & has built a wonky shed 20 years ago, told me I don’t need one.”

Just so you know, a house cannot “pass” or “fail” an inspection. A house may be perfectly sound & there’s one dripping faucet. That would not be a “fail.” There are so many different things that are evaluated, so the inspector – for each & every item – will say if it’s in great working order, may need some attention soon or isn’t working at all or needs immediate attention.

Saying a house “failed the home inspection” is akin to a straight-A student failing one test & they get “failed out of school.” Just like kids are evaluated on each subject separately, items in a home inspection report are also evaluated separately. The house as entirety doesn’t “pass” or “fail.”

Buyers: Here’s my advice for you when it comes to your inspections:

1. Ignore Uncle Ralph. Get one. The $400 you spend on a home inspection is worth every penny for that information. This is the biggest investment you’ll make in your life, you need to know what you’re buying.

2. Be present when the inspector is there. You’re going to get a 60-page report that will make you feel that the house is coming apart at the seams. Not everything is a big deal, & a good inspector is going to be able to highlight the big concerns. These are items that an experienced Realtor is going to help you negotiate through or even may be reason enough to terminate the deal. Most items are going are usually minor items that are normal wear-&-tear of a home of that age.

Sellers: You can get a pre-inspection report before you list your house, & I HIGHLY recommend it. Getting an inspection on your home prior to listing does 3 things for you:

1. You can address concerning items prior to putting it on the market. There may be a little mold in the attic that you never knew about. No worries – get it addressed, & you’re ready to go! If a buyer finds mold on their inspection, they’re most likely going to ask you to have it remediated anyway OR the word “MOLD” is scary enough that many buyers terminate the deal.

2. You can include the entire inspection report as part of the information you disclose to potential buyers. This means that you’ve taken this information into consideration when setting the price. The buyers cannot renegotiate on information that you’ve provided to them prior to them making the offer. So, you can address concerning items before listing, you can use this information to take a lot of items off of the negotiation table later on in the middle of the transaction.

3. If you provide an inspection report to the buyers, they are less likely to get their own inspection. You’ve eliminated a lot of unknowns for the buyer & you can progress with the transaction & circumvent negotiations on surprise repairs that show up on the report.

Pre-inspection: benefits for sellers! – YouTube

Inspection Perfection

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Katina Hunter

Team Lead for the Katina Hunter Team with Coldwell Banker