BOULDER – After you have qualified for a mortgage, searched for a home, found one, made an offer that was accepted – next comes the home inspection. Time spent with an inspector can provide invaluable information about the home, how it works, and whether there are enough issues with the property to walk away from it or renegotiate the purchase price with the seller.
Most real estate agents have relationships with home inspectors. Some buyers use those referrals, others prefer to find their own inspector by asking friends or searching online. Regardless, it’s important to vet an inspector before hiring one. It may be wise to begin your search for an inspector before even finding a property to avoid scrambling to find one to meet an inspection objection deadline.
During your walk through with the inspector take notes about how things work and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Home inspectors expect questions and generally welcome them because they believe their job is to help a buyer make an educated decision about a home purchase. Items such as combustion air, filters, gas shut-off valves and sump pumps are foreign territory to many homebuyers.
A home inspection is a visual snapshot in time. Everything in a home is in a constant state of deterioration so things can go wrong after purchase. Feel free to ask how much something will cost to fix. Some inspectors are comfortable giving a range. Others shy away from that because of the numerous variables involved, like the materials used and labor costs.
Because the inspector is hired by the buyer they cannot disclose information found during a home inspection without the buyer’s approval. However, if the inspector finds something dangerous, he is required to disclose that finding to the seller and the potential buyer.