Home Inspections

A home inspection -- What is it? Is it a necessity? Who needs it? These are all typical questions that run through the minds of those involved in a real estate transaction. Let's take a look at each of them.

What is it? A home inspection, as defined by the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), is a professional, objective visual examination of the condition of a home. It helps to determine whether there are any major defects or system inadequacies before the sale of a home goes through, thus preventing any unpleasant surprises later on.

A home inspection can be performed by either individual contractors or tradesmen, or by a "whole house" inspector. There are advantages to each type of inspection method, and you should consult your REALTOR® as to which type of inspection best suits your needs.

ASHI stresses that home inspections are not intended to point out every small problem or any non-visual defects in a home. In fact, a home inspector is looking for only serious problems that affect the "habitability" of the home. Minor, routine maintenance and repair items are not a major concern of the inspector. For example, dripping faucets, a cracked driveway or stains in the carpet do not affect habitability. A malfunctioning furnace, a leaky roof or dangerous wiring does.

A work of caution: a home inspection should not be confused with an appraisal. Although they may seem to be the same, they each serve distinctly separate purposes. A real estate appraisal determines the value of a property; the inspection concentrates on the condition of the property. And, an appraiser works for the bank or for the mortgage company; an inspector works for the purchaser of the home and, sometimes, the home seller.

Is it necessary? No, a home inspection is not necessary, but in most cases, is highly recommended.

The purchase of a home is usually the single largest purchase ever made by an individual. When making any type of major purchase, isn't it nice to have a little peace of mind that your purchase has no defects or any hidden surprises? A home inspection gives you that.

Not only do they provide piece of mind, but ASHI points out that home inspections also highlight the positive aspects of the home. In fact, many of the home inspector's observations or recommendations help to dispel home buyer anxieties and provide useful repair and maintenance suggestions.

Who needs it? A home inspection is recommended for either the buyer or the seller. The seller, you ask? Isn't a home inspection a buyer thing?

Traditionally, yes, a home inspection is the concern of the buyer. Again, it helps dispel any anxiety the buyer may have concerning the purchase, and it can save a buyer from a potentially bad investment. All in all, the home inspection increases the buyer's satisfaction with the completed sale by helping him or her to make an informed decision.

So, why would a seller want an inspection performed on his or her property? Actually, it's quite logical.

Pre-listing inspections are becoming very popular ways of assisting sellers to identify necessary repairs, says ASHI. These inspections help them to prepare their property and set an equitable price for quicker and smoother sales. In essence, it offers the seller peace of mind as well!

Home inspections are a great way to protect yourself from the unknown, be you a buyer or a seller. The members of the Daytona Beach Area Association of REALTORS® realize this and make it their goal to insure all parties in a real estate transaction are well served. Be sure to let a REALTOR® serve you in your next transaction.