Friday, March 1, 2013

Deciphering Your Home Inspection Report

Deciphering Your Home Inspection Report

Gone are the days are the days when I would hear a home inspector shout....  My God!".....and as I would be picking the buyers up off the floor, I would hear, "Great plumbing job!".

Also gone, thankfully, are the days of a home inspection without a written report, something a buyer could hang his hat on.
home inspection report, deciphering your home inspection

We all know and agree that the home inspection is a very important part of the home buying process.   In fact,  I emphatically suggest that  every one hire a professional inspector to check out their home prior to purchase.   Please read All About Your Home Inspection.

Over the years and with the progression of technology and I'm sure a ton of law suits the home inspection has changed.

I appreciate the difficult job a home inspector has.  But, in an effort to inform a buyer of all deficiencies, armed with computer and camera, some home inspectors have become more robotic in their inspection and their reporting of it.  The home inspection has become so matter of fact that it is difficult to determine what is really important.  

In the old days a home inspector would point out the "defects" but in general at the end of the inspection would offer their opinion as to whether they thought the home was a good solid home or it wasn't.       Today's inspection report just points out the deficiencies and offers no opinion at all!     Is that really the help that the buyer needs?

A typical inspection report will give the same weight to a broken door bell as a rusted electrical panel.  
Read, (Defective, replace).

That does one of two things.
  •   Waters down the major items.  
  •   Makes the number of defects appear so large that it becomes overwhelming.
Couple that with a buyer that is not knowledgeable about home systems and it doesn't help them out at all.   Does this sound foolish?   I don't thing so, look at it this way.    It would be kind of like me going to the auto mechanic and having him tell me every little thing that is wrong with the car.  Without getting an actual opinion as to what's a big deal and what isn't, I would be freaked when I might not need be!

Don't get me wrong, I get why things have changed.   It is not the home inspectors fault.   It's kind of like the medical field.   No more Dr. Welby's.   It's just the way it is.
So What's A Buyer To Do? 
  • Hire a competent inspector.   Ask for referrals.   Do they have certifications?   References?   Don't just hire based on money!
  • Attend the inspection.    Not just attend, but follow the guy around.  See what he/she is seeing.
  • Ask questions.   When they point out a defect, ask how important it is or how difficult or expensive to fix.   Ask.  Is it a safety issue? 
  • Don't be intimidated.   If you knew this stuff you would be a builder.  Forget about the brokers or anyone else present.  This is about you.  
  • Don't be distracted.   Same thing.  There will be agents there, maybe other inspectors, etc.   Don't let them distract you.  Follow the guy.  Make sure you can hear him. 
  • Insist on getting the report ASAP.   Most inspectors will get the report to you right away.  Many times the reports read differently than what was discussed at the inspection.    Do not let days go by without getting that report.
  • Ask for an opinion.   At the end of the inspection ask the inspector what is really important.
  • Use common sense.    A clogged drain might read consult a licensed plumber.   Could it simply be a typical hair clog that requires cleaning?
  • Can't make sense of the report?   Call the inspector back.  Good inspectors want you too!
  •  Remember why you are here.  You wouldn't have gotten this far if you didn't really want this house.   Be ready to face the fact that no home is perfect.

The home inspector's job is to find all deficiencies in the home.    Do not let the list freak you out.    Attend the inspection and ask questions and don't be afraid to ask for an opinion.  

A Great Home Inspection should leave you feeling secure about your purchase! 
  But, You have to find that home first!   So, Call me!    508-494-9061    or email


About the author

Carol-Ann Palmieri, 
is a full time Real Estate professional in Massachusetts for the past 25 years along with her partner Al Mussi have helped literally hundreds of families find, sell or purchase new places to live.

 A former US Marine, she grew up in Walpole, MA...  is committed to the serving the community through various volunteer opportunities.   She attended MA Bay Community and Suffolk University and is committed to constantly updating her Real Estate education.

 Licensed in MA and RI...

 Al and Cal's primary areas of service Franklin, Bellingham, Medway, Millis, Medfield, Norfolk, Wrentham, Plainville, Blackstone, Walpole, Milford, Holliston, Hopkinton, Mansfield, and Foxboro, North Attleboro, Norwood, Hopedale, Mendon, Millville but have resourses to help anyone, anywhere....
Her mission....  To exceed your expectations!

Carol-Ann Palmieri
Al and Cal Realty Group



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