Five Ways to Make the Most of Your Home Inspection

By Max Kamienski

If you think your home inspector is going to give you their tools and let you start testing the electrical outlets, plumbing lines, and climb into the duct work on your own during your home inspection you are dead wrong.  However, you do need to make sure that you participate in your home inspection so you can understand what it is your inspector notates when the report has been completed, while at the same time not looking over the inspectors shoulders the entire time.  I have prepared a list of five ways for you to make the most of your home inspection.

  1. Be present for your inspection.

Clients very often ask me if they should be present for the inspection. The answer is always yes, absolutely yes.  If you can’t make arrangements for the entire inspection, make sure to be there at the end for a walk through with your inspector. With the right inspector and correct approach you can easily turn the inspection into education and how to seminar about your future house.


     2. It is not another showing.

People often take an inspection time as another opportunity to see the house and share the joy with family and friends. This is most definitely not the right time for that. You want to show up for the inspection with the right mindset and if you wish, with people that will contribute to the inspection process. You want to make sure there are no unnecessary disruptions for your inspector or yourself. Think about it as a business transaction and not social gathering. 


     3. Let the inspector do their job.

Most people are very anxious and curious from the very first moment of the inspection. Naturally they would like to shadow the inspector and ask questions as they go. An experienced inspector will take time with you and explain the process beforehand. It is for your benefit only. Let your inspector finish the process they have prepared to do before you create distraction that may cost them to overlook something. Make sure you ask all your questions in proper time. If you feel more comfortable following the inspector through the process, that’s understandable. In that case I would encourage you to do it in silence and take notes of all the questions you want to ask your inspector when they are ready.   


     4. Be prepared.

A good inspector has quite large general knowledge about the house components. Just like I’ve mentioned before, with correct approach you can take advantage and learn everything you need to know about any of the system purpose and functions. The inspection can be as much as educational experience as a process of finding defects, especially if you are first time home buyer. Create a list of questions for your inspector beforehand and refer to it to make sure all of your questions are answered.


     5. Keep an open mind.

In most states Home Inspectors are regulated by licensing rules and standards of practice. We formulate our conclusions based on the guidelines in those standards. Always ask for an explanation or clarification of anything you don’t understand. Many times potentially very dangerous defect can be fixed for less than $20 but the inspection report will be calling it a “major” safety hazard. There is enormous difference between a vertical crack in foundation wall and horizontal crack. Make sure you walk out of your inspection educated and confident of making the right decision.