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Home Inspections, What Buyers Need to Know

Updated: Mar 1

A home inspection is usually performed by a Professional Certified Home Inspector on a property that you intend to buy. The goal is to evaluate the home from a structural and safety perspective and to help the buyer evaluate their buying decision. A home Inspection can also help the buyer budget for any discovered deficiencies or ask the seller to make repairs before closing the sale.

Contrary to what many buyers believe, home inspections are not code inspections. A home inspection is defined as a limited, non-invasive examination of the condition of the home conducted by a home inspector who has the training, certification and licensed to perform a home inspection.

Make sure your sales contract has a right to inspect clause in it. In most cases, the allotted time for inspections is from 8-10 days from the date the sales contract is signed. The contingency period should give you enough time to find a certified home inspector, set an appointment date and time for the inspection, and receive a written inspection report from the home inspector.

Hiring a thorough, experienced home inspector is of utmost importance. They should be affiliated and certified by InterNACHI, ASHI, etc. and up to date on all training and educational coursework. They also should be fully insured to protect you from claims while performing an inspection.

Make sure you read the entire inspection report, not just the summary pages. The report should have a section for each area of the home with notations about anything that needs repairs, is damaged or is non-functional.

Usually, you will see the following terms for any deficiencies:

• Material defect: An issue that might pose a potential safety hazard or have a significant impact on the home’s value.

• Major defect: A system or component that is not working, not functional and needs replacement or repair.

• Minor defect: A small issue that can usually be fixed by a contractor or the homeowner themselves.

• Cosmetic defect: A superficial flaw or blemish that doesn’t impact safety or functionality.

After you’ve reviewed your inspection report and determined which issues need to be corrected and which aren’t so important, you’ll need to decide how you want to proceed. If you are using a Real Estate Agent, they can assist you in negotiations with the seller.

If you requested that repairs are to be made prior to the close of the sale, make sure the repairs have been made to your satisfaction. Ask the seller for receipts for all repairs. You may also want your home inspector to go back and verify that the issues have been properly resolved.

If you would like more information on Home Inspections, visit our Blog Page on our website at

Submitted by John Schuler

Certified Home Inspector

J & H Home Inspections, LLC Located in Little River, SC

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