Questions to Ask After a Home Inspection

When it comes to home inspections, most home buyers only think to ask questions before they hire an inspector.  While asking questions up front is essential, don’t forget to ask questions after your home inspection is complete.

What Questions Should You Ask a Home Inspector?

The home inspection process is one of the most stressful experiences for home buyers.  You know they’re necessary, but you also know that they’re inevitably going to turn up one issue or another.  Fortunately, most of the things inspectors will find are manageable and can be dealt with through some quick education and basic negotiation skills.  To aid in this, you just have to know what to ask your inspector once their report is complete. With some simple questions on-hand, you’ll be able to clarify a lot of the confusion that comes with inspection reports so that you can make informed decisions and take appropriate action.  Here are some of the things you should ask post-inspection:

  • Can you explain this to me?  Chances are pretty good that you’re not going to understand everything in the inspection report.  So, don’t be afraid to ask. Read everything carefully, and write down any and all questions and clarifications that you need.  Seeking clarification isn’t just normal, it’s absolutely necessary, even if you’ve already asked a lot of questions during the inspection.  It generally takes a day or two for the inspection report to arrive, and the inspector may explain things differently after the fact than how they did on the day of the inspection.  
  • Just how big is the problem?  For most homebuyers, what makes home inspection reports so daunting is the sheer level of detail that they contain.  It can be incredibly overwhelming. Most homes are found to have a few issues, but most of these issues likely won’t be considered significant problems.  But, you do need to ask which problems are serious and how soon they need to be addressed, as these can be deal breakers. So, ask your inspector for clarifications.  They can tell you if a problem is severe enough to make you pause before deciding to purchase the property.
  • Does the problem require expert inspection?  As home inspectors are generalists, some problems will require further exploration by experts.  An inspector only knows how to spot existing and potential problems, but they can still tell you if it’s advisable to bring in an expert to look at an issue.  And, you absolutely want to call in experts when inspectors advise you to do so, as your agent will also be able to use their repair estimates to negotiate with the seller.  
  • What problems should I fix once moved into the home?  Your home inspector should be able to tell you which issues are in need of immediate attention, before continuing with negotiations, and which can wait until you move in for repair.  After all, you don’t want to put anything off that can cause damage to your property. So, pay attention to what your inspector tells you, and address issues promptly.

As a home buyer, you have a right and obligation to learn as much as you can about a property before you make the final decision to purchase.  And, that is what your home inspector is there to help with. They are happy to help you gather as much information as you need and guide you in the right direction toward making a fully informed decision.  So, don’t be afraid to pick their brain both during and after an inspection has been completed.

If you feel like you’ve missed asking your inspector some important questions after the report is handed over, reach out to your realtor for help as well, and get their expert feedback.  They too will work with you and the inspector to put the pieces of the puzzle together so that you know exactly what sort of deal you’re walking into.

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