[Note: In 2008, as a certified real estate inspector, I wrote the following to assist my clients and potential clients who were using my reports. It was quickly copied and re-printed by many other inspectors and I still find it, from time to time, on various web sites … both with and without citation of the original source (me) of the article. Here is the original article as it was first written.]
In random order, I present to you seven different ways in which a home inspection report can be used by parties to a real estate transaction for advantage and benefit.
1. Buyers can consider the reported conditions of the home’s systems to determine their ability to afford to maintain the property. A home with a 12 year old water heater, an 18 year old furnace and a 25 year old composite shingled roof is going to need some costly investments in the near future.
2. Buyers can sometimes use information regarding undisclosed defects to negotiate the seller’s action to repair the defect(s) or adjust the asking price for the home.
3. Sellers can obtain a home inspection and use the report to disclose known defects to potential buyers.
4. Sellers can obtain a home inspection and use the report to identify and correct significant defects that could interfere with a buyer’s desire to submit a contract to buy the property.
5. Buyers can use the inspection report as a “punch list” or “to do list” for maintaining the property after purchase.
6. Buyers/Sellers can use the report to communicate to contractors the nature of the defect(s) to obtain estimates for repair or to arrange for repairs or replacements.
7. Buyers can sometimes use the inspection report as a means to withdraw from the contracted agreement to purchase the home when certain types of undisclosed defects are reported.
Buyers and sellers should consider obtaining inspection reports only from professional full-time home inspectors. Inspection reports generated by builders or contractors are often used by them as marketing tools and a means to generate business for maintenance and repairs and do not always represent the actual conditions of the property.
Copyright 2008, 2013 James H. Bushart