Good or Bad?
What a Buyer Should Be Aware Of!

These days when a home is put up for sale with a real-estate agent they are most times staged to show a home's best features starting with curb appeal! But since it's for the seller's benefit there are certain things potential buyers should be aware of that sometimes a home inspection won't reveal even by the most diligent home inspectors! Here are a few tips that a buyer should consider!

  • Never hire a home inspector that's recommended by a realtor agent! It should be considered a conflict of interest, as a realtor certainly wouldn't recommend one that would kill their potential sale!

  • Try to accompany the inspector during the inspection without the realtor present and don't be afraid to ask as many questions as possible!

  • Never hire a home inspector who shows up at the site with only a flash light! They should have special equipment with them including an extension ladder to check the roof, a step ladder to gain access to the attic area, testing equipment to detect gas leaks, electrical tester, radon and lead test equipment, etc.

  • If you see a basement that has a fresh new coat of some version of a waterproof coating type paint check closer to see if it is concealing or masking a prior water seepage problem that will eventually reoccur after purchase! Usually evident in corners!

  • Try to get verification of the age of a roof, furnace & AC, hot water tank and life expectancy! Check if any warranties are still valid and transferable!

  • A good home inspection should take a minimum of one-two hours or more depending on the size and age of the home!

  • The inspection report should be on a detailed form that outlines everything on the exterior to the interior! Some inspectors will even base their findings on repairs and or replacement costs for a slight additional charge! This sometimes will help with negotiating the asking price should major repairs or replacement be necessitated!!

  • If the report form lists item conditions as Excellent, Good, Fair or Bad (as some do) make sure there is also a comment section after each condition describing the exact findings! Such as: driveway bad condition and past life expectancy and will need replacement soon!

You should remember that you hire a home inspector to be your eyes and to give an honest, knowledgeable opinion as to the condition of the home you are considering buying and most do a great job! However the industry has expanded to many people from former contractors to handyman type individuals who feel it is an easy way to make a fast dollar so you should be aware of who you select to do your inspection! Because there are now so many new home inspectors New York State now certifies the industry! So be sure you look for their certification credentials! Being members of a national organization like ASHI or the local Better Contractors Bureau is another benefit in helping you make your selection.

Carmen Santora is a former Certified Remodeler CR, Certified Home Inspector CHI, Certified Real-estate Appraiser, CREA and current Executive Director of the Better Contractors Bureau (BCB). For more information go to www.the-bcb.net or cal 585-338-3600.