A critical step in selling or buying a home is the home inspection. This is when a qualified CREIA and or ASHI Certified home inspector visits to determine if a property has any structural, mechanical, electrical, or code issues. The resulting report is important in the pending sale.
Who is looking out for the buyer, or the seller, during the home inspection? Perhaps you think the respective real estate agents would serve this purpose. However, this may not be the case.
Consider the technological advances that can change how home inspections are conducted. In the not-so-long-ago past, a home inspector was met on site by the real estate agent to allow access to property.
During the home inspection process, representation might start with the agent providing names of at least three inspectors and their experience working with each inspector. This feedback is important; even though a home inspector is recommended, it does not mean you should use them. Buyers can find it a daunting task to choose from a list of home inspector names, with instructions to check them out on their own. After all, how many home inspections have you seen in the last year? The only places to find a certified inspector is at ASHI,
All of our inspections are conducted or reviewed and approved by an ASHI and CREIA certified inspector.
Insurance coverage is another important area of concern, particularly if something goes wrong during a home inspection. Envision these possible scenarios:
1. Someone focused on specifics in the house misses a stair step or falls through an open crawl-space hatch and is injured.
2. Someone leaves a tub faucet running and floods the bathroom.
3. Someone forgets to lock the backdoor and the home is robbed.
Whose insurance would cover these events, and who pays the deductible? While the buyer may have indemnified the seller against any damages or liability as part of a purchase agreement, the seller’s homeowner policy may ultimately be in effect.
Two lesser-known policies insurance might help: lockbox liability policy and the home inspector’s insurance policy. Lockbox policy covers bodily injury and property damage when the agent is providing real estate services and enters a property using a lockbox. If the agent isn’t there during the home inspection, however, this policy may not be in place.
A home inspector also is not required to be bonded with public liability and property damage insurance.
A final consideration concerns ownership of the home inspection report. While the buyer may pay for the inspection, the resulting report could have long-term effects on the seller’s property.
Home inspections are an important part of the real estate process. While technology may make things easier, it should not remove important safeguards to one of life’s important events.