When looking to purchase a home or to sell your own, there are many questions that come to mind.
We’ve compiled a list and put them here. But if you have questions that you’d like answered, please be sure to let us know.
Q. Why should I have a home inspection?
A: There are several reasons. Buying a home is a significant financial obligation that should involve careful consideration. Among the important factors of location, crime rate, schools, proximity to work, taxes and so forth, the physical conditions and operation of the systems and components must be evaluated. Buying a home can often be a decision based on emotion. We help give perspective on one of the biggest purchases you will make by reporting our findings in a neutral manner and help give next steps for any issues we come across during the inspection. A home inspection gives peace of mind and can possibly help you negotiate for repairs or a credit as part of your real estate transaction. Given the cost of major repairs on a home, such as the roof, new HVAC system, or other “big-ticket” items, getting a home inspection from a reputable company is essential. It’s also a tool to help educate buyers on routine maintenance and items they need to budget for that may need replacement in the future.
Q. Do home inspections include a termite inspection?
A: We specialize in evaluating the various systems and components a home or commercial building may have. During the course of inspecting we are on full alert for any damage that may be attributed to wood-destroying insects, whether it is carpenter ants or termites. If a termite certificate is required by the lender, which is fairly common, one can be provided for a small additional fee. Be sure to ask our friendly staff to add termite to your inspection when you schedule.
Q. Shouldn’t I have the home inspection before I make an offer so I will know how much to offer?
A: This is somewhat difficult to answer. However, in most cases, buyers have a contingency in the purchase contract that not only allows for the inspection to take place but also allows the buyer to either negotiate repairs for discovered discrepancies or simply walk away from the deal. Consulting with your professional Realtor is the best option.
Q. Is there a uniform service agreement or contract for a home inspection?
A: Anytime you spend money on the purchase of a property and it involves a service, a contract is strongly encouraged and almost expected. In our case, we adhere to the Standards of Practice for the National Association of Certified Home Inspectors to ensure compliance and thoroughness. The agreement should clearly outline what the inspector should be doing during the inspection as well as stipulations outside the boundaries of the inspection (such as making repairs on discovered items needing repair, which clearly constitutes a conflict of interest).
Q. How much does a typical home inspection cost?
A: We have refined our pricing model to offer the best pricing based on various factors. This includes the size of the home, age of the home, foundation type, and where the property is located. We offer a variety of inspection services, so how much you spend is partially dependent on what you need inspected. If you are purchasing a property that has a septic system and a private well, those need to be inspected and it will increase the cost a bit.
Q. Does the seller have to repair all items listed on the inspection report?
A: Everything in real estate is negotiable. Usually the realtors are instrumental in negotiating any necessary repairs or credits towards repairs. Keep in mind asking for everything to be repaired is not always realistic so it’s important to focus on higher cost or unexpected issues discovered during the inspection. Your Realtor will be a valuable resource in helping decide how to proceed with the inspection findings.
Q. Will the inspection report include the cost of repairs?
A: Inspectors should only stick to what they do best…educating and reporting items of concern. As smart as we think we are, we are not contractors. We may not know current material costs or an accurate amount of time required to perform a given repair. We encourage our clients to either request repairs be performed by a qualified contractor (ask for receipts) or share our professional report with a contractor (either ask your Realtor for a reputable one or we can provide names) to get an accurate number to help make your decision. We can provide a range for the cost of repair or replacement of items, but there is no substitute for getting prices from actual contractors. We recommend you get 2 to 3 estimates.
Q. Will the lender see the home inspection report?
A: No. Our clients pay for the information in the report. Usually, we send a courtesy copy to their agent and no one else.
Q. Can we ask the home inspector to alter or omit items in the report if we do not want them to become issues with the lender?
A: Our company will not agree to do that. We operate by the highest Standards of Ethics and will not compromise our integrity or fiduciary responsibility to tell the truth.
Q. Does the buyer need to be on site during the home inspection?
A: We love having our clients witness how hard we’re working on their behalf. We strive to ensure our inspections are informative and interactive. For us, it’s not just about finding flaws. Any inspector can do that. Of course, we’ll report defects but we also inform our clients about emergency shutoffs, how to change the property’s filters (both air and water), how to improve the energy efficiency, we talk about the importance of indoor air quality, general maintenance and more. Invariably, at the end of the inspection our clients know more about the property than the current owners!
Q. How long does an inspection take to complete?
A: It depends on age, size, foundation type and how well the property has been maintained. Our typical inspections last between 2 to 4 hours. We stay onsite until we feel we have comprehensively evaluated the home–no time limit–and no extra fees for additional time needed.
Q. What happens after the inspection?
A: At Liberty Inspection Group, we believe that once our clients establish a relationship with us, it is timeless and endless. We offer unlimited technical advice for as long as our clients wish (whether it’s their home, a neighbor home or a friend’s home)! Our inspectors have a wealth of knowledge and expertise that we want to share.
Q. Are all inspectors equally capable and knowledgeable?
A: Pennsylvania does not require state licensing for home inspectors. Consequently, there are inspectors that are operating and advising their clients without proper knowledge or expertise. Home inspectors should be well versed in the various building disciplines, identifying defects caused by natural aging, usage, and amateur modifications. Inspectors should ideally have experience from inspecting old homes built in the 1800’s to new construction. Inspectors are required to be a member of a professional inspector association such as NACHI or ASHI and current on their required annual continuing education. All of our inspectors are nationally certified and undergo routine quality control checks.
Q. How do I choose an inspector?
A: Often times our office receives calls from prospective clients and their only question is: “How much?” Of course, price should be a consideration, but it should be one of multiple considerations. We coach clients to ask:
- What are the credentials of the inspector?
- Are you an active member of a professional home inspector association?
- What quality control checks do you have to ensure accuracy and thoroughness?
- How long will you be onsite?
- What diagnostic tools does your inspector use to evaluate the property?
- Are you (adequately) insured?
- Can I attend the inspection?
- Can I ask questions after the inspection?
- May I see a sample inspection report?
We at Liberty Inspection Group definitely want to be your home buying or home selling home inspection firm. Let us know if we can be of service to you.
Your Premier Philadelphia Based Home Inspectors | Let this experienced Liberty Inspection Group help keep you from buying The Money Pit. We’ll alert you to any and all deficient and health/safety issues as well as maintenance items for the home you are looking to buy
Liberty Inspection Group will be your home buying or selling advocate! We are committed to providing you with outstanding service. We’re highly experienced and extremely thorough. If you’re looking to buy or sell in the Philadelphia and surrounding area, we can help!
Owned and operated by inspection specialist, Chris Earley, Liberty Inspection Group prides itself in being committed to following high standards and providing professional service to all of our customers .
Your Experienced, Certified & Licensed Home Inspectors ~ Liberty Inspection Group will be your home buying or selling advocate.
We Are Your One Stop Shop: Home Buyer Inspections, Certified Move In Ready (also known as Pre-listing), Commercial Property Inspections, Radon Testing, Termite Inspections, Well Flow Testing, Well Water Sampling, Air Quality Testing/Inspections, Septic Inspections, Intrusive Stucco Testing and 203K Loan Consulting.