FAQ’s – Philadelphia Home Inspection
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 operational states of the systems and components must be evaluated. This is where an independent inspector can offer critical information that can either validate everything is okay or that repairs are needed which can possibly be negotiated. It’s a known fact consumers routinely make decisions based on emotion. We offer technical information (independent of emotion) that can position clients to make a sound decision. The American Society of Home Inspectors Association performed an extensive nationwide study that stated the returned value of a home inspection at just over $1,500. Given the average fee for an inspection is $400, this is not only a good value but it provides Peace of Mind and possibly negotiable repairs.
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 powder post beetles or termites. Termite inspectors have a slightly different inspection protocol where they are experts at detecting the presence and species of wood-destroying insects. Having both inspectors evaluating the property with complimentary inspection protocols is a definite plus. When possible, Liberty Inspection Group prefers to have the termite inspector onsite at the time of our inspection to compare notes and consult with one another.
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: Since 1997 we have refined our pricing model to offer the best pricing based on certain criteria. This includes the size of the home, age of the home, foundation type, and where the property is located. We also factor in if the client is a repeat customer or if you wear a uniform(military, firefighters, police officers). Let us know if you are a teacher, repeat customer, or wear a uniform when you schedule your inspection
Q. Does the seller have to repair all items listed on the inspection report?
A: Everything in real estate is negotiable. We recently inspected a home where one of the contingencies was for the seller to include the 40 chickens and a rooster in order for the deal to go through. Usually the realtors are instrumental in negotiating any necessary repairs.
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.
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 (or neglected). Our typical inspections last between 2.5 to 4 hours. We had one inspection that took 10 hours and 40 minutes but the home was quite large, very neglected and needed more than $100,000 in repairs. 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 (weather 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: Unfortunately, Philadelphia is a non-licensed state regarding home inspections. 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 ranging from the countless and evolving codes for new construction to identifying defects caused by natural aging, usage, and amateur modifications for homes built in the 1800’s. Philadelphia has both and everything in between. Inspectors should be familiar with product recalls, indoor air quality, energy efficiency, safety, and environmental conditions such as radon or carbon monoxide). Inspectors should be a member of a professional inspector association that requires minimum annual education requirements and proficiency testing to remain sharp and current in our trade. 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?
- Does your service have a satisfaction guarantee?
- Can I attend the inspection?
- Can I ask questions after the inspection?
- May I see a sample inspection report?
- Do you make repairs based on what you find?
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.