Getting a home inspection isn’t just for finding a house’s defects; it’s also there to help buyers avoid repairs or maintenance that could cost more down the road. Buying a new house may be one of the biggest purchases you’ll ever make. Hiring an expert can help ensure that everything goes smoothly for both you and the seller.

What’s in my Report?

A typical home inspection report usually contains an overall assessment of the property’s condition, followed by a list of items that need attention (i.e., repairs). In most cases, if an inspector finds something wrong, it’s usually nothing major. If it is (i.e. hazardous issues like radon or asbestos), your inspector will be sure to bring it to your attention so you can address it immediately.

More often than not, an inspection report is used to asses a home’s value. For example, if you’re charging $100,000 for a home, and needed repairs that added up to $1,000, you could sell it for $90,000 at a fair price. Alternatively, if you’re purchasing a home, a home inspection report can act as a negotiation tool to try to haggle down the price.

A home inspection is one of those things that people don’t really think about until it’s too late. But once you do decide to go through with it, there are some simple steps you can take to make sure you know what you’re getting into.

1. Make Sure You Have All Your Documents Together

The most important thing to remember is that you want to have all of your documents together before you start looking around. This includes your mortgage papers, insurance papers, previous maintenance records, etc. If you find something wrong, you won’t be able to fix it later because you didn’t have all the information in front of you.

2. Get Everything Ready Beforehand

Once you have all your documents ready, you’ll want to make sure you’ve got enough time to look around the house. One of the best ways to do this is to plan ahead. So, if you have a few days left before you actually move out, try to schedule a walk-through with a realtor or inspector. They can give you tips and tricks on how to maximize your time while still making sure you see everything.

3. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions

Asking questions is always encouraged. There’s no way you’re going to understand every little detail if you don’t ask. And even though you might feel like you’re being nosy, asking questions is just part of the process. When you’re inspecting a property, you need to make sure you‘re doing it properly.