- the Dangers
- Buyer's Broker
- The Process
Your buyer's broker can help you choose the right home inspector; they should have several to suggest. Choose one that has been certified by a trade association such as the National Association of Home Inspectors or the American Society of Home Inspectors.
Your Inspector Will Evaluate:
- Foundations: Cracks, water seepage, other damage.
- Basement: Leaks, standing water, musty smell, signs of mold.
- Brickwork and masonry: Cracks and deterioration of bricks or mortar.
- Siding: Buckling, dents, other damage.
- Insulation: Whether it is of adequate rating for climate, properly installed and in good condition.
- Doors and Windows: Fitting, weather-stripping, lock condition.
- Roof: Condition of flashing, sheathing, shingles and gutters.
- Attic: Ventilation, leaks, signs of mold.
- Ceilings, walls, and moldings: Cracks, separations and other damage
- Porch/Deck: Loose steps and railings, rot, other damage.
- Electrical: Condition of circuit breakers or fuse box, proper wiring throughout to eliminate fire hazards, number of outlets in each room, whether outlets are grounded.
- Plumbing: Water pressure, banging pipes, corrosion that indicates leaks or water quality issues, insulation.
- Water Heater: Age, size, adequacy, speed of recovery, energy rating, condition.
- Furnace/Air Conditioning: Age, energy rating, condition.
- Garage: Condition of floor, condition of door mechanism, condition of exterior.
- Driveways/Sidewalks: Cracks, buckling, deterioration, stains.
- Septic Tanks (if applicable): Adequate capacity, condition.
Water should always be tested. Depending on the property, you may also want to do septic dye tests and environmental tests for radon and other contaminants. The home inspector you choose can help you determine what other test you may want to do and recommend professionals the conduct test they otherwise do not perform or are outside their field of expertise or license.
After the Inspections
You always hope there will be no ugly surprises -- but if there are, that's another time your buyer's broker can assist you. Remember the contingencies your broker negotiated into your offer? They give you options now.
Assuming the inspection news isn't so bad that you want to walk away, your buyer's broker can use the reports to renegotiate -- for repairs or a truly fair price.
After that, you apply for a mortgage.
See all the ways your buyer's broker ironed out the bumpy home-buying process already? And there's more to come.
This web resource will help you better understand what a buyer's broker is -- and how they can save you time and money.
Note: The terms "buyer's broker," "buyer's agent," and "buyer representative" are used interchangeably on this site. Different locales use different terminology for the same idea: a real estate professional who represents you -- the buyer.