If you are buying or selling your home, you may have already undergone the home inspection process. If not, you may be wondering what exactly that entails. A home inspection is done prior to closing on a home. An inspector comes and does just that: inspects. The inspector is going to look at things like the roof, heating and AC systems, electrical, and plumbing, just to name a few. At the end of the report, you will get a detailed breakdown of all the homes notable issues so you can be fully aware of the homes condition. The next step is understanding what the report means and what to do with it.

When the inspection has been completed, most inspectors will take time to sit down with you and go over any major concerns and answer any questions. This can be a good time to ask about anything you are unsure of, but you might think of more questions once they leave. It is important to know that most home inspections will rate on a scale of “good” being the highest, “fair” being standard, and “poor” meaning it needs repairs. Depending on your inspector, the inspection will be in either checklist format, or narrative format. Once you figure out the format and the ratings for major areas of the home, you can then view the inspectors’ comments at the bottom of each section to read more. The inspection should be broken down by category, so you can clearly understand what areas need repairs and what don’t.

The main areas you want to review with the inspector are the electrical, roof, and plumbing. All of these, if in need of major repairs, can bring down the cost of the home or can become a stipulation. Many sellers will agree to make repairs prior to closing, if the home inspection turns up anything serious. If they don’t agree to repairs, they may lower the cost of the listing to allow you room in your budget to make the repairs after you close. Be sure to ask your inspector if they include positives on your home too; it helps to know the home isn’t all bad!