Whether you’re buying or selling a home in the Atlanta area, the home inspection is a vital part of the process. It can make or break the deal, and it can also provide the buyer with strong peace of mind that the house is in good working order.

The inspection, which typically occurs after an offer is made, involves a professional inspector visually inspecting the structure and systems of a home. Most offers are made contingent on the outcome of the inspection. If major problems are detected during the home inspection, the would-be buyer has a chance to ask for a remedy. For example, if the roof is found to be faulty, the buyer can ask the seller to fix it or provide a price reduction to cover the cost for the buyer to have the repairs made.

What the inspection covers

The American Society of Home Inspectors states that a home inspection covers an examination of certain standard elements:

  • heating system
  • air-conditioning system
  • interior plumbing
  • electrical system
  • roof, attic and insulation
  • walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors
  • foundation
  • basement and structural components

The price of an inspection can vary depending on the size of the home. Once a seller accepts an offer, the buyer and home inspector will set up a time to examine the house. The offer is usually contingent on the outcome of the home inspection. Once the inspection is finished, a detailed written report will be submitted to the buyer.

The inspection report

Normally, the seller isn’t present during the inspection, but it can be useful for the buyer to hang out while the inspector performs the inspection. Often, the inspector will point out little tidbits or maintenance tips that might not make it into the report. A buyer who is there during the inspection can feel assured that the inspector is checking all elements, such as making sure the heater works even if it’s 90 degrees outside.

If you’re the seller, hiring a home inspector to check out your house before you put it on the market can put you at an advantage. If there are any problems, you can get them fixed before you put up the “for sale” sign. This will prevent any surprises or headaches down the road when you have a buyer lined up. You can share the report with the buyer, but be prepared for the buyer to hire an inspector as well.

If you have more questions about the home inspection process, talk to your real estate agent. And having an agency with it’s own contract negotiating department, that specializes in educating sellers and buyers, and sometimes even other less proficient agents, on the art and science of coming together for a meeting of the minds on a real estate transaction, is vital to your success. You really don’t want to receive inspection related contract guidance from an agent who only sold one or two properties last year and only saw three contracts pass their desk.

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