Your one-stop destination to learn about all things Real Estate

7 Questions A Buyer Should Ask Their Home Inspector

For a Homebuyer, the Home Inspection can be a stressful experience. Sure the home looked great during showings, but what if there are unseen issues, lurking in the shadows, that even the Seller didn’t know about?

questions to ask your home inspector

Once you have selected a Home Inspector, they should be contacted quickly so that the inspection can be scheduled, since there will often be a time limit for the Home Inspection Contingency written in the Purchase Agreement. Select a day and time that you and your Real Estate Agent are available to attend. Although the Home Inspector will prepare a detailed report once the inspection has been completed, the Buyer and their Agent should be present to ask questions of the Home Inspector while they are making their way through each area of the property.

Arrive at Your Home Inspection Armed With Questions

There are some important questions that you, as the Buyer, should ask the Home Inspector that will help you better understand any issues that may be discovered in the home. This information will allow you to make decisions about what repairs should be requested from the Seller, and alert you to any red flags that might cause you to withdraw your offer to purchase. It is a good practice to have some general questions prepared and written down, so that you will be able to take notes while you are on the property. Here are a few great questions to get you started.

  1. Does the home have any hazards that should be addressed that might cause a fire, flood, or other health and safety issues for me and my family?

    We recommend starting off by asking your inspector about the safety of the home and surrounding land. These issues are not only concerns for you, but also for the mortgage company and could cause the lender to deny your loan. Even though you might believe you have found the perfect home, do your best to keep our emotions in check until after the inspection has been completed.
  2. Do you have any MAJOR concerns about this property?

    This is admittedly a general question, but it will open the door for the home inspector to talk about any potential deal-breakers for the Buyer. Nobody wants to hear bad news about the home they are hoping to buy, but it is much better to know what you are getting into before you own it!
  3. Are there any issues listed in your notes that you consider to be “normal” wear and tear?

    Even though the issues that your Inspector will list in their report are noteworthy, not all of them are major. Some of the Inspector’s concerns can be easily repaired or replaced at a minimal cost, and it is helpful to be aware of that before you receive the Report.
  4. What repairs would you want to be completed if you were going to buy this property?

    This is one of our favorite questions to ask a Home Inspector at the inspection. Remember the Home Inspector is working for you and will most often be candid with his or her answers. You may not completely agree with the answer that you receive, but the advice given from this expert should be considered.
  5. Is the home’s structure sound?

    This is an area that is often invisible to an untrained eye, but there can be visible signs that the Home Inspector will notice that might indicate a compromised structure. Cracks in the foundation or walls might mean that the structure needs repair, which will be costly. When you walk through the property with your Home Inspector, they will point these areas out to you and your Agent. Remember cracks don’t always mean structural damage. Your home inspector will know the difference.
  6. questions to ask your home inspector
  7. How is the drainage on the property?

    Water can be a home’s worst enemy! The property’s general slope and landscape features can sometimes be a red flag for a Home Inspector that a Buyer wouldn’t notice. For example, if the soil around the house is sloping toward the home, water could be collecting around the foundation and can seep inside the basement or crawl space. In light of this, we recommend that you ask your home inspector about drainage. While you're considering the impact of water to your potential home, it's a great idea to ask your Agent to inquire for you whether or not the home is located in a flood zone.
  8. Where is the main water shut-off valve?

    The shut-off valve for the home’s water supply is sometimes clearly marked and located in an obvious place, but sometimes the location can be hidden. Buyers may forget to ask, but it is crucial that homeowners know this location. It might prevent a major flood in the future!

Often times the Home Inspection begins a Buyer’s journey of getting to know their new home. However, depending on the findings of the Home Inspection, it might mark the beginning of the end of your purchase of the home. Asking the right questions can help you make the crucial decision of how to proceed based on knowledge gained through conversations with your Home Inspector.

Want more advice about all things home — including homebuying or selling advice? Nestiny is a great place for homebuyer education and to help you gauge how ready you are to buy a home. Journey Homeward allows you to enter all your wants and needs while the True Affordability Tool will break down your budget, showing what you can comfortably afford. You will also receive a Ready Report that will give you a vital head start in the home buying journey, saving you valuable time and money.

You might like :

Ready To Become A Smarter Homebuyer?