A home inspector is a qualified individual who can undertake inspections of properties for which he receives payments as part of his profession. Home inspectors generally are licensed by their boards of examiners. Home inspectors do not conduct invasive tests or investigations. Instead, they are trained to identify problems and to point out ways to repair or improve the condition of a property. Home inspectors are generally not allowed to make recommendations about selling a home or modifying the existing terms of the contract.
Home inspectors must obtain written authorization from the seller prior to performing any inspection of the property. The sample report is typically provided with this written authorization. In most states, home inspectors are required to obtain a copy of this signed authorization before inspecting the home. Some states do not require written authorization for a home inspector to inspect the home and accept payment for the inspection services. In these states, home inspectors may refer the customer to a licensed real estate agent or attorney if the client chooses to proceed without the written authorization.
Home inspectors are also asked to inspect the roof of the home. In a typical inspection, the inspector will check for leaks or other problems with the roofing system. He may also check the attic for insulation problems. He may check for cracks or signs of decay in the roof. As part of the pre-purchase inspection, a home inspector will also visually inspect the attic for insulation, flashing, insulation, sheathing, insulation sheath and loose or missing insulation.
In some cases, the home inspector will make recommendations to the sellers or buyers (buyers will receive a copy of this report). In other instances, the inspection report will be used as the basis for negotiations between the buyer and the seller. The report contains detailed descriptions of the repairs that need to be made and their approximate cost. Buyers can use these details when negotiating with sellers. Sellers who accept the findings of the report should not make any significant changes unless they are completely comfortable with the recommendations.
In many states, a home inspector is not required to disclose his professional affiliation unless asked to do so by the buyer. However, some states do require disclosures. If the buyer knows there is an inspection underway but does not know whether the inspector agrees with his suggestions, then he should ask the seller whether the home inspector is a member of a homeowners’ association. If the seller does provide the necessary information, he should mention this fact to the potential buyer. This should not be interpreted to mean that every home inspector on a given street is a member of a homeowners’ association; however, the majority of inspectors should be.
One reason for having a home inspector check the heating and cooling system is to make sure that it is in good working condition. In addition, a professional inspector will have access to system tools that the average homeowner does not. As a result, the inspectors can make sure that the system is performing the functions that are intended. For instance, a qualified HVAC inspector will be able to detect issues such as improper thermostat settings, leaks in duct work, defective solenoid valves, and other problems that could potentially cost the homeowner a lot of money.
Mold inspections are also a part of an overall HVAC inspection. Home inspectors also look for signs of mold or fungus growth in the walls, roofing, floors, ceiling, and windows. As well, they will make sure that the proper insulation has been installed, windows are sealed, and any cracks in the foundation have been sealed. The inspector may suggest removing the foundation entirely if needed to meet all specifications for energy efficiency. If the HVAC system is located in an older home, a home inspector will check for leaks or other problems, and make sure that the appropriate HVAC replacement parts are available.
Because it takes more than one person to complete the inspection and repairs, some people feel that they are being underpaid when it comes to HVAC repairs. This is not necessarily true. As mentioned above, home inspectors do not bill for their services. The only money that home inspectors actually get for their work is when the client requests a follow-up inspection after the initial inspection has been conducted. In many states, home inspectors are not even required to bill; therefore, if you choose to hire a home inspector to make your home repairs, it may be your only big expense in the entire year.