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‘Another set of eyes’: Inspectors are trained to review a home’s condition before a sale is finalized

Buying a home can be an enormous undertaking, from finding a reputable lender to making sure a place has all the amenities it can.


Even more important, however, is making sure everything is working order before signing on the dotted line.


Getting a home inspected before it’s sold is one of the most important steps in the process. After all, no one wants to be saddled with the additional expense of a damaged, dangerous or malfunctioning property.


Buyers should always review any written disclosure statement provided by the seller, but even a seller’s knowledge of the features and condition of their own home may be limited. An inspection gives the buyer another set of eyes reviewing the home’s condition on the buyer’s behalf before deciding to purchase.”


Although items to be inspected can vary from inspector to inspector, he or she usually will conduct a visual inspection of a home’s grounds, its exterior, roof, garage/carport, electrical, mechanical and plumbing systems, structural stability, attic, basement, heating/air conditioning systems and windows.


In some cases, more work might be needed from specialists, such as for sewer lines or septic tanks.


As a general rule, inspectors cannot inspect inaccessible areas or see through walls, so at the very least, the inspection will be limited in those respects.


Another point to consider is how qualified an inspector is.


The state of Kansas is one of 11 states that does not require a license to inspect homes. Because of this, it is best for buyers to do their research prior to hiring an inspector.


The most qualified home inspectors are likely to have extensive training and experience and will belong to reputable trade organizations, such as the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) or the National Association of Home Inspectors (NAHI).


Continuing education is important for inspectors, too. Things are constantly changing and evolving in home construction.


So not only does an inspector need to know what to check in older homes — with galvanized piping being one example — but he or she must be knowledgeable about what is acceptable in newer houses as well.


When it isn’t possible to ascertain whether something is faulty or dangerous, An Inspector will recommend clients bring in more specialized professionals.


This can be relevant in checking for termites and other pests, but also for things that can’t be seen but probably exist, such as Radon a cancer-causing gases.


In homes that test above the action level for Radon, a specialist will drill a hole in the basement floor and install a pipe that diverts the gas away from the home.


Radon, of course, is an extreme example of what can trip up buyers and sellers.


An Inspector’s job isn’t to pick the house apart. It’s to educate the buyer and the seller on the condition of the house so they can work out how (any issues are) going to be resolved.

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