The Real Estate Browser Volume 9, Issue 12 - Page 14
14 — Say you saw it in The Real Estate Browser of Lynchburg — Volume 9 Number 12
Myths Of Home Inspections
By Drew Howard , President, HomePro, Inc.
Myth No. 1: A home inspection
is the same thing as a home
In fact, these two things could not be more dif-
ferent, says Tim Buell, president of the American
Society of Home Inspectors and a retired home
inspector in Hilliard, OH.
“An appraiser’s function is to determine the
value of a house on behalf of the lending institu-
tion,” he says. “Home inspectors are only inter-
ested in the safety of the home—not the value.”
That means if the seller offers up a glowing
appraisal report, you shouldn’t be swayed into
thinking you’ve just saved yourself the price of a
home inspection. Got it?
Myth No. 2: Home inspectors can advise you on
whether to buy the house
“That’s not my field of expertise,” says ASHI’s
Executive Director Frank Lesh, of the Home
Sweet Home Inspection Co. in Chicago. “Often
people ask, ‘Would you buy this house?’ I can
only tell you about the functioning portions of
the house, not whether you should buy it.”
And don’t forget: Even though most inspec-
tions are done at the buyer’s request, inspectors
are impartial. If you think inspections are meant
to help the buyer renegotiate the purchase price,
Buell says, think again.
Myth No. 3: It doesn’t matter which inspector
In the U.S., only 30 states require licensing
for home inspectors, according to the ASHI. But
even licensed inspectors have various levels of
training or certification, so it’s up to the buyer
(you) to find a competent professional.
“Just because someone is licensed doesn’t mean
they’re qualified,” Lesh says. “It means they have
met a minimum requirement for their license.”
Do your homework by getting referrals from
professional associations, agents, and other
homeowners, and then checking references thor-
Myth No. 4: The inspector will uncover every
single thing that’s wrong with the house
Much as you wish they could, home inspec-
tors simply cannot check every nook and cranny,
“People think we can see behind walls, but I’m
not Superman—I don’t have X-ray vision,” he
Rather, home inspectors are guests in the sell-
er’s home, which limits what they can do.
“We can’t tear into a wall to look behind it,
or rip something apart to see why it’s making a
noise,” he says. “We’re there for a visual inspec-
tion of readily accessible areas of the home, so
if there’s a china cabinet in front of something,
we’re not going to move it.”
That said, home inspectors do use special-
ized tools such as infrared cameras and moisture
meters that allow them to gather more informa-
tion. But buyers should be realistic about what
they’ll learn, Buell notes.
For example: If you’re buying a house in the
middle of the winter, an inspector probably won’t
be able to check a roof with 3 feet of snow on it.