Common Mistakes Buyers Shouldn't Make During a Home Inspection

The home inspection is one of the most crucial steps for buying a home, and it shouldn't be overlooked or rushed. In fact, the inspection process has the potential to be just as nerve-racking for the buyer as it is for the seller. What if you've fallen in love with a beautiful home that has major problems lurking beneath the surface?

That's why it's extremely important to pay attention during this process, and take steps to avoid common pitfalls. How can you possibly screw it up? We're here to tell you.

Stay clear of these mistakes when you get an inspection on your dream home.


1. Forgoing an inspection in the first place - Sure, most people know they should get an inspection on a home they're buying from someone else. Many buyers tend to skip an inspection when buying new construction. And that can be a huge mistake.

2. Choosing the cheapest inspection option - There are a lot of inspectors who offer very low prices for home inspections and that could indicate they're new and inexperienced, or that they’re having trouble finding clients. We're not saying you should never opt for an affordable inspection, or that all affordable inspectors are dummies. But we are saying you should do your research before defaulting to the cheapest option.

3. Not being present for the inspection - Tempted to let the inspector just do their job and read the report later? Hearing the inspector’s comments directly and being able to ask questions is extremely helpful in figuring out what items from the report are truly a concern.

4. Not making the rounds with the inspector - Don’t squander the opportunity to learn more about your home. Don't spend your inspection time checking your email or choosing colors for your new living room while the inspector is doing their work.

5. Being overly involved in the inspection - On the other hand, it’s possible to be too involved during an inspection. Don't distract your inspector from the details of the job. Be a good listener, but keep the chatting to a minimum.

6. Expecting a perfect report (and overreacting if it’s not) - An inspection is not a pass-fail test, and every home will have flaws. Don’t be surprised if the inspection uncovers as many as 50 to 100 “deficiencies." Many of these may be relatively minor. Buyers who are unprepared for the depth and breadth of an inspection are often taken aback, and it can sour them on the home when many of these blemishes are to be expected.

7. Focusing on the wrong things - Not all "deficiences" are equal. Remember that an inspection is the chance to find out about significant red flags with the property (e.g., issues with the roof, foundation, HVAC systems, or other costly problems).

8. Not getting negotiated repairs reinspected - Once the negotiated repairs have been completed, it’s wise to get a final written approval from your home inspector—even if there's an additional cost.


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