If you hire the right home inspector you will hire a professional that provides an objective, visual examination of the homes condition. As a home buyer you should view the home inspection as a way to gain valuable information about the biggest purchase of your lifetime. It helps you to determine if there are any major defects or needed repairs at the time of purchase. It is also an educational experience.
Often times, home inspections are performed after a sales contract is signed. The contract may be conditional upon the results of the home inspection, and if major concerns are found you may have the option of canceling the contract. The inspection should be arranged as soon as possible after signing the contract. More and more often sellers are having their homes inspected prior to placing them on the market so that repairs can be made before hand, making the home more marketable.
I encourage the home buyer to attend the inspection, so that you can see first hand the workings of the home. It is also an excellent opportunity to ask questions about the home and to discuss potential changes.
The home inspector's service to the purchaser is primarily one of communication and education. The goal of the inspector is to provide the purchaser with an understanding of the condition of the home in order that you can make a well-informed decision. After the inspection is completed, a report is prepared, that includes photos, for the home buyer, documenting the results of the inspection. The report is e-mailed out as a easy to read PDF file within 48 hours of the inspection
The home inspection is not an appraisal, a municipal code inspection, an environmental audit, or a home owner's warranty.
A complete home inspection covers all of the major systems of a house, including structure, exterior, roofing, electrical, heating, cooling, insulation, plumbing and interior. As a minimum, the inspection will meet the Standards of Practice of the State of IL and American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI).