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What to Expect with Home Inspections

Kitchen with work bench and windows

Kitchen with work bench and windows

One of the most important steps in the buying or selling process is a home inspection, and it has the potential to make or break a sale. And since home inspections deal with the inner workings of your home, sometimes the contents of the report can feel formidable. Whether you’re buying or selling your Chicago home, we have a few tips on what to expect with home inspections:

What Gets Inspected

While inspectors have a detailed list of things to look for, their primary areas of focus are heating and cooling systems, plumbing and electrical systems and structural components (roof, attic, walls, floors, etc). Inspectors may point out cosmetic issues just to be thorough, but these tend to have less impact if an inspection comes to a negotiation on price.  

For Buyers

If you can, attend the home inspection yourself. This will give you plenty of time to ask questions and explore your new home. If you feel better prepared with your own list to reference, there are plenty available online. Once the inspection is finished, review the report thoroughly and consult with your agent on any potential repairs. Oftentimes, the sellers can correct those defects or you can negotiate for the money to do so yourself. If the list of repairs is too concerning, you can still walk away from the sale. Your agent can guide you through that decision as well. 

For Sellers

To prepare your home for inspection, tidy spaces like the attic, basement or closets that house furnaces, HVAC units or water heaters. Keep receipts of any recent work done. Make sure light bulbs are functioning, filters are changed and any minor clogs in your sink are taken care of. Some homeowners even opt for a pre-listing inspection to speed the sales process up, but then they may have to disclose that information to buyers; your agent should be able to determine whether it’s right for your home. Regardless, doing a small bit of prep work before inspection may help you in the long run.

Although inspections can seem intimidating, they’re a crucial part of the process and seasoned experts can help the whole process run smoothly. Questions about inspections? Our team is here to help. 

Photo courtesy of 55 W. Schiller