By Keith Boggs
Posted June 15, 2020 at 8:00 am CT
There’s so much that goes into buying or selling a home: The listings, the viewings, the appraisals, the inspections, the negotiations…and the QUESTIONS! Doing a Google search can deliver answers, but how do you know you’re getting the best information?
We’re happy to share the top five myths we come across when we talk to potential home buyers — along with the information you need to decide whether to believe them or not!
Myth 1: Home inspections cost too much.
Truth: A home inspection helps you get the most bang for your buck.
Assuming you hire an experienced, thorough home inspector (see Myth 2), a home inspection provides you with the information you need to help you make a wise investment. it gives you insights into the property’s current state, identifies defects (including those you might otherwise not uncover), and provides you with information on how to remedy those issues. Importantly, it provides you with a valuable tool for negotiating a fair price for the property.
And think about this: In the DFW area, you’re likely considering a six-figure investment. Yet, most home inspections cost less than $1,000 — usually closer to the $500 to $700 range. A small price to pay for peace of mind!
Advice: Don’t skimp on the home inspection.
Myth 2: It doesn’t matter which home inspection company you hire.
Truth: You’re not hiring a company — you’re hiring a person.
You may be inclined to hire a large inspection company because of its prominent advertising, feeling comfortable as long as it has a 4-ish star rating based on lots of reviews. But keep this in mind: Regardless of which company you hire, the quality of your inspection depends on the experience of the individual — the one person — that does the work!
When an owner has one or two active inspectors and still does inspections himself, he can easily manage and coach his team. Being in the field regularly keeps his skills up-to-date, which is very important to the growth and development of himself and his inspectors. And his inspectors are much more likely to stay with the company.
In many large inspection companies, most of their inspectors are fairly new to inspecting homes, and turnover is not uncommon. These workers may be trained to look for common issues, but they don’t have the experience to uncover the defects a more experienced inspector will find. And those missed issues are often the costliest to remedy.
Advice: When interviewing potential home inspectors, ask about the experience and qualifications of the person who will be doing the actual work.
Myth 3: Your home inspector will uncover all defects.
Truth: Home inspectors can only detect what they can inspect.
The truth is, even the most experienced inspectors can miss defects. First of all, they can only inspect visible and accessible areas of the property. So, if cabinets or boxes block access to the water heater or HVAC, they can’t move them. If they don’t have keys to the property’s outbuildings, they can’t get inside to do their work. If there is a component that presents a hazard to the inspector — for example, a steeply-pitched roof — they simply may not be able to see every nook and cranny. A top-notch inspector, however, will let you know what he can and can’t inspect and what risks any “fuzzy” areas may pose.
Advice: Make sure your inspector can access all key components of the house, and discuss any inaccessible components after the inspection.
Myth 4: Home inspectors can’t provide advice on how to fix a property’s problems.
Truth: The best home inspectors will help.
Home inspectors aren’t specialists. They don’t know every detail about every structural element and system on a property. But with experience, they gain a lot of knowledge. And the best inspectors will freely share what they have learned with you.
In their reports and in post-inspection conversations, they’ll not only describe the defects they found, they’ll provide ideas for how to move forward. They’ll give you their thoughts about answers to questions like: How could this be fixed? How much might it cost? What kind of professionals do I need to hire?
Your home inspector should be an ally, helping you make sure you are making the wisest investment of your time and money. They may not have all the answers, but they should give you advice.
Advice: When hiring, ask them about their approach to providing this type of information. If they say they can’t, it may be a red flag that their inspectors don’t have a lot of experience.
Myth 5: Home sellers have to fix every defect before closing.
Truth: Home inspection results provide information for negotiation.
Your home inspector will find defects, no doubt. So, who pays to have them fixed? That’s up to you and the seller. Sellers can fix some or all defects. Or you can negotiate a reduction in price or some other concession, like closing cost credits or a home warranty. The best decision for you will vary based on what the inspector finds, how much control you want over the repairs, and financial considerations, among other factors.
Advice: Read our article about what happens after a home inspection to learn more about how to negotiate based on the inspection outcomes.
Myths debunked! When you have questions, go to the source: an experienced, highly-qualified home inspection company, like Stonebriar Property Inspections. We are on your side!
About Keith Boggs
Keith Boggs is the owner of Stonebriar Property Inspections. He is your personal home inspector, and his investment in the company will be reflected in the quality of your inspection. Mr. Boggs’ inspection reports are professional, comprehensive, detailed, and clear. They average about 70 pages and include 80 to 100 color images and include detail findings and recommendations along with tips and best practices for maintaining your home. Stonebriar Property Inspection’s customer reviews speak to Keith’s reputation as an ethical, reliable, and courteous Dallas home inspector. Stonebriar Property Inspections is a proud member of the Better Business Bureau with an A+ rating. SPI is fully licensed by the Texas Real Estate Commission for home inspections and the Texas Department of Agriculture for termite/wood destroying insect inspections.