BuyersHome InspectionLocalTips May 3, 2023

Home Inspection 101: What to Know

Most buyers and sellers know that a home inspection can be a big part of the real estate process, but when it comes right down to it, do you know what to expect from one? By the end of this blog post, you will! We’re here to cover:

  1. What a home inspection actually is
  2. How to get set up with one if you need it
  3. How to find the right inspector for you
  4. How long it might take
  5. Other inspections you might want to consider
  6. What to do after your home inspection is complete

Let’s dive in!


What is a home inspection?

First, be sure you don’t confuse this with a home appraisal. Appraisals are often required by lenders to confirm that the agreed-upon price lines up with the property’s actual value. These may not find some of the serious issues you would want to know about as a buyer—or even as a seller!

A home inspection is a noninvasive exam of a property. It’s intended to give an idea of the condition of that property as well as bring to light any potential safety concerns. Remember, though, that it is noninvasive. Your inspector will not be opening up walls, for example, and may not even move things like furniture and rugs, which means that unfortunately they can’t be expected to catch everything. They should, however, check out attics, basements, crawl spaces, and so on in addition to rooms that get more everyday use.

Home inspections aren’t a part of every sale, but many buyers ask for a home inspection contingency in their offer to make sure there are no “deal breakers” before they go through with closing.


How do I get one?

Buyers who need a home inspection should weigh their local options before deciding which inspector to go with. (More on this in a bit.) But don’t take too long! There will be a set amount of time in your purchase agreement for you to complete the home inspection process. Keep your agent in the loop as you decide; they’re your best advocate and likely know most of your options in the area.

As a buyer, you would likely pay for and schedule the inspection. Some buyers may negotiate for the sellers to cover it in the purchase agreement, but it’s not always the way to go. Although home inspectors are, ideally, an objective third party, there’s peace of mind in knowing that they are working directly for you and in no one else’s interest.

Most inspectors are happy (and may even expect) to have buyers tag along for the inspection, and it’s a good idea to do so if you can. You can ask questions and get information in real time, along with getting a closer look at the property you’re about to invest in. Sellers should be careful to make sure the inspector can easily access the property to make everything go as smoothly as possible. That means making sure keys or a lockbox are ready to go, utilities are connected, and pilot lights are on if the property has been vacant while listed.

(Oh—and sellers, you can also get a pre-inspection before listing your property if you’d like to know what is likely to pop up and possibly address a few things ahead of time!)


How do I find the right inspector?


First things first: Ohio licenses home inspectors, so it is important to work with an inspector who holds a license issued by the Ohio Division of Real Estate and Professional Licensing. Next, look for certifications like InterNACHI (the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors) and ASHI (the American Society of Home Inspectors), which shows you they have official training in providing home inspections. You also want your inspector to be insured, experienced, and have a solid knowledge of local issues your property may face. These range from local pest populations to specific soil types that affect the settling of a home. Reviews, testimonials, and referrals are also usually reliable ways to learn more about an inspector.

Some home inspectors will be able to offer repairs and renovations, though there’s a chance they may see defects as the opportunity for more work—so be prepared to take their recommendations with a grain of salt.


How long does a home inspection take?

In terms of how long it takes from finding an inspector to getting the final report, expect anywhere from one to three weeks. Your purchase agreement should outline this very clearly. The day of, you can expect your actual inspection to range from two to three hours, though it could be more or less, depending on the size of the property and the shape it’s in. After the inspection is completed, you can usually expect the report to come from your inspector within a few days.


What other inspections should I consider?


A home inspection can be very broad. If you have specific concerns, there are other types of inspections that may be able to give you more detailed answers. For example, you may want to know more about:

  • The presence of radon
  • Wood destroying inspects
  • Mold and mildew concerns
  • Sewage and drainage
  • …and more!


What comes next?

When you receive your home inspection report, it will be broken down into different sections of your house. Be prepared to see lots of “defects” listed. A home inspector will note even the most minor things they notice—and that’s a good thing! However, it doesn’t mean everything they find is necessarily a concern. It’s important to note the difference between genuine hazards and inconveniences. In other words, “now” fixes and “later” fixes. An active leak is usually a “now” fix, as well as potential foundation issues. Some “later” fixes might include jiggly doorknobs and other superficial flaws that don’t pose a danger, though they may be unsightly or even somewhat annoying.

Now is the time to decide what you’ll do with the information in your report. Will you continue with the sale as planned? Do you feel the need to renegotiate terms like closing costs, overall price, or repairs that need to be made before closing? Is there anything concerning enough to warrant backing out of the deal completely?

If you choose to ask for repairs or changes, be sure to follow up to be sure that everything is on track for a timely closing. You may even need to set up a reinspection to confirm that your concerns have been addressed. Then, it’s time to get moved in and enjoy your new home!


Our trusted REALTORS® are standing by and ready to help you with your next real estate transaction! Reach out today to get started on your next purchase or sale.

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LocalSellersTips April 17, 2023


Looking to buy or sell a home on a budget? Your first thought may be to cut out the REALTOR® and go it alone with a FSBO, or For Sale by Owner. After all, these days you can find anything you need to know on the internet, right? Not exactly.


Look at it this way: If you wanted to know where something was in a store, you’d ask an associate. If you had questions while shopping online, you’d probably use that handy customer service chat feature. So why would you try to navigate one of the biggest investments of your life without a professional backing you up? There are a lot of things REALTORS® offer that a FSBO experience just can’t. You may even find that using a REALTOR® turns out to be more cost efficient in the end! From an easier overall experience to inside info you can’t find on Trulia or Zillow, here are six things your REALTOR® brings to the table that you won’t get with a FSBO. 


1. Convenience

Buying—or selling—a house is a lot more time consuming than most people realize. When you’re selling, there’s a lot of invisible work to do on the front end. When buying, it’s important to make sure your ducks are in a row financially before you start seeing properties in person. Buyers will have dozens, sometimes hundreds, of potential properties to sift through. Sellers have to organize showings and escort interested parties around while answering their questions. Your REALTOR® can not only narrow down your search to properties that fit your needs but research comparable sales (or comps). This will make sure the price is right before you get in too deep. They can also facilitate showings so you aren’t tied to the phone.


2. Connections


Professional networks are strong in real estate. A good REALTOR® will be able to recommend local bankers, inspectors, contractors, real estate photographers, cleaning companies…the list goes on and on. It’s also highly likely that they will be familiar with other REALTORS® in the area, which helps with organizing showings, writing or responding to counteroffers, and more. An established REALTOR® will already have a platform, as well, which makes it easier to get the word out on a property you want to sell. Their website and social media already have followers who pop in specifically to see what’s on the market.


REALTORS® also have access to properties you won’t find on websites like Trulia, Zillow, and They can use the MLS to see properties your internet search won’t bring up, and possibly find more detailed information about properties you like. The MLS is more accurate and reliable than generic listing sites, and it can’t be accessed by just anyone.


3. Expertise

Realtors in Ohio are required to complete thirty hours of professional development coursework every three years, so they are well versed on developments in the real estate industry. They know their area like the back of their hand and can point out pitfalls, alternatives, and bonuses that may never have occurred to you alone. In addition, they are used to the complex paperwork and legal requirements you’ll need to navigate. Multi-page purchase agreements, addendums, and the many rules that go along with them are not to be taken lightly. Your REALTOR® will be able to walk you through these documents so that you not only do them correctly, but understand what they mean.


4. Loyalty

Your REALTOR® stays with you throughout the process. For sellers, they start with helping you stage the property, advertise it, and find the offer that will give you the best ultimate outcome. A buyer’s agent will answer your questions about the properties you see, help you strategize and write a strong offer, and possibly sit in on inspections. It is their fiduciary duty to put the client’s needs first. That means it’s not only in their best interest to keep you happy, but it’s their legal responsibility to keep your private information confidential. There’s no guarantee of confidentiality when it comes to a FSBO!


We can even take it a step further. Flag City REALTORS® (and many other brokerages and agents nationwide) are heavily involved in consumer rights at the local and national levels. They dedicate their time, and in some cases, their own money, to promoting fair public policies related to homeownership, regardless of which side of the aisle a political candidate sits on. That means that even after—and well before—your closing documents are signed, your REALTOR® should be working toward a better and fairer homeowning experience for you.


5. Perspective

When it comes to real estate, and home buying in particular, buyers and sellers sometimes need help to stay objective. There may be a lot of emotion tied to this decision, but a REALTOR® can offer perspective, especially during negotiations.


As a buyer, you’re probably thinking mostly of your “wants” and your “don’t wants,” but your REALTOR® is looking at the property as a whole. They know to look into things like school zones, flood zones, noise pollution, and HOA requirements, in addition to basics like the number of bedrooms or the size of the yard. Sellers, on the other hand, may not have a good idea of what will appeal to the market. Seller’s agents are skilled at adding curb appeal and can give you pointers on staging the property to its best advantage.


6. Possibly, a better deal!



If you are a seller planning to go the FSBO route to save money, you could end up doing just the opposite. The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) has found that FSBO homes actually tend to sell for significantly less than their agent-assisted counterparts.


Buyers trying to save a dime should still consider a REALTOR® as well. In addition to having a savvy negotiator in your corner, it’s important to remember that, technically, a buyer’s agent doesn’t cost you a thing. Under normal circumstances, your buyer’s agent will be compensated by the seller. They share the commission the seller pays to the listing agent.


Most people who consider diving into real estate without a REALTOR® do so because they hope to save a little money during an already expensive process. However, using a REALTOR® could actually save money in the long run, and the benefits they offer are well worthwhile. Want to talk with one from our qualified team? You can get started here today!