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Damage During a Home Inspection - Things to Know

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A modern living room.

Buying a home is a very thrilling time in one's life. There's also the possibility of anxiety, especially concerning home inspections. You should never purchase without first having a home inspected, as this is sometimes the only way to discover problems with the house that are not visible to the naked eye. After this happens, it's essential to consider how the damage can affect a potential sale. Therefore, in this piece, we'll be discussing the significance of recognizing damage during a home inspection.

The purpose of a home inspection

A pre-purchase home inspection should be mandatory. It's an in-depth examination of the entire residence, from the attic to the cellar. The inspector will look for any signs of damage or other cause for concern. As part of this process, looking for structural, plumbing, electrical, and more issues is necessary.

Termites, rats, and other pests will be inspected for any evidence of water damage by the home inspector. Also, they will be looking for any violations of regulations or threats to public security. During the inspection, the inspector will write a report with a list of problems and suggestions for fixing them.

All-white kitchen with a vase on the dining table
Home inspections are an essential part of buying a property.

In what ways might a home inspection reveal damage?

A home inspector's job is to look for visible signs of damage while performing an inspection. There may be obvious signs of structural damage, like cracks in the foundation or floors that are sagging. Also, they will check for evidence of water damage, such as discoloration or warping of the walls and floors.

In addition to checking for structural damage, the inspector will also check for signs of common household pests like termites and rats and signs of electrical and plumbing problems. The inspector will also investigate any potential violations of regulations or threats to public safety.

What is considered serious damage?

The severity of the damage found during a house inspection may vary. Some damages may be minor and straightforward to fix. Some forms of damage may be more serious, necessitating extensive repairs or even the replacement of vital housing components.

Houses are severely damaged if they sustain any kind of structural damage. Everything from cracks in the walls and roof to the foundation is included here. Moreover, health risks, including mold growth, are associated with water damage. Damage from pests like termites and utilities like electricity and plumbing issues may be severe.

A crack in a white wall
Cracks in a wall could signify serious foundation issues.

After damage has been discovered during a home inspection, what should you do about it?

When discovering damage during a home inspection, the first order of business is always to track down where it came from. That may help you choose the right next step. If the damage is minor, self-repair is a possibility.

On the other hand, if the damage is extensive, you may want to hire a professional. According to the experts from Transparent International, you should call the seller and see if you can get a price reduction or have the damage repaired if it's severe enough to compromise the structure or safety of the property. You may pull out of the agreement if the harm is significant enough.

What if the house inspector caused property damage or injury while on the job?

Suppose a home inspector causes damage to the property or sustains a personal injury while on the premises. The inspector is responsible for paying all associated costs. If the house inspector does any damage to the property while performing the inspection, the insurance will pay the fees. Workers' compensation insurance should cover the home inspector in case of an on-the-job injury. The homeowner might be liable for damages and injuries sustained during the inspection if the inspector doesn’t have adequate insurance coverage.

But what if you end up damaging something?

If you sustain any damage during a home inspection, you should immediately notify the seller or their agent and make a written record of the damage. Knowing how to do a final walkthrough before moving out is essential, so make sure everything is okay before leaving. You should document any damage using both written letters and photographs. The vendor can ask for money to fix the damage, depending on how bad it is. It is essential in this situation to be forthright and honest about what happened. Sometimes, a compromise that's fair to both parties is possible.

Would any kind of damage to the sale affect the final price?

Damage to a home may or may not affect its resale value. If the damage isn't too severe, it may not impact the sale much. Yet, the transaction might be in jeopardy if the damage is too significant.

Lenders may demand that the seller make the repairs if the damage is severe enough to jeopardize the house's structure or safety. In some cases, the buyer may even ask the seller for receipts or estimates for the repairs that need to be done. Alternatively, the buyer might try haggling for a lower price or ask the seller to cover the cost of the repairs. Buyers can back out of a deal if there is a lot of damage and the seller is unwilling to fix it or lower the price.

A man working on a wall.
In some cases, the seller will pay for the repairs if you discover damage during a home inspection.

In conclusion

Damage during a home inspection may or may not affect its resale value. If the damage isn't too severe, it may not impact the sale much. Yet, the transaction might be in jeopardy if the damage is too significant. A fixed or lower price may need to be negotiated by the buyer. The buyer may cancel the transaction if the harm is too great. While doing a home inspection, watching for signs of damage is essential. Buying a house might be less stressful if you know what to expect and how to handle any damage detected.