When you find a house to purchase, one of the most important steps is hiring a home inspector. Inspectors are trained and experienced professionals who examine the entire home and create a report detailing any problems or safety concerns they find. This report provides the buyer with a snapshot of the property’s condition at the time of the inspection. Because of the inspector’s knowledge, a buyer often wants to ask them to help with certain things. However, here are some things your home inspector cannot do.
Appraise the House
When you purchase a home, the lender will often require an appraisal of the property. A licensed appraiser performs this service. They base the appraisal value on several factors, including recent sales of similar homes in the same area. While a home inspector is generally familiar with the area and local properties, they are not qualified to determine the house’s value.
Your Home Inspector Cannot Make Repairs
In most areas, home inspectors are not legally allowed to perform repairs on properties they have inspected, which is considered a conflict of interest. Your inspector may seem like an expert on property issues; however, making repairs violates home inspector ethics.
Find Property Boundaries
You may need to consult your local county property assessor’s office to determine the exact boundary of the property. Some counties have property lines listed online, making this information easier to access. The inspector will not perform a land survey or identify property lines.
Things Your Home Inspector Cannot Do: Code Inspections
The local government enforces building codes, and government agencies will have municipal inspectors who assess a property during construction or renovations. Your home inspector is not a building code inspector. They may be familiar with and reference local building codes in your inspection report, but it is not the home inspector’s job to perform a code inspection.
Harm the Property
Your home inspector will examine and comment on areas of the house that are accessible to them. The inspector will not tear off baseboard trim to look for mold, move furniture to examine electrical outlets, or do an invasive examination of wooden components to look for termites. The inspector won’t pry a door open to access a storage closet or inspect behind appliances.
Things Your Home Inspector Cannot Do: Diagnose Issues
If the light fixture in the kitchen isn’t turning on, the inspector will note this in the inspection report. However, your inspector will not determine the cause of the malfunctioning light. It is not your inspector’s job to figure out why a utility sink isn’t working or the cause of mold on the ceiling. During the examination of the property, it may be evident the roof is leaking, but it is not the inspector’s job to diagnose problems in the home.
Advise You on Purchasing the Home
After the inspection, many home buyers will ask the inspector, “Well, would you buy the house?”
It’s not part of the home inspector’s job to tell you if you should or should not purchase the property. The inspector will provide a thorough report of every system and component in the home. The report helps you understand exactly what you are investing in.
A home inspector cannot predict future events or when a system or component will fail. Then can only state what the condition of the system or component is at the time of the home inspection.