Yes. The home buyer and the Realtor should attend the home inspection. A home inspection is a critical part of any home sale, and there are many misconceptions and often some confusion surrounding it. This is the best time for questions to ask and clarify items that will be included in the final report.
Buyers make an offer to purchase a home based on a few walk-throughs with their realtor. The inspector they hire will spend several hours thoroughly examining the house. If the buyer is not present, a golden opportunity is gone to see the home they intend to purchase through the eyes of an expert.
More often than not, the report will come back with a list of dozens of defects. Some can be quite expensive. There is no such thing as a perfect home, especially if the property is a few decades old. Don’t worry too much about the length of the list of problems; instead, pay attention to the severity of the problems. Many issues, such as loose doorknobs or cracks in the paved driveway, will be so minor you won’t bother fixing them right away, even though you know they’re there.
The following issues can be deal-breakers:
Faulty Electrical Wiring:
The electrical system is an important, and potentially hazardous, part of a home, which is why it is included in every thorough home inspection Newer homes have more supply of power and electrical outlets. Older homes do not. A good inspector should check the outlets throughout the home as well as check the interior of the electrical breaker/fuse box assuring that there are no “double taps” – two electrical circuits attached to a single breaker – as it is a fire hazard. The wires, conduits, and boxes should be securely fixed to the building. There should be no visible signs of damage or deterioration. There should be at least one ground rod or other approved grounding means present at the service.
Some of these issues are obvious. Skilled inspectors are trained to find obvious, like a clogged toilet as well as the not so obvious, like illegal pipes that could result in being cited for plumbing violations. He will look around the entire home for signs of mildew, fungus, or mold related to water leaking from broken pipes and cracks in the ceiling or floor.
Grading Toward the Home:
Water in the basement, damp or wet crawlspaces, foundation movement, cracking and settlement may all be caused by grading. Water in the foundation could lead to rot in the walls, framing members, and mold. Some indications of foundation movement include windows that are out of square; interior doors that have large, uneven gaps at the top when the door is closed; or floors visibly out of level. Some of the most experienced home inspectors believe that the most common issue they find during inspections is the lack of grading (improperly sloped soil) away from the home.
A roof usually lasts about 30 years, so you will need to find out when it was installed. A home inspector will look at the quality of the shingles and know if any are curled, broken, or even missing which are signs that you might need a new roof soon.
The Bottom Line: A home inspection is the buyer’s last opportunity to discover problems with the house before purchasing. And it’s a chance for the seller to address those problems and negotiate pricing with the buyer. If the buyer is present for the home inspection, the inspector can review his findings with the buyer directly and answer questions about the repair’s location and severity.