Your home inspector will inspect your house before you buy it. If you really want to know more about your house than its exterior, ask your inspector a lot of questions!

When you ask your home inspector questions is just as important as What you answer. Here’s a list of questions you should ask before, during, and after your home inspection.

Before the inspection begins, ask questions to the home inspector

How do you distinguish a good home contractor from a bad one? Interviewing home inspectors is the best way to find out how thorough they are. Here are some questions you can ask to help.

Bonus: Knowing what to expect will help you prepare for your journey. My friends, knowledge is power.

“What do you check?”

Frank Lesh is the executive director of American Society of Home Inspectors. He says that many people don’t understand what a home inspector does.

What does a home inspector look at ? There are 1,600 different features in a home.

Lesh states, “We inspect everything from roof to foundation and everything in-between.”

You will leave the inspection feeling satisfied if you have a clear understanding about what the inspector can do and cannot do.

“What don’t you verify?”

There are limitations. Lesh says that “we are limited to a visual inspection.” “We cannot cut a hole through someone’s wall,” says Lesh.

An inspector will frequently flag potential problems in the report. You will need to hire another expert, such as a roofer or HVAC person, builder or electrician, to do a deeper examination.

“Understand that we’re looking into what exists in the home today,” says Randy Sipe from Spring Hill, KS. “I cannot see into the future more than anyone else.”

“What is the cost of a home inspection?”

An Home Inspection in Spring Valley, TX, will cost between $300 and $600. However, it will depend on market conditions, the size of the house and the actual inspector. You will generally pay the inspector on the day of the inspection. It is important to be aware of what payment options and how much they accept.

Lesh warns you against working with an inspector that quotes you a low price.

He says, “This is often a sign that they’re having difficulty getting customers.”

A good inspector is a wise investment that will pay off in the long-term.

“How long have your been doing this?”

Perhaps even more important is: How many inspections are you a professional? While a newer inspector does not necessarily indicate lower quality inspections, experience can be a big factor in determining the value of a home.

“Can I accompany you during the inspection?”

This should answer the question with a clear yes. A good inspector will ask prospective owners to attend the inspection. It is more beneficial to have someone explain the systems of your home and the way they work than just reading the report. You also get the chance to ask questions and receive clarifications right away. You should not agree to join an inspector if he asks. Run!

“How long will the inspection take?”

Inspections are often held during the week, when sellers are less likely to be available. It will help you avoid having to rush to complete the inspection so you don’t have to rush back to work. The house’s condition will affect the estimate. If you get quoted a figure that is too high, such as half an hour for a 2-bedroom apartment or one hour for a large historic house, that could indicate that the inspector doesn’t know what he’s doing.

“Can you show me a sample of your report?”

It can be beneficial to look at another person’s report before buying your first house. Although every house has its problems, most are not too big of a problem. You won’t panic if you have a sample report. It will also give you an idea of how your inspector communicates. This is another way to make sure you and your inspector get along well.

Questions to ask your home inspector during a home-inspection

You should plan to attend your home inspection, whether you are there in person or via video. Ask your inspector any questions that arise right away. This is because it’s easier for the pro to explain what’s happening with the house than trying to decipher the (very technical) home inspector’s report.

These are some questions you should ask your home inspector to help you start the show-and-tell process.

“What does it mean?”

Your home inspector will inspect the house slowly and look for signs of any problems. Your inspector will point out any problems or areas that may need repair.

Ask questions and understand why the inspector is telling your story. If the inspector states something like “Looks like there are rotten boards in this house,” you should ask him to explain the implications for the whole house, including how difficult it will be to fix and what the cost.

Keep in mind that the inspector cannot tell you if you should buy the house or what you should ask for from the seller (although your agent should be able help you with this).

“Is it a major issue or minor problem?”

Most people consider buying real estate their biggest investment. You might feel panicky if your inspector tells you that the house is unsafely constructed, has water damage or a roof leak.

Do not panic, just ask the inspector if he considers the problem a major one. It will surprise you to learn that many houses have similar problems and that they are not major issues, even though the repairs or fixes sound serious. What if it is serious? That’s why you need to have the home inspection done. It’s possible to address the issue with the seller, or you can just walk away.

“What is the water spot on your ceiling? Does it need to be repaired?”

Ask questions, point out oddities and ask for clarifications during your home inspection. Your inspector will most likely have noticed something unusual and will inspect it thoroughly. To determine if the issue is serious, your inspector might need to inspect the ceiling from above.

Your inspector should ask you questions before starting the inspection. As a potential negative, tell your inspector if this is your first purchase of real estate, if you have any concerns about the age of the house, and if there are any other issues.

‘I’ve never owned a house with an HVAC/boiler/basement. How do I maintain it?

A home inspection, regardless of its flaws, is your chance to have an expert guide you on how to maintain your home.

“Inspectors are trained to explain basic concepts to people. Ask Lesh if you have a question about inspections. Your inspector won’t show you how to build a clock. However, we will happily answer your questions and explain how things work.

“What are your greatest concerns about the property?”

The inspector should give you a summary of his findings at the end of the inspection. Although you will receive a written report in the future, this is a good time to understand what the inspector considers the most important issues and whether further investigation is necessary.

It’s often a good idea for another expert to inspect your home, such as a plumber, electrician or roofer.

It is a good idea to have a mental checklist of items that you need addressed by the seller or another expert before leaving inspection day. You may need to be quick because in some states these negotiations can take place only for a short time.

You will find more information in your official home inspection report, but it is important that you know the contents by the time you leave the house.

After the inspection is complete, ask questions to the home inspector

What are some questions you can ask a home inspector once he has completed the inspection? Let’s face the truth, many home buyers can become overwhelmed by the large report that highlights every defect in their dream home.

This will help you to understand the questions that you should ask your home inspector. These are the major ones you should remember.

“I don’t understand [such an and such], can I get clarification?”

Here’s what you can expect: You will receive the inspector’s report within a few days. The report will include a detailed listing of all flaws in the house. It may also include photos of certain areas or more detail.

You were likely to have attended the actual inspection. If so, the report should not contain any surprises. The report should include the information you discussed at the inspection with photos and possibly a little more detail. Don’t be afraid of asking questions if there is anything you didn’t recall from the inspection.

“Is there a problem with this house? If so, how much would it cost to fix it?”

Remember that most issues in your house are minor and notdeal-breakers. Your home inspector will help you sort through the clutter and identify any problems. Ask him to tell you if there are any serious problems that could prevent you from moving forward with your house.

Remember that it is up to you and your agent to resolve any issues.

Lesh says, “The inspector cannot tell you, Make sure the seller covers this,’ so make sure you fully understand what you need to do.”

“Should I call another expert to inspect the area?”

You may need to bring in additional experts to examine major problems and give a price for fixing them. An electrician may be needed to inspect your electrical box and determine the cost to repair it. This applies to any problems with your heating, air conditioning, roof, foundation, or other components. A roofer, engineer, or HVAC technician will inspect your home and offer a solution.

This is why it is so important. If you ask for concessions, this is the bid your agent will present to the seller. Although your inspector cannot give you these numbers, he will probably be able to give you an idea of the necessity to call someone in.

“Is there anything that I will need once I move in?”

You’re not done yet! While it is easy to forget about the inspection’s report during the chaos of moving and closing, there are always suggestions for things to do within the first two to three month of occupancy.

Lesh said that he often gets panicked calls by homeowners whose homes he inspected three to four months after they moved in. Although Lesh had noted some issues in his report, the buyers ignored them and paid for the report later.

Lesh says that a couple called to inform me of seepage in their basement. “I pulled up their report, and asked them if they had reconnected the downspout extension as I recommended. Nope. Nope.