What if my home inspector misses something?

December 7, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

I’m often asked by my buyers what sort of ‘guarantee’ they’ll get that the home inspector will find everything or what happens IF something comes up after the inspection is done and you’ve moved into the house.  Let me take the guesswork out: the inspector WILL miss something, and something WILL come up after you move in.  Sorry to burst the bubble, but home inspectors are only human.  Even the most detailed and thorough inspector can’t see through walls and into pipes.

As this article from Inman notes:

His job is not to guaranty a flawless home. It is to report all significant property defects — conditions that affect the safety and value of your home. If he fulfilled that purpose, be grateful. He is not the builder of a new home who must warrant its perfection.

So what can you do to get more comfortable?  You might consider buying a home warranty, which will offer you partial protection in the first year you own the home (and is renewable thereafter).   You should also budget for unexpected repairs as well as ongoing maintenance.  Work with an experienced agent who has had a long list of transactions from which to pull from other experiences (believe me, I hear about it every time a client finds a problem after closing!)   And finally, do your homework when choosing an inspector — laws and regulations governing the industry vary wildly from state to state, and in some cases the industry is not regulated at all.   Caveat emptor.

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