When Chicago area homes are selling fast, buyers may feel pressured to skip the home inspection. This is not a good idea! Waiving a home inspection leaves you vulnerable to potential hazards and expensive repairs. And while home sellers are required to supply a disclosure of known defects, other issues can be discovered in a home inspection. (You can download a sample disclosure report from our website. For a deeper look at Illinois home seller disclosure requirements, and exemptions, you can read details at Illinois General Assembly.gov.)

It’s important to note that virtually every home has some kind of defect. Even new construction can have defects. Issues with components or workmanship can happen anywhere, and all homes experience wear and tear over the years. The buyer’s goal with an inspection is to understand, to a reasonable degree, what kind of condition the home is in overall, and to be informed about potential issues up front. 

Here are the basic areas covered in a home inspection. 

  • Heating and air conditioning systems
  • Interior plumbing systems, hot water heater
  • Electrical systems
  • Structural components: roof, attic, framing, walls, ceilings, floors, visible insulation
  • Windows and doors
  • Foundation, basement, sump pump
  • Appliances (may vary by service provider) 

There are optional services you can add, such as: inspection for pests/termites, radon testing, mold inspection, lead paint inspection. 

It’s a good idea to attend the home inspection, and learn about the home’s mechanical and structural systems. Most inspectors are happy to explain what they’re looking for, and their knowledge is very insightful for first-time home buyers. After the inspection is completed, the inspector will prepare a formal report detailing their findings. Take the time to review this thoroughly!

If the inspection report comes back with issues, don’t panic. Your agent will guide you concerning any discussions with the home seller. Depending on the wording used in your inspection contingency, you might ask for a credit towards repair costs. Or, if the issues are serious – and the seller isn’t making adjustments – you might exit the deal using the escape clause included in your contingency. We’ll coach you through this. 

Home inspections are paid for by the home buyer as an out-of-pocket cost, typically paid at the time of inspection. The cost of the inspection varies depending on the location and size of the property, with $400 being about average. We can refer you to experienced, reliable home inspectors, or you can find one through online service directories like Angi. (Be sure to check client reviews and references.)

When should you waive a home inspection? Never. We can write an inspection contingency that covers your needs as the buyer, without making it objectionable to the seller. If you have any questions about how this works, give us a call!

StartingPoint Realty – serving Chicagoland since 2004!

StartingPoint Realty proudly serves home buyers and sellers throughout the entire Chicago area. We offer free, first-time home buyer seminars every month! Contact us for your free home buying or home selling consultation!

Ryan Gable Broker/CEO Starting Point Realty
Phone: 847.348.1154

Email: RyanGable@startingpointrealty.com
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