NAR Library & Archives has already done the research for you. References (formerly Field Guides) offer links to articles, eBooks, websites, statistics, and more to provide a comprehensive overview of perspectives. EBSCO articles (E) are available only to NAR members and require the member's nar.realtor login.
Home Inspection Checklist for Buyers
Source: (HouseLogic, 2019)
16 Questions to Ask a Home Inspector Before, During, and After a Home Inspection (realtor.com®, Apr. 2, 2022)
Knowing what to ask home inspectors is just as important as when to ask specific questions. Realtor.com’s “timeline of queries to hit before the inspection even starts, during actual home inspection, and well after it’s over” can help your clients get the most out of the home inspection process. You will find questions about the home inspector’s credentials, what services the home inspection covers, clarifications to common inspection terminology, and follow up questions when the inspection is complete.
What Fixes are Mandatory After a Home Inspection (realtor.com®, Mar. 30, 2022)
“A home inspection report is not a to-do list; rest assured, there’s no need for [the sellers] to fix everything a home inspector thinks could stand for improvement. Basically, inspection repairs fall into three categories: fixes that are pretty much required, according to the inspector; fixes that typically aren’t required; and fixes that are up for debate.” This article breaks down the three categories and helps home sellers navigate their obligations and the negotiations to meet home buyers’ expectations.
Home Warranty May be a Good Backup if You Forgo the Inspection (Washington Post, Jul. 29, 2021) E
“For some buyers in the highly competitive housing market, waiving the option of a home inspection has become one way to entice a seller to choose their offer for a home. The responsibility for fixing any flaws in the house, its appliances or systems shifts to the buyers rather than sellers if a home inspection is waived completely or if the buyers choose to have an "information only" inspection. Some home sellers and real estate agents provide a home warranty for buyers as part of a real estate transaction. Buyers can also purchase their own home warranty plan to offset some of the risk taken by eliminating a home inspection… A home warranty or service plan can provide budget protection by helping to cover repairs or replacement if essential home systems and appliances break down after the home purchase."
What to Expect From a Home Inspection (NerdWallet, Feb. 8, 2021)
A home inspection is an opportunity for buyers to make a more informed decision about the home they are considering buying. A home inspector can identify issues and give a good idea of the ongoing maintenance a home may require. “Knowing what to look for in a home inspection will help you understand any defects and, if [the buyers] have enough leverage, assess what repairs should be made on the seller’s dime before moving day. Use these home inspection tips for buyers to prepare for the inspection and what comes next.”
13 Pertinent Questions to Ask During a Home Inspection (Forbes, Dec. 21, 2020)
REALTORS® agree that “an expert home inspection is one of the essential parts of acquiring a new home…However, the inspection should also bring with it pressing questions that will help [homebuyers] make the right decision…Thirteen members of Forbes Real Estate Council examine the most pertinent questions that they expect to hear from buyers during a house inspection to unearth all the possible issues a property may have.” Find questions about the inspector’s background, the most pressing issues or “red flags” that need to be addressed, and the ‘intangibles’ of the property.
Home Inspection 101
How Much Does a Home Inspection Cost? Plus, Why to Never Skip This Crucial Home Buying Step (realtor.com®, Apr. 20, 2022)
“While the average home inspection costs for a single-family home will generally run $300-$500, just keep in mind that the exact price will depend on the size of your home, where you live, and what you want inspected.” Learn more about home inspections in general, including what home inspectors look for, how long home inspections take, and specialty inspections. Then, understand how to make the most of a home inspection and why you should never skip a home inspection or risk facing the consequences of major problems with the home.
Top Home Inspection Issues Revealed (REALTOR® Magazine, Feb. 23, 2021)
While no home is perfect, home inspections are being waived at higher and higher rates, in order for buyers to win bidding wars in hot housing markets. “A home inspection can cost around $300 to $500, but studies estimate it could save the buyer an average of $14,000.” This article discusses the most common issues found in home inspections, according to a survey of 1,000 homebuyers, including roofing, electrical wiring, windows, gutters, and plumbing.
Legal & Regulatory Issues
Homebuyers and Suing a Home Inspector (HomeLight, Jun. 30, 2021)
A discussion with a real estate professional and a lawyer about when you can and cannot sue for damages that arise soon after closing. The article discusses who might be responsible for new construction, as well as existing homes. If the builder and seller are not responsible, then a legal claim against the inspector is possible if the inspector breached the contract, was negligent, was fraudulent, or when there was not an exculpatory clause in the contract.
As Remodeling Surges, Electrical Issues Become a Nuisance (REALTOR® Magazine, Apr. 19, 2021)
As remodeling surges, some homeowners are discovering old, faulty electrical wiring in their home, while others may be creating new problems in the course of their DIY projects. Buyers also may uncover electrical problems in older homes during an inspection. Electrical problems are increasingly emerging because remote work and school may be taxing on older fuse boxes and frayed wiring. The article discusses the problems of buyers losing out because they ask for inspection contingencies in a hot housing market.
NAR Legal Case Summaries
Find case summaries for cases involving inspections, inspection contingencies, and disputes over the fiduciary duty of buyer’s agents in inspection matters.
Grogan v. Uggla: Inspector Not Liable for Later Injuries (Nov. 28, 2018)
Jablonski v. Rapalje: Lawsuit over Disclosure of Bats in Attic Proceeds (Apr. 1, 2005)
Heller v. D.W. Fish Realty Co., Inc.: Salesperson Liable for Incomplete Well Testing (Jan. 1, 2005)
Field v. Century 21 Klowden-Forness Realty: California Court Distingushes Between Limited Inspection Duties Owed to Buyer by Seller’s Broker and Fiduciary Duties Owed by Buyer Broker (Mar. 1, 1999)
Johnson v. Maki and Associates, Inc.: Release Contained in Cancellation Agreement is Invalid (Feb. 1, 1998)
The Home Inspection Professional
15 Steps to Become a Successful Home Inspector (International Association of Certified Home Inspectors, 2022)
InterNACHI is “the world’s largest trade organization of residential and commercial property inspectors.” They specialize in certification, training, and continuing education for home inspectors worldwide. InterNACHI offers a multitude of member benefits and advantages for creating a business in the home inspection field. In this guide, InterNACHI has laid out the steps to becoming a home inspector, from being trained and certified to growing your home inspection business.
Find a Home Inspector (American Society of Home Inspectors, 2022)
Use this tool to choose an ASHI Member for your home inspection. REALTORS® and home buyers can search by address or zip code and be connected with an ASHI member to “help clients get a better understanding about their potential homes. No home is perfect, but ASHI members will provide the insight homebuyers need to decide if the home is perfect for them.” Explore ASHI’s tips on choosing the right inspector and home maintenance year-round.
American Society of Home Inspectors
932 Lee St., Ste. 101
Des Plaines, IL 60016
“The American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) is the national organization for professionals practicing home inspection. ASHI is dedicated to the advancement of the home inspection industry, to the professional growth of its members, and to the education of consumers about home ownership and safety.”
National Academy of Building Inspection Engineers
P.O. Box 403
Wilkes-Barre, PA 18703
“The National Academy of Building Inspection Engineers (NABIE) was established in 1989 to serve the public by advancing the art and skill of engineers who offer their services as expert inspectors, investigators, and consultants pertaining to the structure and mechanical components of buildings and homes of all types. The purpose of the Academy is to lead and advance the integrity, value and understanding of the practice of professional engineering, as it applies to the inspection, investigation and consultation involving buildings and homes, for the benefit of the users of its members’ services including the general public, attorneys, realtors, mortgage brokers and other lenders, and other clients, to better serve the needs of real estate purchasers, owners and investors.”
International Association of Certified Home Inspectors
1750 30th Street
Boulder, CO 80301
“The International Association of Certified Home Inspectors—InterNACHI—is the world’s largest trade organization of residential and commercial property inspectors. We provide free training, online testing and certification, business development, marketing support, discounts on everything from home inspection software to E&O insurance to you next truck, and more.”
eBooks & Other Resources
The following eBooks and digital audiobooks are available to NAR members:
The Complete Book of Home Inspection (eBook)
Home Closing Checklist (eBook)
Inspect Before You Buy (eBook)
What Every Homeowner Needs to Know About Mold (eBook)
Books, Videos, Research Reports & More
As a member benefit, the following resources and more are available for loan through the NAR Library. Items will be mailed directly to you or made available for pickup at the REALTOR® Building in Chicago.
Mystical Guide to Home Inspection (Author House, 2005) HD 1375 R17
Secrets of the Happy Home Inspector (Someday Publishing, 2004) HD 1341 C76Inspecting a House, (Newton, CT: Taunton, 2001) TH 4817.5 C31
Home Inspector's Guide to Training the Real Estate Professional: An Overview of the Home Inspection Process (Hurricane Press, 1998) HD 1341 Sh8h
Inspecting a House (Taunton, 2001) TH 4817.5 C31
Red Flags: Property Inspection Guide (Chicago, IL: Real Estate Education Company, 1995) TH 4817.5 P91
The Real Estate Inspection Book (Canton, OH: Kooba Company, 1995) HD 1341 M31
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