The important questions every savvy home buyer should keep in mind.

Buying a home is big. It’s both a considerable financial investment and a major life event. No wonder most of us feel excited and, to be honest, a little nervous when it comes time to make an offer on a future home.

Fortunately, the home inspectors at AmeriSpec deliver professionalism and peace of mind, providing quality general home inspections that you can trust. We’re here to conduct home inspections you deserve, ones that give confidence and minimize potential purchasing risk.

Maybe this is your first time buying a home or maybe you need a refresher on the home inspection process. Either way, keep scrolling to find the questions you should consider asking your local general home inspector.

1. What is a General Home Inspection?

First things first, before you choose to partner with AmeriSpec, chances are you’ll want to know the home inspection basics: what it is, what it isn’t and how our expert general home inspectors conduct inspections.

A general home inspection is a comprehensive, visual examination of the readily accessible systems and components of a home. We take special care to perform home inspections that are non-intrusive. During the inspection, AmeriSpec general home inspectors never move things, especially personal belongings. We review major systems as they appear at the time of the inspection, and we never take things apart or put holes in walls, ceilings or floors.

When we test major home systems, we use normal operating procedures. For example, when we operate the home’s HVAC system, we do so the same way you, the potential homeowner, would.

It can be helpful to think of a general home inspection like a visit to a general practitioner. AmeriSpec inspectors have extensive knowledge about homes and their systems, but we might refer you to a specialist should we believe any additional reviews to be necessary.

Remember, a general home inspection is not an appraisal. An appraisal is an essential part of the home buying process that informs you how much a property is worth. On the other hand, AmeriSpec general home inspections give you information on the condition of the home, not its monetary value. Home inspections are not code compliance inspections either. Home inspectors are required to report on “unsafe conditions” of readily accessible, installed systems or home components.

2. When Do I Request an Inspection?

So you’ve decided a general home inspection is a smart choice to protect your investment, but when exactly do you let the current homeowner know you’d like a professional inspection to be performed?

Most often, buyers request home inspections after the initial offer to purchase the home is made and then accepted by the homeowner. Property contracts can be dense documents with differing clauses and timeframes. Usually, though, you’ll be allowed about a two-week window to conduct a home inspection. Your purchase obligation can be made contingent upon the findings of our professional general home inspection, offering you a safe pathway to negotiation should our expert home inspectors find areas of concern or necessary repair.

A due diligence period is the time between when a home offer is accepted and the beginning of the official closing process. You can negotiate due diligence periods, but AmeriSpec experts have found that they are becoming shorter, in many cases lasting only about 3-5 days. We recommend you contact a local inspector early to start the interview process as soon as possible. This can save you valuable time and assure you find a home inspection partner you trust.

3. What Happens if an Inspector Finds Issues with the House?

No house is ever perfect. Just like people, homes regularly have minor imperfections. Typically, AmeriSpec home inspectors report these as general maintenance issues. These are common, and simply because we identify a problem doesn’t mean an immediate or complicated repair is necessary.

Our goal is to provide a holistic home inspection that details the state of the home while paying attention to any major problems that could potentially become serious. Your local AmeriSpec inspector can educate you regarding any minor or moderate problems, empowering you to either negotiate with the seller or to make an action plan for the future. Your real estate professional can help guide you through the negotiation process.

If a general home inspection does find any need for major repairs, you can ask your local inspector for specialist recommendations. Don’t forget, AmeriSpec also provides a wide variety of specialty services. Depending on your location, we can help check for mold, perform energy assessments and even examine septic systems.

4. How Qualified are AmeriSpec General Home Inspectors?

Prior to choosing any home inspection partner, it’s worthwhile to ask about their training, certifications and experience. Your local AmeriSpec general home inspector will be happy to discuss this with you prior to the inspection, and we can also provide references upon request.

AmeriSpec trains all our inspectors with the goal of exceeding industry standards. The AmeriSpec difference is built on a comprehensive, industry-leading inspector education process. Every inspector receives classroom instruction and hands-on technical training at our dedicated AmeriSpec training facility.

Continuing education is a priority at AmeriSpec. We provide technical training classes throughout the year so local inspectors have the most up-to-date home inspection knowledge. In fact, many of our owners are affiliated with major industry organizations including the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), the California Real Estate Inspection Association (CREIA) and the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI).

5. Should I Be There On Inspection Day? What Should I Do Before, During and After the Home Inspection?

The ultimate goal of any AmeriSpec general home inspection is to inspect the property thoroughly and to educate the homeowner or potential buyer about the home’s condition. Of course, the decision is completely yours to make, but we recommend arriving near the end of your home inspection. This gives your local inspector time to fully focus on the home and completing your comprehensive AmeriSpec Report. When you come near the inspection’s end, your inspector has time to provide one-on-one attention and can walk you through all their findings.

Before a general home inspection, make sure to write down any questions or concerns you might have about the property. This way you can share the list with your inspector, and they can make sure your concerns are properly addressed. When you arrive on inspection day, you can go over these questions with your inspector and ask any further questions you might have about our findings.

Once the home inspection is finished, your local AmeriSpec inspector will deliver your AmeriSpec Report within 1-2 business days. Read your report thoroughly, making notes when you have any questions or need further explanation. You can call your local inspector with any questions you might have, and we’ll always be happy to guide you through the report. After reading the report, work with your real estate professional to negotiate how potential issues might be resolved.

Now you have all the information needed to make sure your general home inspection goes smoothly! AmeriSpec is here to help take the stress out of real estate, giving you reports and information that can help you buy confidently.

Looking for more information about the home inspection process? Check out our home inspection handbook for all the details you need to know about inspection cost, length and preparation. Or, visit our residential inspection FAQ for any other questions you need answered.