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September 09, 2008


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John Langan

What is a home inspection? Two answers: 1 - technical and simple; 2 - nuanced and broad.

Answer 1) A home inspection is the visual observation of the accessible systems and structures. The scope of the home inspection is typically determine by the governing Standards of Practice of the home inspector's associated professional organization(e.g. NAHI or ASHI) and the real estate contract home inspection clause.

Answer 2) A home inspection is a "moment of truth" when the client's dream come face to face with reality. The home inspection is an independent, unbiased observation of the home communicated in a clear, concise manner that things the way they really are. It is important to recognize that the information provided in the inspection report may exceed the information required by the contract home inspection clause. In fact, a home inspector, in an effort to provide good service to a client, will specifically provide additionally information (e.g. maintenance tips, home systems orientation, cosmetic defect comments) in order to provide a report that, hopefully, has lasting value to the homeowner. However, the usage of the home inspection report should not be to supersede the parameters detailed in the contract's home inspection clause. The challenge is in managing the "overflow" of information that the home inspection may provide. In my view, it is incumbent to both the Realtor and home inspector to set proper expectations, prior to the inspection, as to the purpose of the home inspection. It is a valuable service that helps the client make an informed decision.

Jeremy Hart

Thanks, John, for your comment. Your point about setting proper expectations is right on, I think; all of us in the transaction (buyer, seller, agents and inspectors) need to know from the outset what the purpose of the inspection is.

Home Inspector Tampa FL

This is a really interesting posting on home inspection. I always put a lot of importance on setting proper expectations.

Black Mold Removal

Good to know the scope of their work.We sometimes expect too much from the home inspectors.

Home Inspections

Great Article. Very helpful for those who don't know what a home inspector inspects.

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