What happens after a home inspection?

Failing foundation


Many times my home buyers ask “what happens after the home inspection is over?”.  

According to Redfin, it’s one of the most common questions asked by first time homebuyers.

I always try to gently guide clients who ask this question to talk with their real estate agent because my role in the home buying process is supposed to be one of providing detailed and specific information about the home.  But on a few occasions the agent seems to be missing in action and I try to provide basic advice without going too far. 

The standard home purchase contract used by the Buffalo-Niagara Association of Realtors typically provides for a 5-day inspection contingency.  This period of time can be used for a traditional home inspection, radon testing, sewer lateral inspections and other types of inspections.  According to one East Aurora real estate agent, the purpose of a home inspection is “Future Peace of Mind”.

Almost all house, condo or rental property buyers hire a home inspection company to perform a detailed inspection of the property, which should include the exterior, interior and other areas of the home that can be safely accessed.  Before the day of the home inspection, make sure you understand what might take place after you receive the inspection report.

You’ll be provided with a verbal review of problems that the inspector finds

After a quality home inspection, a professional home inspection company should review their findings with you while still on-site at your prospective new home.  This overview should include at least the biggest and most expensive problems with the house. Our end-of-inspection reviews normally focus on any problems with the foundation or sub-structure of the house, roof issues and safety items with the electrical systems.  Other worrying problems might include a leak in the waste portion of the plumbing system.  

Depending on the condition of the home, we may suggest that you have specialty inspections

Our home inspection process is designed to put our clients in absolutely the best possible position so that they can make the right choices, regardless if you are buying a house, getting ready to sell the home of an elderly parent or if you are considering the investment in a multi-family property. 

If we find that the foundation is in “iffy” or questionable condition, we make the immediate recommendation that you obtain quotes for repair from speciality foundation repair companies.  If a prior repair looks bad or amateurish, then we typically will suggest that you have a licensed structural engineer or architect review the repair and provide a professional opinion. 

Homes that were built before the 1970s often will have their original cast iron sewer pipes, or “laterals”.  If we see any sign of deterioration or damage, your home inspector should advise you to have the sewer inspected by a plumber with a camera system that will allow them to assess the pipe for internal damage, corrosion and tree root infiltration.  

Other conditions that call for additional investigation during the inspection contingency might be high-dollar electrical repairs, roof problems and serious structural problems.

You’ll receive a professional home inspection report

New York state law requires that you receive a “written” report from your home inspector within 5 business days of the actual inspection.  Honestly, 5 days is WAY too long and if it took us that long then I personally would be embarrassed and ashamed.  

When you hire Alto Home Inspection, LLC to inspect your new house, you’ll receive the home inspection report probably the same day of the inspection, often within a couple hours.  At the latest, you’ll get your report the following day. 

A home inspection report is intended to provide a detailed list, with clear pictures and explanations of defects and other conditions in the building, garage and grounds.  Your inspection report also includes the locations of problems, and typically the best tradesperson to call for repair. 

Some home inspectors continue to give their clients reports that are written with a pen and are of barely any real value to the home buyer.  We at Alto Home Inspection realize that, yes, it is the year 2020 and it’s better for everyone to provide our clients with an electronic report that’s easy to read.  Your report will be delivered via email, and can be easily viewed on a smartphone, tablet or computer, and can also easily be printed and downloaded. 

When you receive the report, we make ourselves available on the same day (or months later) to help you understand the report and make sense of the home.

Your real estate agent will discuss the findings with you

Generally speaking, your real estate agent will want to read the report as soon as it’s available.  They will help you understand what flexibility the seller has when it comes to negotiating price cuts and performing repair.  If the problems are major, you may choose to back out of the home purchase.  

I never will advise my clients to run away from a home purchase, but instead we choose to provide information so that you can take into account your unique financial situation.  

Credits or repairs may be offered by the seller

Your real estate agent is the right person to advise you on the seller’s appetite for price cuts and negotiating for repair.  There are times when a seller has made it clear in the listing notes from the home, or through conversations with the buyer’s agent, that they are not willing to drop the price.  

Other times there may be plenty of runway for you to request repairs of problems that are found during the home inspection.  We’ve learned that the most common issues that lead to repairs are ones that might make it impossible for you to get approval for a mortgage.  

Issues with the electrical system, active plumbing leaks, dangerous stairs and foundation issues often fall into this category.

Let’s work together!

If you are in Buffalo, Orchard Park, Hamburg, East Aurora, West Seneca or any part of Western New York State, get in touch with us and schedule a home inspection when you are ready to buy a home!  

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About the Author:

Bradley Beck

Bradley is owner of Alto Home Inspection, LLC.  He lives just south of Orchard Park, in Western New York’s Southtowns, and inspects homes throughout the Buffalo area, and is NY Licensed Home Inspector #16000086029, NY Certified Mold Assessor #MA01313.