Tri Cities Home Buying: Understanding the Inspection Process

With a strong real estate market here in the Tri Cities of Kennewick, Pasco and Richland, we want to provide you with information regarding certain steps in the process of home buying. Today’s blog is concerning The Home Inspection Process.

The home inspection process is a multi-step process that includes pre-inspection research, on-site visual inspection, verbal explanation of findings, off-site research as needed, and a written report. A Wood Destroying Organism (WDO) inspection and report is included with the home inspection as required by the Washington State Department of Agriculture and specifically WAS 16-228-2005. The on-site inspection will include a visual inspection of the grounds, exterior, foundation, roof, plumbing, heating, air conditioning, electrical, interior, kitchen, bathroom(s), garage, crawl space or basement, and attic. A typical home inspection will take approximately two hours on site, and most inspectors invite the client’s involvement in the process. This is the client’s opportunity to ask questions and receive immediate answers regarding the components comprising the structure, how they operate, and the inspector’s professional opinion of their condition on the day of the inspection via a visual inspection. Typically, the ten-day period is permitted from the date and time the Purchase and Sale Agreement is signed by all parties, the inspection is completed, and any requests for correction action are reduced to writing and presented to the Seller’s agent. Consequently, it is in the best interest of the buyer to schedule his/her home inspection as soon as possible after acceptance of his/her offer to purchase.

At the end of the on-site inspection most inspectors request payment, and the signing of a contract for services outlining inclusions and exemptions of the inspection, the inspection cost, and a course of action if disagreement occurs between the inspector and the client. Typically, a report is provided, to the client and the client’s agents on-site or by no later than the end of the next day. Most inspectors remain available to answer any questions that may arise in regard to the property and/or future improvements desired. Other services offered by inspectors may include multi-family and commercial structure inspections, pre-market inspections, qualitative and quantitative domestic water testing, mold and mildrew testing, lead based paint testing, building code compliance, new construction inspections, etc. The home inspector is an excellent resource for identifying and recommending local engineering, surveying and contracting services.

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