If I were asked, as a Buyers Agent, what is my biggest obstacle? My answer would probably be convincing the buyers that they do need to hire a licensed, professional Home Inspector. I can’t even count how many people have told me they were going to waive the home inspection and do it themselves because they “worked construction in college”.
There are so many advantages to having a quality, licensed Home Inspector check out the property before you close and very few advantages of inspecting it yourself. Every climate and environment are different and mother nature can cause a lot of damage to a house. A local Home Inspector automatically knows, through experience, what to look for in the particular area. One big example I use is termites. Termites are very common in the Florida Keys. Most homes have them. Just like any other animal, bug, pest, critter or whatever you want to call them, termites will travel. A local home inspector will know if the house next-door recently had termites and that will raise a red flag for him to be extra thorough on your termite inspection. A local Home Inspector can pull permits for jobs that have been done on the house in the past and see if the work was done by a reputable contractor. Local knowledge is a valuable thing.
A home inspection will uncover what may appear to be a very small problem at a quick glance but will become a large and expensive problem if not treated immediately. One example I remember was a house that appeared to be in pristine shape with all of the walls freshly painted the carpet steam cleaned the house was immaculate. The Home Inspector had a tool he ran over the drywall checking for moisture. He determined the reason everything had been freshly painted was one of the pipes behind the drywall had leaked and caused water damage. The drywall was all painted pretty but once it was opened up inside the framing had a lot of water damage. The damage you don’t so you can be more expensive than the damage you do see. Another home inspection I was on the inspector discovered a crack in the pipe that was buried underground going from the house to the septic tank. Raw sewage was leaking into the yard where this families children would have been playing every day. I have also seen a home inspection turn up faulty wiring that was a fire hazard waiting to happen. I could tell 100 more stories similar to those but I’m sure by now you get the point I’m trying to make with the importance of hiring a home inspector.