Nov 18

Your Role In The Home Inspection

With some exceptions, your buyer inspection should be about making a decision to purchase or not purchase the property you have under contract. According to Wikipedia, decision making is the cognitive process leading to a belief or course of action. The underpinning of decision making is identifying and choosing alternatives based on values, preferences and beliefs.

The role of the home buyer is to establish their objective with the home, available alternatives in the marketplace, their tolerance to risk and their financial capacity to maintain the home. All of these factors come together to produce a final choice. Every buyer will have a different set of alternatives, risk tolerance, skill set and financial condition. This final choice should take into account these considerations and therefore should be make solely and hopefully confidently by the home buyer.

The role of  the real estate agent (if applicable) should be to drive the decision making process. Driving the the decision making process includes rendering the needed resources such as lender, title company, appraiser and home inspector, sharing their personal experiences from past transactions, educating the buyer about different alternatives and representing the buyer. With this said, the role of the agent does not and should not include making the decision for the buyer.

The home inspector’s role is to survey the physical condition of the property and to communicate findings to the buyer. On occasion, this role may include recommending other specialists to evaluate specific risks more closely. Likewise with the agent’s role, the role of inspector is not and should not be to influence or sway the buyer’s decision but rather support the decision making process.

Knowing and respecting your different roles in the home inspection process will help ensure a better outcome for the buyer and all involved parties.


Aug 29

Property Condition Assessment (PCA)

A property condition assessments (also known as a PCA) is an evaluation of a commercial building’s major systems and components aimed at providing an owner, lessee, investor or lender an economic perspective of the properties overall physical condition, what immediate repairs should be made to the property and what systems will need to be replaced within the next ten years.

Property condition assessments (PCAs) are commercial inspections performed around guidelines established by Standard & Poors during the 1990’s which were intended to standardize the process and scope for commercial inspections. Over the years these standard operating procedures have formalized into a recognized standard known at ASTM E2018.

ASTM International is an international standards organization what develops and publishes technical standards for a wide range of materials, products, systems and services. The organization maintains over 12,000 technical standards and the specific standard established for property condition assessment is the E2018 thus the name ASTM E2018 Standard Guide for Property Condition Assessments.

ASTM Standards Worldwide

The scope of a typical Property Condition Assessment includes the following major areas:

  • Building Site
  • Foundation and Structure
  • Building Envelope
  • Roof System
  • Mechanical Systems (Including Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning)
  • Plumbing
  • Electrical
  • Interior

Once the inspection, or Property Condition Assessment (PCA), is completed the formal written report is known as Property Condition Report (PCR). The Property Condition Report will include a general description of the property, recommendations for repairs or further consideration, likely costs to remedy the repairs and costs of future capital repairs.

Aug 28

National Home Inspection Examination

The National Home Inspector Examination® is the only independent, psychometrically-valid home inspector test in the county. The exam is developed, maintained and administered by Examination Board of Professional Home Inspectors (EBPHI). They are an independent, not-for-profit organization that develops and maintains exams for the real estate inspection profession. The NHIE tests a home inspectors knowledge of conducting a thorough home inspection as well as tests the skills in client relations, communications and report writing.National Home Inspector Examination Logo

Asking if your home inspector has passed National Home Inspector Examination® (NHIE) is a great way to know if he or she is really qualified to inspect your home. Not all home inspectors follow the same standards of practice, use the same report format or have the same background. Although there are national associations for the home inspection industry which have certification programs, the associations are driven by membership revenue and obtaining a certification can be easily accomplished by most any inspector regardless of their background, character, level of knowledge or dedication to the field.