You’ve conducted the ultimate search and finally found the Chicagoland home of your dreams. So, what comes next? 

As a prospective home buyer, one of the most important steps you can take before moving forward with a home purchase is to bring on the services of a professional home inspector. In a buyer’s inspection, an experienced home inspector will perform a visual examination of hundreds of elements around a property, to look for issues that could impact your health and safety. 

Is there an electrical system issue? Is there water damage in the basement? Are there major or minor structural issues that could be cause for concern? These are just a few vital things that will be checked out during the home inspection process.   

You may sometimes hear a home inspection described as a “test” of a property — but that’s not quite accurate. Some home buyers enlist the help of a home inspector believing that their job is to survey the house and issue a verdict, to “pass” or “fail” the property. While this may be the case for some examinations in life, it is not true for home inspections. 

Why is home inspection not a “pass/fail” test?

A home inspection is a diligent visual examination of the home and all of its major systems and components. At the end of the home inspection process, the inspector will issue a report that describes the physical condition of a property, and indicates what may need repair or replacement. The information provided is to allow a potential buyer to make an informed decision about moving forward with the transaction. It is not about saying “yes” or “no” to any one course of action. 

So, for example, if your inspector notifies you that the furnace is failing, is this a deal-breaker, for buyers or for sellers? 

Finding a system issue does not mean that a home necessarily “failed” an inspection, for either party. Instead, buyers can think of this finding as “feedback” on the property, helping guide their decision as to whether or not to move forward with their transaction or go back to the negotiating table, after consulting with their real estate team.

For sellers, similarly, a result like this is not an indication that you cannot sell a home, but rather a signpost, identifying something you may be able to repair or upgrade to make your home more appealing to potential buyers. As a seller, it does not mean that you are required to fix anything, but instead a suggestion of issues that could be addressed in order to make your home sale easier, and possibly more lucrative, down the line. 

The bottom line? It’s always up to you to make what choice best suits you and yours. The home inspector will never tell you whether or not to buy or sell a house, but will provide all the available information to ensure that both buyers and sellers can make valuable, productive choices. 

Homes are ever-changing – and problems can be addressed

Another important reason why an inspection is not “pass/fail”? Homes are dynamic, and their condition is always evolving. Something that works today could fail tomorrow, or damage could show up in an area where you least expect it. 

A home inspection is an assessment of a home’s condition for a particular moment in time. Things that are functioning at the time of the inspection may ultimately fail at some point in the future. Likewise, things that are broken can be fixed or replaced. Inspections, therefore, are intended to provide the client with a better understanding of property conditions as observed at the time of the inspection. They are not meant to tell you whether or not to buy the property.

It’s important to remember that most home inspection issues, whether major or minor, can be repaired or improved upon. People might have a home inspection and ultimately find something they perceive as a “fail.” With an inspector’s report in hand, however, you may be able to turn that negative into a positive, whether that means making an upgrade before taking your home to market (as a seller), or negotiating for repairs or a price reduction (as a buyer).  

Again, the purpose of an inspection is not to rule out a house completely based on its findings, but rather to educate about what things a buyer (or seller) needs to be prepared for, what they need to budget for, and what things need to be fixed right away. 

What to expect with Windy City Home Inspection

Whatever your property concerns may be, Windy City Home Inspection is here to help. With Windy City Home Inspection, you can expect a diligent, thorough inspection covering all the bases and never cutting corners.

When searching for the right home inspector, it’s important to find someone you can trust — and that’s why we are here for you. The inspectors at Windy City Home Inspection, Inc. are licensed by the State of Illinois, certified, and insured. Each home inspection is backed by our Warranty and Protection Plan. Furthermore, we pride ourselves on our superior customer service. If you ever have questions, even years after your home inspection, we will be here to answer them — even if it means returning to your home.

At Windy City Home Inspection, Inc., we perform inspections to the highest standards — yours. Backed by a consulting team with more than 60 years of experience, Windy City Home Inspection is committed to excellence. Have a question? Let us help.