Buying a home is one of the biggest financial decisions most of us will ever make. For homebuyers, ordering a home inspection is one way to help make sure that your dream home is going to be safe and comfortable, for years to come. 

A home inspection is a non-invasive visual examination of the readily accessible systems and components of a home. Throughout the inspection, the inspector will look for structural and mechanical concerns and potential safety hazards, examining parts and systems including the roof, heating and air conditioning elements, and the water heater, to name just a few.  

A home inspector is an objective, unbiased expert, furnishing a report that can help buyers make some important decisions — including whether or not they want to move forward with the real estate transaction. 

Just how much of a difference can hiring a home inspector make for buyers? One recent research study made it a point to find out. Home information and services site Porch led a survey of nearly 1000 homebuyers from 48 states, asking questions about their experiences with buying a home and hiring a home inspector. 

So, what are some of the study’s most interesting findings? The data from this report, which has also been cited by REALTOR Magazine, is a great reminder of just how useful and meaningful a thorough, professional home inspection can be. Here are a few key highlights: 

The Vast Majority of Buyers Work With Home Inspectors

Just how common is it for buyers to get an inspection? According to the survey from Porch, 88% of buyers used a home inspector’s services for their most recent home purchase. That’s nearly nine in ten homebuyers! 

The takeaway? Home inspections are a standard part of the buying process for a reason. A comprehensive home inspection allows buyers to move forward with peace of mind, and a clear and unbiased perspective on any current or impending issues that could impact their property

Home Inspectors Can Help Identify a Variety of Problems

A home inspector is professionally trained and certified to examine hundreds of elements throughout a property, and provide a report that identifies both major and minor issues around the home. It can be hard to predict what this thoughtful examination might reveal. 

According to findings from Porch, 86% of buyers who used a home inspection said that their inspector identified at least one problem that should be addressed. 

These findings can run the gamut. Home inspectors look at everything from cosmetic features to essential systems, and spot potential issues in a number of important areas around a home,  Here’s where inspectors most frequently helped identify potential problems, according to surveyed buyers:

  • Nearly 20% (19.7%) of home inspectors found a problem with the roof 
  • 18.7% found at least one issue with the home’s electrical system 
  • 18.4% found problems with the home’s windows 
  • 13.6% discovered issues with the home’s plumbing systems, and 12.2% with the water heater.

In many cases, these are major issues, which can impact a buyer’s ability to live in a property comfortably and safely! In a worst-case scenario, for example, a faulty electrical system can cause fires or damage. Similarly, small plumbing issues may grow worse over time, and ultimately lead to leaks and significant water damage. For buyers and sellers alike, identifying these issues in advance can make a world of difference down the line. 

Home Inspectors Can Help Buyers, and Sellers, Save Money

According to the Porch survey, in almost half of all cases where the home inspection found an issue, the buyer was ultimately able to leverage a lower sales price due to the inspector’s report. 

About 46% of buyers reported that they “used home inspection reports to negotiate a lower price on their home.” The amount that buyers and their real estate professionals were able to negotiate off of the home’s price was often based on the scope and source of the problems uncovered by the home inspector. Issues with a heater or the roof tended to lead to the biggest price reduction from sellers, according to those surveyed. On average, buyers who worked with their broker to leverage the information from their home inspection were able to save thousands of dollars by revising their offer. 

And don’t forget the very real value that a pre-listing inspection can have for sellers! For sellers, working with a home inspector before taking a home to market can help identify affordable repairs which might help enhance the marketability of the home down the line. Having a pre-listing inspection can help sellers demonstrate their commitment to making the sale, and allow the transaction go more smoothly at each step along the way. Making a few small updates may even help the property sell more quickly, cutting down on the carrying costs buyers have to pay while their home stays on the market.

There’s No Putting a Price on Peace of Mind

Finally, it’s important to remember that the benefits of a home inspection can go far beyond the financial. For buyers, an inspection is a powerful way to get to know your new home, so you can move ahead with confidence and peace of mind. 

As one buyer explained in their Porch response: 

“The process of buying a home can make your head spin from all the details and requirements. Having a professional inspect your home is reassuring, if you get the right inspector.” 

Or, as a millennial homebuyer from Colorado put it: 

“The inspector found several things that I never would have noticed, and being able to get some fixed, and knowing that the others existed, was well worth the cost.” 

In other words? Experienced buyers agree that home inspection is informative and empowering — and one of the most important steps you can take as you get ready to seal the deal on your dream home. 

What to Expect with Windy City Home Inspection

Curious about what goes into the home inspection process here in Chicagoland? Looking for guidance or insight from an experienced home inspection team? That’s where we come in. 

With Windy City Home Inspection, buyers and sellers can expect a thorough, diligent inspection that never cuts 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.