Have you been following any news or updates about the Chicagoland real estate market? If you’re interested in buying or selling a home anytime in the near future, you’ve probably had your eyes glued to market updates and news stories. And you’re probably seeing one trend pop up again and again, no matter where you look — buyers are getting competitive, available inventory is tight, and we are firmly in a seller’s market. 

Investopedia defines a “seller’s market” as one “characterized by a shortage of goods available for sale, resulting in pricing power for the seller.” As real estate market experts will tell you, this is more or less what buyers and sellers are experiencing here in Illinois and across the country right now. Real estate brokers are reporting more “multiple-offer” situations on homes than in years past; inventory levels are near record lows; average home prices are rising; and homes that do hit the market only tend to remain available for a few weeks or less. 

In a bustling and competitive market, it’s easy to get swept up in the process and attempt to rush through things. Many buyers feel pressed for time given the level of market activity; some sellers are eager to strike while the iron is hot. But whatever the circumstances, there are some important steps that you don’t want to overlook whether you’re buying or selling a property — including making time for a thorough, professional home inspection. 

Structural concerns, safety issues, and the threat of expensive future repairs don’t disappear just because the market is moving. In fact, a competitive market shines all the more light on why home inspections are so important. As our colleagues at the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) put it in a recent blog post:

… jumping to sell your house and buy another also comes with a fair amount of risk, especially if you don’t get a home inspection. In their mad rush to sell, many homeowners are sweeping major issues under the rug. So, unless you want to end up with [multiple] problems — and thousands of dollars’ worth of repairs — it may be wise to pump the brakes and hire an inspector

A home inspection is a visual examination of the readily accessible systems and components of a home. During an inspection, the inspector looks for structural and mechanical concerns, as well as potential safety hazards. Your inspector will also try to determine the age of major systems around the property, including the roofing, HVAC components, and water heaters. During a standard home inspection, an inspector will generally observe more than 200 items throughout the home with a keen and objective eye. A properly trained inspector is unbiased and thorough, and will review your house as a system, looking at how one component of the house might affect another.  

According to a survey from the real estate information and services site Porch, nearly nine in ten homebuyers used a home inspector’s services for their most recent home purchase. 86% of buyers who used a home inspection said that their inspector identified at least one problem that should be addressed, and 46% of buyers reported that the results of their home inspection ultimately helped them negotiate on the price of their home. 

The Importance of a Home Inspection For Buyers in Today’s Market

As a buyer, you’ll want to know that a home is safe, structurally and mechanically sound, and free of health risks. A home inspector’s visual evaluation will provide a solid foundation of knowledge about the home, including its major components and systems. In addition to reporting any deficiencies or potential failures, your home inspector will include maintenance tips and other information to help you protect your investment, giving you the education you need to feel confident in the months and years ahead. 

Before you sign the contract or purchase agreement, it is standard to make your purchase obligation contingent upon receiving the findings of a professional home inspection; you should then contact a home inspector immediately after the contract or purchase agreement has been signed. Home inspectors are aware of the time constraints involved in purchase agreements in today’s busy market, and will be available to conduct the required inspection within a few days. 

The Importance of a Home Inspection For Sellers in Today’s Market

With the ever-changing marketplace, sellers are finding it to their advantage to have a pre-listing inspection to try to head off potential problems by either repairing them or offering a credit for their repair.

For sellers, a pre-listing inspection can help identify deficiencies that must be disclosed to potential buyers. It will also include recommendations for repairs that may enhance the marketability of your home. As a result, a professional home inspection is a valuable marketing tool, and may well help you sell your home faster and at the highest possible price.

At Windy City Home Inspection, We Know Chicago

Curious about what goes into the home inspection process here in Chicagoland? Looking for guidance or insight from an experienced home inspection team? Our experts are here and ready to help. 

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.