FAQ of a Seattle Home Inspector

Many people are as familiar (or less) with the home-inspection process as they are with the home-buying process. We know theres a lot to know and we’re here to help. Here are some of the questions and comments we field on a daily basis.

“So how long after we give the seller the report can we expect them to have everything fixed?”

A: You and your agent are more than welcome to make the decision to ask for everything on the list. However, you should know: They’re not obligated in any way to fix anything on the report. I have never heard of any conditions that are required to be corrected prior to the sale of a home.

“Buyers should only attend the end of the inspection”

A: It’s probably best the inspector and the client hash these details out individually within their own spheres. At Abode Analysis, every client is invited prior to the inspection to follow along ‘as much or as little’ as they would like. All of our clients are also encouraged to ask ‘as many or as few questions’ as they would like. No question is a dumb question. …no that’s not true, there are definitely dumb questions but we would never hold that against you. We want you to leave feeling like you have been informed and are ready to make an important decision.

“It’s a small house, we just want an hourly consultation. You can blast through everything in an hour, right?”

A: Yeah I can blast through a home in an hour. Just like I can blast down I5 at 85mph. Just because I can do it doesn’t mean I can do it while soaking in the sights surrounding me. Yes, you can purchase hourly inspection services. No, an inspector can’t do what he normally does in 3-4 hours, in 1. It is best, when shopping for hourly inspection services, to so some homework first. 1) Make a list for your inspector. This will enable him/her to stay focused on your individual concerns. 1a) Make the list comprehensive; what specifically do you want checked? Inspectors are of the mindset “a home operates as one cohesive system”. You may only want to know if aluminum wiring is present or not – your inspector can tell you that in about 5 minutes. But if you ask for the electrical system to be inspected you may get a 30 minute evaluation of the whole electrical system. 2) Don’t get caught up in the small details. Remember, your hour is fleeting. Instead of taking a walk upstairs to the master bathroom to look at a small rack in the drywall; ask your inspector to inspect the foundation and attic. Inspecting these areas will help determine if there are reasons to be concerned about that little crack. 3) Don’t expect them to spend time opening/closing doors, windows, cabinets. Checking where the light switch to the right of the kitchen goes because it “doesn’t seem to do anything”. It’s minutia and unlikely to add up to significant monetary outpours. Do those things before or after the inspection with your realtor, if you wish. 4) Keep this in mind “what do I need an expert to answer” and ask those questions.

“I don’t need an inspection on a new home”

A: True! (keep reading please) In the state of Washington you don’t need a home inspection on any home. Just because you don’t need one, does’t mean you shouldn’t have one. Think of the scale and scope of building a home; it’s a massive undertaking. Remember that erector-set you had as a kid? Remember how there were always a few piece missing that you had to kind of jerry-rig? Apply this principal to a home. We find issues on new homes every. single. time.

“My home has a 1 year warranty, so I’ll hire an inspector when that’s due to expire”

A: You could do that. Your best bet, however, is to hire an inspector at both times. Many inspectors will perform a full inspection prior to close, then offer a lesser-price for a 1 year-warranty inspection (this is what we offer also). This gives the inspector the added value of time-analysis. Typically, we visit a home for a few(+) hours then never again. To have notes and a history on a property to re-evaluate after the course of a year can yield great insight. We’ve discovered unscrupulous builders who’ve claimed to have “fixed” and issue prior to close, only for us to discover it was never remedied to begin with.

This is just a short list of possible questions you may have regarding the home inspection process. We encourage you to send us any questions you have. We’re here as a resource for you.



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    • Thanks for your comment, Stacy! We have many inspector/friends who choose not to print on site for that very reason. We’re able to offer this service because we work with assistants on-site. This give us the unique ability to manage the entire process: reporting, critiquing, labeling, and uploading the report online for client access; all while on-site. We work hard to get information to our customers with as little turn-around time as possible; giving our clients a competitive edge in our fast-paced Seattle market. Cheers. ~Andrew

  1. Thanks for the great share! I also like the idea of Home Inspections. The best part I like is this: The reliability and availability of modern energy sources cause people to tend to assume that it will always be accessible. And as for the case of non-renewable energy sources, most people do not know or maybe even refuse to accept that it will eventually run out.

  2. Great Q&A.
    I am studying and finishing up some of my certifications and live clear across the country in Florida. I have worked in the construction field for many years so that helps out a lot but I have still learned quite a lot since starting this journey. I am sure I am going to run in to these same questions at one point or another. Took away some good things here. Thanks for the awesome read!

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