The Inspection Process
When You Make an Offer on a Home
Your Purchase Contract will likely contain provisions allowing you various inspections
of the property. The purpose of these inspections is to educate you as to the physical condition of the
property you are purchasing. While these inspections do not provide guarantees of the condition of the
property, they do provide valuable information to you as a Buyer. It is important to remember that your
Purchase Contract may provide for withdrawal from the contract if these reports are unsatisfactory to
you, but inspections should not be considered an open door to renegotiate the purchase price.
Structural Pest Control Inspection
Often referred to as a “Termite Report,” the Structural Pest Control Inspection is
conducted by a licensed inspector. In addition to actual termite damage, the Pest Report will indicate
any type of wood destroying organisms that may be present, including Fungi (sometimes called “dry rot”),
which generally results from excessive moisture.
Section I - Conditions
Most Pest Reports classify conditions as Section 1 or Section 2 items. Section 1
conditions are those which are “active,” or currently causing damage to the property. Generally, Section
1 items need to be corrected before a lender will make a loan on a home.
Section II - Conditions
Those which are not currently causing damage, but are likely to, if left unattended. A
typical Section 2 item is a plumbing leak where the moisture has not yet caused fungus decay.
Your Purchase Contract will specify who is responsible for the cost of the inspection
and making these corrections. This is a negotiable item and should be considered carefully. We will
advise you as to what is customary and prudent.
The Physical Inspection clause in your Purchase Contract, when initialed by both
parties, allows you the right to have the property thoroughly inspected. This is usually done through a
General Home Inspection. While Home Inspectors are not currently required to have a license, most are,
or have been, General Contractors. The inspection and the resulting report provides an overall
assessment of the present condition of the property.
What is Inspected?
The Home Inspection covers items such as exterior siding, paint, flooring, appliances,
water heater, furnace, electrical service, plumbing, and other visible features of the property. This is
a general inspection and will often call for additional inspections by specific trades, such as roof and
If conditions warrant, the Home Inspector may recommend a Structural Engineer's Report.
Such a report would identify structural failures and detail recommended corrections.
Typically, this inspection is paid for by the Buyer.