I attended a real estate disclosure class this week, Inspection Disclosure Illuminated. It was taught by Tom Sanders of Assure Home Inspection. He covered the Arizona ASHI Standards of Practice. Not all states require home inspectors to be liscensed, but Arizona does. ASHI is the American Society of Home Inpsectors, Inc.. Arizona Standards of Practice are standards from ASHI with adjustments made for Arizona. These standards represent the minimum a home inspector is required to do.
Inspectors are required to provide their client a written report. It should include which systems and components were inspected and which were not including the reason they were not. The report is to “state any systems and components so inspected which were found to be in need of immediate major repair and any recommendations to correct, monitor or evaluate by appropriate persons”. Inspectors are not required to report on the life expectany of any component or system or to provide estimates for the cost of possible repairs.
A buyer who has obtained a home inspection report on the home he is purchasing should work with his real estate agent to determine what repairs if any to request from the seller. The seller is not obligated to make repairs of all items showing on the inspection report as needing correction. The buyer can ask for repairs and the seller can respond that he will do all requested repairs, some of the requested repairs, or none of the requested repairs. The only exception to this is the warranted items listed in the contract which must be in working condition at close of escrow. Just like the contract/original offer process this process can require negotiation. Using an exprienced REALTOR® can be very helpful to a buyer or seller during negotiations.
The ASHI site offers a place to locate a home inspector in your area.