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Home inspections in Illinois – how do they work?

Home inspections in Illinois – how do they work?


Although a home may look relatively perfect during a walkthrough, it could be hiding potential problems. Unlike home appraisals, which only indicate a home’s monetary value, home inspections provide information about the home’s exterior and interior condition.

An inspection should include an analysis of the home’s major components like the furnace and air conditioner, plumbing and electrical systems and an overall inspection of the roof.

The main goal of a home inspection is to alert the buyer to any safety concerns or issues with the property. Upon completion, the inspector should provide the prospective buyer with actions that can remediate any problems with the home. Additionally, the inspector should also identify whether or not any code violations are present.

What an inspection entails

While a home inspector may examine many different components of the real estate for sale, there are some common areas of a home they will check. For example, during the inspection process, an inspector will typically look at the following:

  • Exterior walls. The inspector should check for any damaged or missing sliding, cracks and whether the soil is located too closely to the base of the home.
  • Foundation. Although the foundation of most homes is not directly visible, the inspector can look for secondary issues, like settling or cracks.
  • Roof. While looking at the roof, the inspector will see if there are any areas where damage could allow water to enter the home.
  • Plumbing. During the inspection process, the inspector will check all of the faucets, identify which type of pipes the home has and look for leaks.
  • Water heater. As a result of looking at the water heater, the inspector will determine its age and whether or not it is properly installed.

The home inspector may also analyze the general condition of the kitchen appliances, HVAC system, electrical wiring, garage, bathrooms and more.

After the inspection

Once the home inspection is completed, those buying property will need to decide whether or not the necessary repairs found by the inspection are serious enough to discontinue the sale or minor enough to proceed to closing. If the buyer is still inclined to purchase the home, they can request the seller to repair and fix certain problems. This demand for repairs needs to be sent to the seller in writing and should be accompanied by the inspector’s report which affirms why these fixes need to be made. The seller can then choose to make the requested repairs or continue to negotiate with the buyer. When this occurs, a home buyer can benefit from working with an attorney who can help them determine if concessions should be made.

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