Buyer’s Resources

What Your Home Inspection Should Cover?

Siding: Look for dents or buckling.

Foundations: Look for cracks or water seepage.

Exterior Brick: Cracked bricks or mortar pulling away from bricks.

Insulation: Look for condition, adequate rating for climate.

Doors & Windows: Loose or tight fit, lock condition, weatherstripping.

Roof: Age of roof, flashing, pooling, buckling, or loose gutters and downspouts.

Ceilings, walls, & moldings: Look for loose pieces, drywall pulling away.

Porch/Deck: Loose railings or step, rot.

Electrical: Condition of fuse box, circuit breakers, number of outlets.

Plumbing: Poor water pressure, banging, rust or corrosion that indicate leaks, insulation.

Water Heater: Age, size adequate, speed of recovery, energy rating.

Furnace/Air Conditioning: Age, energy rating; Furnaces are rated by annual fuel utilization efficiency; the higher the rating, the lower your fuel costs. However, other factors such as payback period and other operating costs, such as electricity to operate motors.

Garage: Exterior in good repair; condition of floor—cracks, stains, etc.; condition of door mechanism.

Basement: Water leakage, musty smell.

Attic: Adequate ventilation, water leaks from roof.

Septic Tanks (if applicable): Adequate absorption field capacity for the percolation rate in your area and the size of your family.

Driveways/Sidewalks: Cracks, heaving pavement, crumbling near edges, stains.

Home Inspection Questions:

For most persons, purchasing a home is the largest investment they will ever make. It is no wonder then that many homebuyers employ professionals to inspect the structural and mechanical systems of the home and report to them on their condition. Sometimes sellers also employ Home Inspectors to alert them to problems with their homes which could arise later in the transaction. But normally Home Inspectors are employed by Buyers. For this reason, this brochure is written from the viewpoint of the potential homebuyer.

Q: What is a Home Inspection?

A: It is an evaluation of the visible and accessible systems and components of a home (plumbing system, roof, etc.) and is intended to give the client (usually a homebuyer) a better understanding of their condition. It is also important to know what a home inspection is not! It is not an appraisal of the property’s value: nor should you expect it to address the cost of repairs. It does not guarantee that the home complies with local building codes (which are subject to periodic change) or protect you in the event an item inspected fails in the future. [Note: Warranties can be purchased to cover many item.]

Nor should it be considered a “technically exhaustive” evaluation, but rather an evaluation of the property on the day it is inspected, taking into consideration normal wear and tear.

Q: Can anyone perform a home inspection?

A: No. Only person licensed by the Tennessee Inspector Licensure Board are permitted to perform home inspections for compensation. To qualify for licensure, they must satisfy certain educational and experience requirements and pass a state licensing examination. Their inspections must be conducted in accordance with the Board’s Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics.

Q: Why should I have the home inspected?

A: Most homebuyers lack the knowledge, skill and emotional detachment needed to inspect homes themselves. By using the services of a licensed Home Inspector, they can gain a better understanding of the condition of the property, especially whether any items do not “function as intended” or “adversely affect the habitability of the dwelling” or “warrant further investigation” by a person who specializes in the items in questions.

Q: In my home purchase I have chosen to sign the standard Offer to Purchase and Contract* form which many real estate and legal professional use. It states that I have the right to have the home inspected and the right to request that the seller repair identified problems with the home. Will the home inspection identify all of these problems?

A: Yes and No. Home Inspectors typically evaluate structural components (flooring, walls, roofs, chimneys, foundations, etc.), mechanical systems (plumbing, electrical, heating/air conditioning, installed appliances and other major components of the property. The Home Inspector Licensure Board’s Standards of Practice do not require Home Inspectors to report on: wood-destroying insects, environmental contamination, pools and spas, detached structures and certain other items listed in the Offer to Purchase and Contract form. Always ask the Home Inspector if he covers all the things which are important to you. If not, it is your responsibility to arrange for an inspection of these items by the appropriate professionals. For a description of the services to be provided by the Home Inspector (and their cost), you should read carefully the written contract which the Home Inspector must give you and which you must sign before the Home Inspection can be performed.

Q: How do I request a home inspection, and who will pay for it?

A:  You can arrange for the home inspection or ask your real estate agent to assist you. Unless you otherwise agree, you will be responsible for payment of the home inspection and any subsequent inspections. If the inspection is to be performed after you have signed the purchase contract, be sure to schedule the inspection as soon as possible to allow adequate time for any repairs to be performed.

Q: Should I be present when the home inspection is performed?

A: Whenever possible, you should be present. The inspector can review with you the results of the inspection and point out any problems found. Usually the inspection of the home can be completed in two or three hours (the time can vary depending upon the size and age of the dwelling). The Home Inspector must give you a written report of the home inspection within three business days after the inspection is performed (unless otherwise stated in your contract with the Home Inspector). The home inspection report is your property. The Home Inspector may only give it to you and may not share it with other persons without your permission.

Q: Are all the inspection reports the same?

A: No. While the Home Inspector Licensure Board has established a minimum requirement for report-writing, reports can vary greatly. They can range from a “checklist” of the systems and components to a full narrative evaluation or any combination of the two. Home Inspectors are required to give you a written “Summary” of their inspection identifying any system or component that does not function as intended, or adversely affects the habitability of the dwelling, or appears to warrant further investigation by a specialist. The summary does not necessarily include all items that have been found to be defective or deficient. Therefore, do not read only the summary. Carefully read and understand the entire home inspection report.

Q: What should I do if I feel something has been missed on the inspection?

A: Before any repairs are made (except emergency repairs), call the inspector or inspection company to discuss the problem. Many times a “trip charge” can be saved by explaining the problem to the inspector who can answer the question over the phone. This also gives the inspector a chance to promptly handle any problems that may have been overlooked in the inspection.

Q: If, following the home inspection, the seller repairs an item found in the home inspection, may I have the Home Inspector perform a “re-inspection”?

A: Yes. Some repairs may not be as straightforward as they might seem. The inspector may be able to help evaluate the repair, but you should be aware that the re-inspection is not a warranty of the repairs that have been made. Some Home Inspectors charge a fee for re-inspections.

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What is Title Insurance?

Title Insurance protects against loss or damage resulting from defects that affect the title to your home or place of business.

Why is it important? Title insurance protects the investment you’ve made in your home or place of business. When you buy property, the previous owner conveys title to you to evidence your full legal ownership. Occasionally, a hidden defect in the title or a mistake in a prior deed, will or mortgage may give someone else a legal claim against your property. If a claim is made against your property, title insurance can save you time and money by:

• Providing a corporate guarantee against insured defects;

• Paying all legal expenses to eliminate any title defects;

• Paying any claim arising from errors in title examination and recording; and

• Paying any loss arising from hidden defects in title and defects not of record.

Your title insurance protection is a permanent assurance that your ownership and use will be defended promptly against claims, at no cost to you, whether or not the claim is valid.

Why Should You Purchase A Home Warranty?

A home warranty is a service contract that covers the repair or replacement of many of the most frequently occurring breakdowns of home systems and appliances. Your home is most likely the leading investment you will make. Unexpected repair and/or replacement costs can be a strain to your budget. It also creates stress trying to locate a qualified professional to solve the problem. A home warranty cannot prevent systems or appliances from breaking down, but it can help make covered repairs or replacements a little easier and less costly.

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Why You Should Choose Us?

We utilize our collective experience to guide and advise you along every step at the purchasing process. Our goal is to provide the absolute best service coupled with superior knowledge at the local market.

PROPERTY SELECTION– We diligently listen to your wants and needs to identify the best properties that meet your lifestyle. We provide periodic updates of properties that are of interest via personal phone contact and electronically by the Knoxville Area Association of RealtorsMLS.

APPOINTMENTS– We will schedule, coordinate and prepare a comprehensive itinerary and brochures for each property including property tax information and listing history for your review.

ART OF NEGOTIATION– Years of experience enable accurate pricing of the property. Prior to submitting an offer, we will review current pricing vs. your offering price. We will communicate your offer and negotiate the offer to suitable terms that you and the seller can agree on. Our goal us to secure the best pricing and terms for the Buyers we represent.

CONTRACT– After preparation of the offer, negotiation and acceptance of the offer, we will review all terms and track all important dates.

RECOMMENDATIONS & INFORMATION– We will advise you of all necessary inspections, recommended attorneys, lenders and insurance companies, movers, etc…

INSPECTIONS– Schedule, coordinate and meet inspector, review repair items, submit billing to closing agent on your behalf.

PRE-CLOSING– Order survey on your behalf review closing statement, provide you with a utilities list and a vendors list.

POST CLOSING– Providing you with a closing statement for tax purposes at the beginning of the year. We will keep you up-to-date with sales in your new neighborhood. We are available long after any closing to answer any questions or address any concerns that arise.

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Kelly Baker Properties, LLC
11002 Kingston Pike, Suite 202, Knoxville, TN 37934 | PO Box 22517, Knoxville, TN 37933
Office: 865-288-4512 Cell: 865-414-6004