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Even a Model Home Needs an Inspection

Home inspection

Model homes are what dreams are made of, but a dose of reality is important, too.

Model homes are supposed to be perfect, but can you count on that? New home developments pop up all over the country. And where there’s a development, there’s always at least one model. It’s usually got all of the upgrade accoutrement such as the best flooring, highest-grade countertops and everything else under the sun. But it might also have damage or defects that the buyer doesn’t know about or expect.

Whether a home is old, brand new or a model that’s been viewed hundreds of times, it needs an inspection before the sale. That’s the only way the buyer can really know what she’s getting into.

Damage Can Happen at Any Time

Think about a typical model home and how many individuals and families have walked through. Although you might not expect it, anything could have happened in the house before you viewed it for the first time.

Maybe the child of a viewer dropped a toy down the toilet. Or maybe there was a small electrical fire from bad wiring, and the new repair work conceals the damage. Even though no one has ever lived in a model, a lot of people have visited before you. And you just never know what any might do on a home tour.

Defects Might be Undiscovered

Homes that are lived in have their systems broken in. Plumbing is used all day every day, and so are the appliances, ceiling fans and the beautiful gas fireplace in the living room. In a model, some systems are tested but not used every day. If there’s a small leak in a water supply line or a bad outlet, that item might not be known yet.

Leaks take time to show themselves through spots on the ceiling or mold along the edge of a wall. And so go many other systems in any house. A home inspection tests and investigates to find trouble that hasn’t had time to emerge yet, but will emerge later. And even though there’s a common belief that defects will emerge in a year, home inspector Barry Stone tells the Chicago Daily Herald that’s not always the case.

Home inspection

A real estate agent’s job is to sell the house, not highlight problems.

Looks Aren’t Everything

The whole idea behind a model home is to sell it. That’s why models have every imaginable upgrade, and they usually smell great inside, too. When a prospective buyer walks through a model home, it’s easy to get swept away by all of the beauty. But looks can be deceiving.

Walking through a model isn’t the same as a home inspection, even if the buyer opens every closet, flushes every toilet and kicks the tires, so to speak. The average buyer doesn’t have the skill set of a home inspector, and might not recognize a number of problems that are obvious for a pro’s set of eyes.

Model homes are usually put on the market near the end of a development’s selling period. Most builders offer a home warranty, but that’s not always enough. The warranty might not cover everything, and the buyer might not want to fuss with repairs on defective systems at all. More than that, an inspection that reveals defects might give the buyer bargaining power to negotiate a lower sale price.

The bulk of a home inspector’s job is usually in homes that have been occupied by at least one family. They’ve had years to settle in and time for some defects to happen. But for the smaller percentage of model homes sold each year, an inspection is no less important. New doesn’t mean perfect. And that’s yet one more area where a growing home inspection business can expand even more.

Are you wondering whether home inspecting is the right career path for you? You’re not alone. You can be your own boss, set your own hours, and take charge over how much work you want to do. Get a free demo of ICA School’s home inspection program today, and see what makes our courses so much better.

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