I’m John with the John Voirol Group, a top real estate team in St Louis, Missouri. Today I’m sharing with you five mistakes buyers make during inspections. If you stick with me to the end, I’ll tell you the number one mistake that gets people in trouble, and it might surprise you! If you don’t have time to read this post don’t worry; we’ve included a video with the same information. Subscribe to our John Voirol Group YouTube Channel to make sure you don’t miss future posts like this one!

1. Doing Inspections Too Late

Do inspections quickly so you can get information as soon as possible. Typically, when doing home inspections in St. Louis you have 10 days to collect all of the reports and expert opinions you want, and it’s important to get your inspectors to the home within the first couple of days so if they find something else that’s wrong, for example a roof issue, then you have time within your 10 day inspection period to get an expert roofer out to give you their evaluation.

Be sure to allow enough time for any expert opinions that may be needed after the primary inspection is done.

If you wait too far into your 10 day inspection period to find out that there is an an unknown issue that needs further evaluation, you may not have time to get the roofing expert out there. The real estate sales contract we use in St. Louis most commonly allows for 10 days, but the number is negotiable.

2. Not Sharing the Disclosures with Your Inspector

Most properties have a seller’s disclosure in which the seller discloses any known issues about the house, its foundation, its major mechanical systems and so on. If issues are noted in there, you want to share the disclosure with your inspector to make them aware of things that they can pay special attention to while they’re inspecting the home. When doing home inspections in St. Louis, ask your real estate agent to send your inspector a copy of the disclosures, or you can bring them with you to the inspection.

3. Not Having the Sewer Lateral Inspected

Did you know you can get a video of the entire sewer line?

Whether the home is 100 years old and has a clay sewer lateral or brand new construction with a PVC lateral, when performing home inspections in St. Louis you always want to have a camera pushed through the line to check the condition of the lateral and see if any repairs are needed. It’s only about $150, and you might find a repair that costs thousands of dollars that you can negotiate during the transaction. Many homes were built with cast iron pipes underneath the home which get scaly and cause buildup. The pipes in the yard tend to be 2 foot sections of clay and it’s very common for tree roots and other debris to enter the lateral where the sections come together.

Larger repairs costing $2,000-$10,000 are not unheard of.

When doing home inspections in St. Louis and including a sewer inspection, we commonly find that the line either needs to be “cable” or “hydrojetted” prior to moving in, and because we have so many historic homes with very old pipes – larger repairs costing $2,000-$10,000 are not unheard of.

4. Not Having Mechanical Systems Evaluated

Have the heating & cooling systems evaluated by an HVAC professional.

Have the mechanical systems, especially the furnace and the air conditioner, evaluated by an HVAC professional. If you know how old the systems are and whether there are any present issues with them, you can negotiate to have the seller fix them before you close on the house. Another way to address issues is to have the Seller purchase a home warranty for you. If you don’t have an expert evaluate the systems, you may not know about any issues until after you’ve moved in.

5. Asking for the Wrong Repairs

You’ve stuck with us to the end so here it is…the top mistake buyers make during the inspection notice period is asking for the wrong repairs. The inspectors will give you a very long and detailed report noting every little concern they found. It’ll have big things and small things on it, but focus on the big ticket items that are going to cost the most amount of money to get repaired so that you can negotiate to have the seller do it, at their expense, prior to closing. Focusing on small issues that are easily fixed after you move in only serves to distract from the larger, big ticket items. When doing home inspections in St. Louis, keep your repair requests focused in order to get the most of the negotiation.

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Get a list of ASHI Certified Inspectors in St. Louis
The gold standard of home inspectors!

When doing a home inspection in St. Louis, be sure to choose an inspector who is accredited and reputable. The American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) is the oldest and most respected home inspection organization in the United States of America. Members meet and embrace stringent standards for membership and must obtain continuing education annually. Over the years, the John Voirol Group has refined the list of inspectors they prefer to work with. Above, you can download a list of of ASHI certified inspectors in the St. Louis area.

If you have any questions about choosing a home inspector, buying a home, starting your search – or any other real estate related question – send us a message at [email protected] We’d love to help!


This post was written by John Voirol, a top St. Louis Realtor and founder of the John Voirol Group real estate team. John has extensive experience supporting clients in the sale and purchase of historic homes in St. Louis, and because he was born and raised in St. Louis he especially enjoys helping clients discover which neighborhood best meets their lifestyle and housing needs. If you’d like to ask John a question please email him at [email protected].

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