Home Inspection 101: Q&A with Dan Barnes

The Madison WI real estate season is in full swing, folks! That means a whole new crop of home buyers and sellers will soon be going through the home inspection process. This can be one of the more nerve-wracking steps in the process. So we recently talked with Madison-area inspector Dan Barnes, from Action Home Inspections, to get the skinny on all things home inspection... Home inspection in homes for sale in Madison WI real estate

ROOST: What are some of the biggest misconceptions about the home inspection process?

DAN: I think the biggest misconception is that the inspector is there to point out all the bad things about a house. 

ROOST: When doing a home inspection, what do you look for?

DAN: Honestly, I look at everything, from the roof to the basement. A good home inspection covers the complete structure and its surroundings.

ROOST: What are the most common issues that pop up?

DAN: Electrical issues are very common, and they're very important to catch, because they often represent live safety issues! 

ROOST: What can sellers do BEFORE they put their home on the market, to make the home inspection process easier?

DAN: Simple! De-clutter, remove, and/or organize.

ROOST: What are some of your biggest challenges as a home inspector?

DAN: Probably the biggest challenge is finding a balance between making sure the home buyer is aware of the issues without scaring them off or causing the deal not to go through.

ROOST: As a buyer, what can I learn by attending the inspection?

DAN: The most important thing for a buyer to learn is that even when things are found, they can almost always be corrected. It's also helpful to be on site, because the inspector can easily point out where the gas and water valves are and how to shut them off if needed. 

ROOST: How much does a home inspection cost,  how long does it take, and what do buyers get when it's over?

DAN: I can only speak for myself. I charge $350 for the inspection and $100 for a radon test -- that costs more because it requires going back to the property 48 hours later. The average home inspection lasts about three hours. At the end of the process, I provide a complete report, with pictures and details about every part of the home.

ROOST: Is there something we haven't asked you about, that you think we should know?

DAN: No home is perfect. I believe each home has its own character -- little things good and bad that make it unique.

ROOST: Thanks, Dan! 

ROOST helps to ensure that the home buying and selling process is as smooth and simple as possible at every step along the way (including the home inspection!). To learn more about how we can help you, just ask!