Frequent Questions

Why do I need a home inspection? Home inspections make good sense whether you are buying, selling or building. Understanding the systems and components within your home are critical when it comes to repairs and maintenance decisions. A professional home inspection is an impartial third-party visual evaluation of the physical structure, electrical, plumbing, heating, air conditioning, roofing, interior and exterior. Upon completion, you will receive a formal inspection report detailing the condition of each item inspected.

Buyer: If you're a prospective home buyer, a home inspection can give you the peace of mind that the home you have chosen is sound and represents a solid investment. Buying a home is one of the biggest emotional and financial investments you'll ever make, and a home inspection can help ease your concern about your choice and give you confidence to go forward with the purchase.

Seller: If you're selling your home, a home inspection can help you identify problems your home may have so you can choose how to deal with them before listing it for sale. If you're like many homeowners, you may not even know about certain issues a house can develop. You'll be confident that you're offering a good investment, and you can place your home on the market without uncertainty.

REALTOR®: REALTOR®: Whether you're serving a buyer or seller, it's in the best interest of your client that you suggest a complete home inspection. Doing so can avoid problems later, and you will be confident that the property has the best chance of closing quickly.

Why should I use Wilkerson & Company Home Inspection Services? Purchasing a new home is one of the single most costly investments that a family will make. It is important to know what you are getting for your money. A home inspection is an excellent tool to help determine not only the condition of the home, but to also help foresee any immediate unnecessary additional cost that may go unnoticed without the help of a home inspection. Your inspector will verify the structural stability and working condition of mechanical and support systems installed within the home. Areas that may soon require repairs in excess of $1,000 and areas that may present an unsafe or uninhabitable condition will be identified within your report. The report will also identify maintenance problems that may require prompt attention to minimize deterioration that could develop into more serious defects. Home inspections are not a prediction of future performance, but can pinpoint existing problem areas. Your inspector will identify existing or potential problems that could affect a purchasers buying decision.

How long will the Inspection take? The inspection time will fluctuate depending on the size, age, and condition of the home. For most homes, 3 to 4 hours is pretty typical. Larger homes and homes in poor condition may take longer.

What will the inspection cover?  A thorough Inspection covers everything from roof to the foundation. The inspection will covers all the major systems and structural elements of the house. This includes the condition of the homes heating and air conditioning systems, plumbing and electrical systems, roof, foundation, attic and visible insulation, walls, doors, windows and all visible structures. According to state code, if a system is shutdown it will be recorded on your formal report.

Should I be present during the Inspection?  We highly recommend that you be present at the site of the inspection, from start to finish. You are not required to be there, but for most people it is a valuable learning experience. By following the inspector you can ask questions directly and the inspector can explain maintenance tips for specific areas. We believe you will have a greater understanding the finished report and get the most benefit from it by having been there during the inspection. If you can not join the inspection process, we strongly urge you to be present for the walk-through at the end of the inspection. By being present, you will have a far greater understanding of your new home and the report.

What if I have questions after the inspection? You can call us and discuss all the aspects of your new home whenever you like. Our service is a long-term investment. We are here to serve your needs and answer your questions. There is no charge for this continued support. A simple call can save you time and trouble.

What about the Report? We are proud to provide the highest quality reporting system available. You will find our reporting system easy to read and the explanations very helpful. On our secure website you can login and view your formal report within 12 hours of inspection. We also include a reference key, directory of industry terms, basic maintenance and safety tips. The additional report information will be a valuable resource for years to come.

When Do I Receive My Report? You will receive your report on-site at the conclusion of the inspection before the final walk-through.

Is the report a narrative? The report is a full, easy to read, narrative describing the components of the house with improvement suggestions. The report generally runs 25-40 pages and includes a Report Summary that will let you quickly review the suggested improvements to the home.

Does the report include pictures of deficiencies found? A high-quality, high-resolution digital camera is used to provide a photographic record of your inspection.

How soon is the report available? The report is computer generated in our office. The report is available the next day and in many cases, the same day by entering your name and password on the Wilkerson & Company View Your Report website or by e-mail (.PDF format). If requested, we can follow up by mailing or delivering an original hard copy of the formal report.

What if the Inspection uncovers problems? No house is going to be perfect. Our report will tell you the condition of the house, including needed repairs or monitor condition. It is up to you to decide how any issues the inspection uncovers might affect your decision to purchase. You may want to try negotiating with the seller to have major repairs fixed before closing the deal. Or maybe the seller will lower the price, or offer more favorable contract terms. The decision ultimately rests with you, but knowing about potential problems before you buy, gives you the confidence to negotiate and make the best decisions.

Will you fix the problems you find during the Inspection? No. The Virginia Board of Asbestos, Lead, and Home Inspections code of ethics, (Standard Conduct and Practice Code 18 VAC 15-40-140 Conflict of Interest), prohibits its members from doing repair work on properties they inspect. This assures that there will never be any conflict of interest by the inspector. Our purpose is to provide an unbiased, objective third party report on the condition of the home.

Why can't I have someone in my family who is a handyman or a contractor, inspect my new home? This is a big mistake many potential new homeowners make when purchasing a home. Chances are that even if they are very familiar with home construction, they still do not have the knowledge, training and experience of a professional Home Inspector. Professional home inspection is a unique skill like no other. We are not only familiar with all the systems of a home, and how they work and need to be maintained, but we also know what to look for to tell us that they are getting ready to fail. But beyond the technical expertise and experience a professional inspector brings, it is important to remember that the inspector remains an impartial third party. When you are involved in buying or selling a house, it is not possible for you to remain completely unemotional about the house, and this may cloud your judgment. Many contractors, and other trades professionals hire a professional home inspector to inspect their homes when they make a purchase. The professional inspector will provide an objective outside reporting of the facts.

Does a newly constructed home need an Inspection? A professional inspection of a new home is important. We can spot potential problems early, while they are still easy to correct. A home inspection is especially valuable to arrange before the interior walls are finished. As building professionals, we may find problem areas where the builder has taken shortcuts, not completed good work, or overlooked safety requirements.

Do I need a house inspection when my bank is having the house appraised? Yes. A house inspector conducts a thorough evaluation of the houses major systems and structural integrity. A house appraisal is an independent evaluation of the current market value of a house or property. In general, the purpose of an appraisal is to set the current value of a house so that a lender may determine how much it can loan to the buyer. The appraiser is typically working for the bank, whereas, the house inspector is working for you. The house inspector identifies items that need replacement or repair prior to closing, which can save you thousands of dollars. The U.S. Department of Housing And Urban Development (HUD) requires buyers sign a Consumer Notice advising them to get a house inspection in addition to a house appraisal before purchasing a house with a FHA mortgage. Additionally, HUD now allows homebuyers to include the costs of appraisal and inspection in their FHA mortgage.