Common Questions

Why a Home Inspection?

Massachusetts home purchasers are given the opportunity under state law to have their potential house or condo purchase inspected by a licensed Home Inspector prior to signing a Purchase and Sale Agreement. The usual time allowed to the buyer is 7 calendar days. We view the Home Inspection as an insurance policy; we will determine the condition of the property prior to making the purchase. The inspection will reveal "the good, the bad, and the ugly" aspects of the property that will assist you in making a decision to purchase the property.

What Does Massachusetts Home Inspection Law Require?

All Home Inspectors operating in MA are required to be licensed by the state and must provide Errors and Omissions Insurance. Our report is completed in accordance with the Massachusetts Home Inspectors 266 CMR Regulations and Standards of Practice. All clients are encouraged to review the Home Inspectors Facts for Consumers Sheet at the Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation website.

What Does the Seller Need to Disclosure to the Buyer?

The Massachusetts Home Inspector Law requires that the Seller provide the following information to the prospective Buyer:

  • Does the dwelling have a history of seepage, dampness and/or water penetration into the Basement and/or Under Floor Crawl Space?
  • Has a sump pump ever been installed or used in the basement or under floor crawl space?
  • Do you use any type of dehumidification in any part of the dwelling?
  • Are you aware of any mold and/or air quality issues in the dwelling?
  • Is the dwelling on a private sewage system? If the waste system is private, has a Title V inspection been completed and is the completed Title V Report available for review?
  • Has the dwelling ever been inspected and/or treated for insect infestation? If so, when? What were the chemicals used?
  • Has the dwelling ever been tested for radon gas and/or lead paint? If so when? What were the results?
  • Has the dwelling ever been inspected by an Inspector? If so, when? Were any problems noted? Is a copy of the inspection report available?
  • Are the Seller and/or the Seller’s Representation aware of any structural, mechanical, electrical, and or other material defect that may exist on the property?
  • Has there ever been a fire in the dwelling? If so, when? What areas were involved? What chemical cleaners, if any, were used for cleanup?
  • Has there ever been a hazardous waste spill on the property?
  • Is there an underground oil storage tank on the property?

In addition, Massachusetts requires all property sellers to provide to the public a Home Disclosure Statement that identifies and comments on various issues pertaining to the home. Make sure you ask for that document from the seller of any home that you purchase.

What Steps Do I Need To Take to Get Ready For The Property Inspection?

We recommend that you review the following suggestions in order to make your property inspection a pleasing, informational and successful experience:

  • Please notify the Real Estate Agent(s) and the Owner of the date, time, and approximate hours to be spent inspecting the property.
  • Typically a Real Estate Agent and/or Owner(s) are present during the inspection. The common areas in a condominium building will require my access ( MEP rooms, the roof, the community rooms, garage, etc) and prior arrangements with the property management /owners is required. Multi-family homes will require access to all units and floors and arrangements with tenants must be coordinated.
  • All utilities must be operational at the property: electrical power, water and gas service, and a filled oil tank.
  • Obtain from the Condominium Association the following documentation: Replacement Reserve Report, Association Report, Operating Budget, Proposed Common Area Improvement Schedule, Special Assessments, Pending Claims and Litigation, and Board Minutes.
  • All plumbing fixtures, hot water tanks, and heating and cooling systems must be operational.
  • Properties with excessive amounts of belongings inhibit the inspection process and may result in deficient conditions not being observed.
  • All animals or pets should be restrained or isolated during the inspection.
  • Obtain from the Owner the Seller Disclosure Questionnaire.
  • Obtain from the Owner the following: appliance and component service records; age of major components such as boiler, furnace, ac system, hot water tank, roofing, windows and doors; oil, gas, electrical, water/sewer and tax bills from previous years; copies of any previous home inspection reports; dates of major renovations such as additions, kitchens, baths, and decks; copies of all local building permits; reports on termite treatments, asbestos removal, lead paint testing, etc.; obtain a copy of the Title V Septic System report and the water well characteristics, flow rate, and water quality test where applicable
  • A property inspection can be a stressful experience – “the more the merrier” does not hold true during the inspection. Try to keep your entourage to a minimum.
  • Payment by cash or check is due at the end of inspection. Reports will not be released without payment.
  • Do not schedule an inspection too late in the day or when rain or snow is anticipated. Daylight and proper weather is required to perform a proper inspection.

Following these guidelines will make your property inspection go smoothly!