Buying a House? Here’s Why You Need a Real Estate Inspection

Moving can be exciting, but it can also be, well, stressful. There’s the waiting, the hoping that everything goes smoothly, and the crossed fingers that closing happens without a wrinkle. Then there’s the financial stuff to take care of and the paperwork to get through. And of course, there’s all the packing to do, which inevitably takes longer than you thought or hoped it would.

Your days become recurring utterances of, ‘How did we end up with all this STUFF?’ and trips for more bubble wrap and packing tape. And at the same time, you somehow have to keep up with your daily duties of laundry, work, giving the dogs their flea/tick meds, and packing lunches. Everything seems simultaneously out of your control and on your shoulders.

Okay, so maybe moving isn’t just stressful, it’s exhausting.

What’s one thing you can do to make things go a little smoother? Schedule a real estate inspection with a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep®.

What Is a Real Estate Inspection?

A level 2 real estate inspection is a thorough inspection of the chimney system performed by a Certified Chimney Sweep®. The purpose of a real estate inspection is to assess the basic soundness of the chimney structure and to evaluate the accessible internal and external portions of the chimney and fireplace.

During a real estate inspection, the chimney sweep will look for flue obstructions, flammable buildup, leaks, and other potential issues with the system. They will also check for proper clearances from combustibles in accessible locations.

Unlike routine home inspections, which only check for obvious issues with the chimney and fireplace, real estate inspections go deeper and include a video scan of the entire internal surface of the chimney flue.

That way, you know exactly what condition the chimney and fireplace are in, and if they’re considered safe for use – before you buy.

Why bother with a real estate inspection prior to closing on your new home? Here’s why:

Real estate inspections can save you money & give you the upper hand during the buying process.

If the chimney and fireplace in your new home need cleaning or repair before you can use them, wouldn’t you rather know before you buy? Of course. If you know these things ahead of time, you can ask the seller to take care of the issues prior to closing OR use your real estate inspection report to negotiate a better price for the home. Which means everything will be up to par before you move in OR you’ll have money to cover the needed cleaning and repairs, without dipping even further into your savings.

Real estate inspections can give you and your family peace of mind when you use the fireplace in your new home.

Lighting the first fire in the fireplace or stove of your new home can be magical. But if your chimney and fireplace aren’t in great working order, it can be a smoky – even scary – mess. If you have a real estate inspection performed by a CSIA-Certified Chimney Sweep® before you buy your home, you’ll know your fireplace is ready for continued use. If something needs to be done before you can light that first fire, you’ll know about that as well.

I’m Having a Home Inspection Done Prior to Closing – Do I Really Need a Chimney Real Estate Inspection, too?

Home inspectors are good at what they do. They have enough knowledge about every aspect of the home to be good at knowing what obvious things to look for. But the problem is that a large portion of the chimney system is not visible to the naked eye. And those hidden areas are where a lot of fire risks and performance issues arise.

If you want to be confident that the chimney system in your new home is in good working condition and ready for continued safe use, a simple look at the exterior of the chimney from the ground and a look at the fireplace with a flashlight is not good enough. You need something more exhaustive.

That’s why the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Standard 211 recommends chimney inspections when buying/selling a house.

Bulleted list with points that a home inspector checks in regards to the chimney
Bulleted list with points that a professional chimney inspector checks in regards to the chimney
CSIA Recap of Real Estate Inspections vs. Professional Chimney Inspection

Get the Most From Your New Home – Start With a Real Estate Inspection

Real estate inspections can save you money, make moving a little less stressful, and reduce the risk of chimney fire in your new home. So, don’t skip this critical service. Finding a qualified pro to perform your real estate inspection is easy – just click the button below and we’ll show you a list of pros in your zip code.  And don’t forget to download our free Make My Move Easy Checklist/First-Time Homebuyer Checklist.

Are you a realtor? Provide additional value to your clients, set them up for success in their new homes, and give them peace of mind by recommending a real estate inspection. The feeling that comes with knowing you saved your clients hundreds or even thousands of dollars on repairs and made their home life safer is as good as it gets!


Our Homeowner Resources page offers loads of information about maintaining your chimney system, including what you can expect during a chimney sweep and inspection.