If you’re going to buy a home, you’ll have to go through the inspection process. It’s important to have a complete understanding because it can make or break whether or not the sale goes through.
If you’re at the point where it’s time for the inspection to happen, that means you’re getting pretty close, which can be exciting.
The following are some of the core things to know about the inspection process and what to expect.
The Basics of Home Inspection
During a home inspection, a professional will visually assess a property. The goal is to determine the state it’s currently in. A good inspector can make sure everything is working the way it should, and they can also let you know if any possible weaknesses might become more significant issues in the future.
A certified home inspector looks for certain issues, and they then create a report of their professional opinion.
If you’re a homebuyer, you can look at the report, and you’ll get a better idea of what maintenance and upkeep might be like before you close on a house.
Due to how important a home inspection can be, an inspection contingency is included in most offers and purchase agreements. With a home inspection contingency, you have the option as a buyer to renegotiate the price or back out of a sale without losing your earnest or deposit money if the inspector finds any issues.
Importance of the Home Inspection Contingency
The contingency related to the home inspection is worth talking about in more detail on its own. It’s one of the biggest sources of protection you have as a buyer. Many lenders won’t even finance a home if there’s no inspection.
An inspection can uncover serious or potentially even life-threatening problems like mold or faulty wires.
For you to walk away from a contract with the seller, the issue at hand has to be pretty significant.
A realtor might also include an inspection contingency for a new construction home, which will look at foundations pre-drywall and then include a full inspection of the house when it’s complete.
The inspection happens after a seller accepts your offer but before you close. You want to schedule it as soon as possible after you’re under contract since you may need more inspections or negotiations.
At a minimum, have 7 to 10 days for the inspection built into your overall home buying plan.
Hiring An Inspector
When you’re the buyer, it’s usually your responsibility to hire the inspector. A seller might tell you they’ll share their own inspection report they had done, but you still need someone to do it on your behalf as well.
If you aren’t sure where to find an inspector, start by asking for recommendations from people you know. You can also use professional associations, which maintain databases. Examples include the American Society of Home Inspectors and the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors.
Since it is an integral part of buying a home, you might want to interview the inspectors you’re considering to learn more about their experience and areas of expertise.
For example, if you’re buying an older house, you might want an inspector with a lot of experience in this area.
An inspection will cost anywhere from $300 to $500 in most cases.
You usually pay the inspector when they perform the service, unlike other closing costs.
What Does the Home Inspector Do?
An inspection will usually take several hours to complete. It’s a detailed walkthrough, and during this time, the professional performing it will take notes and pictures. If you go to the inspection, they’ll provide you with comments on what they see.
Their goal is to offer an objective opinion, without emotion, about the condition of a home.
Unless it indicates a larger problem, an inspector isn’t going to talk about anything strictly aesthetic.
You also have to remember that inspectors can’t see what’s not visible to them, so this could include pests or asbestos. If there are covered or inaccessible areas, like a septic tank, you may need to hire someone to do a specialized evaluation.
An inspection report will estimate the useful life left for major systems and equipment and report on the roof, paint, finishes, and structure.
When you get an inspection, it’s not pass-fail. There aren’t mandatory fixes that have to be made. Instead, it can be used for negotiations, or you may decide to leave the deal altogether.
Emily Smith is a talented content writer, wielding words to create captivating stories and informative articles across a wide range of topics. With a passion for effective communication and a love for research, Emily consistently produces engaging and valuable content. She’s dedicated to conveying ideas clearly and compellingly, making her a sought-after voice in the digital sphere. When not writing, Emily enjoys immersing herself in art, nature, and culinary adventures for fresh bursts of creativity.