Once you’ve found a home you’re interested in buying and signed a real estate contract, you’ll typically want to order a professional home inspection. While getting an inspection is generally not required, and the cost is usually your responsibility, it is a highly recommended step to help protect you from potentially costly surprises with the home’s condition. If you’ve never experienced a home inspection before or just need a refresher, here’s what to expect.
What’s a home inspection?
When you hire someone to conduct a home inspection, they will survey the entire home to give you an assessment of its condition. This includes the physical structure like the roof, walls, ceilings, windows and doors and systems like major appliances, heating and cooling, plumbing and electrical. The goal of a home inspection is to uncover any issues with the home so you can negotiate a repair or another concession such as a price cut from the home’s seller. As the homebuyer, you’ll typically pay the cost of the home inspection, which averages from $300 to $600.
How can you prepare?
Make sure you note any issues that the seller disclosed to you, review the property’s documentation and make a list of any questions or concerns you have about the home. If you’ve conducted a simple inspection by yourself earlier on in the homebuying process, you may have specific things you want to bring to the inspector’s attention.
Who’s involved in the process?
Aside from the home inspector, you and your agent should attend the inspection. During the process, you can ask any questions and express any concerns, and your agent should be able to weigh in with their own advice. The listing agent may or may not attend the inspection depending on your specific situation, but if they do, they’ll be able to supply their knowledge of the home and may any address issues that appear.
What happens during a home inspection?
A home inspector will take a few hours to conduct a thorough walkthrough of the home and give you an objective opinion about the condition of the property. They’ll take pictures and notes and talk to you about anything they see. Typically, home inspectors won’t comment on anything aesthetic, unless it may lead to a bigger issue such as water stains on the ceilings or walls that are indicative of damaging leaks.
What happens after a home inspection?
Once the inspection is complete, you and your agent will discuss any immediate results and next steps, and you’ll receive a home inspection report. If any issues were found, your contract will typically allow you to either negotiate a satisfactory solution with the seller or back out of the deal if you’re not satisfied.
With the benefit of a professional inspection by an experienced expert, you can make savvy homebuying decisions. Whether you have the homebuying budget for a new construction property or one that needs some TLC, a home inspection will help ensure you’re buying a home in the condition you expect. If you’re looking for your next home and need financing, contact us today!