What is a Home Inspection and Why Do I Need One?

What is a home inspection?

A home inspection is an assessment of the structure and all major systems by a trained professional. It usually encompasses an examination of each visible aspect of the interior and exterior of a house. A home inspection is done a few days to a week prior to closing to allow time for price adjustments to be made, issues to be acknowledged and for peace of mind.

For just 60 minutes of your time, a home inspection can make or break your purchase of the home or purchase price of the home. Here are tips for a successful home inspection for the both the home buyer and home seller.

Buyer’s: What to expect

Home buying is a significant investment that you should not go into without in-depth information. An inspection uncovers the condition of a home and necessary repairs. You may find that some defects are expected and may be easily fixed, while others might convince you not to purchase a particular listing. On the other hand, an inspection can actually verify that a home is in acceptable condition. It is important that you attend your home inspection to learn more about the process and be there if anything should arise. If possible, have your real estate agent in attendance as well.

A few of the many items home inspectors will look at and test are:

  • Structure
  • Exterior
  • Interior
  • HVAC
  • Electric
  • Insulation
  • Ventilation
  • Plumbing
  • Roof

Negative or positive, having this necessary knowledge will allow you to make better financial decisions. After the inspection, the inspector will send you a report detailing everything they tested and you have seven days to remove your offer on the home or update the offer accordingly. A real estate buyer agent will help you evaluate and negotiate inspection results in a way that is reasonable yet at the same time protects your best interests.

Owners: What to know

Sellers may complete home inspections before marketing a home for sale to identify important repairs. A repaired property might have a higher market value than an un-renovated one. If you decide not to correct the issues identified, keep in mind that you are required to disclose any known defects to potential home buyers. This is not always a bad situation since buyers will eventually find them during their own inspection and would likely negotiate financial compensation. By giving them the details ahead of time, buyers can take it into account when making a bid, minimizing the trouble of addressing it further along in the transaction.

Inspection Cost

The expense of an inspection usually depends on the square footage of a home but typically run a few hundred dollars and is paid for by the potential home buyer. Additional fees may be charged for evaluation of things such as water quality. Fees can also vary depending on the level of the inspector.

Ultimately, an inspection is worthwhile when compared to the large financial commitment that you will be making in the property.