Your guide to what home inspectors look for, how to prepare and a home inspection checklist for reference.
A home inspection is a visual examination of the accessible areas of a house performed by a professional home inspector. Home inspections are typically scheduled and paid for by the buyer after an offer to purchase has been accepted by the seller before the sale is finalized. The purpose of a home inspection is to identify any major defects or problems with the property that may need to be repaired or addressed.
Hiring a professional home inspector for your home inspection
The importance of hiring a professional home inspector cannot be overstated. Home inspectors are trained to look for any potential problems with a property, and they will provide you with a detailed report of any findings.
An inspection can save you thousands of dollars in repairs or unforeseen problems down the road. Hiring a qualified home inspector is the best way to ensure you get a thorough and accurate home inspection.
Preparing for a home inspection
When you’re preparing for an inspection, there are a few things you can do to make sure the process goes smoothly.
First, you’ll want to gather all relevant paperwork, including the sales contract, any previous home inspection reports, and the disclosures provided by the seller.
You should also clear any clutter from the home and ensure that all appliances and systems are in good working order.
Finally, you’ll want to be present for the inspection so that you can ask the home inspector questions and get a better understanding of the condition of the property.
Prepare for the unexpected with a pre-listing inspection.
An inspection for home buyers is typically scheduled after an offer has been accepted; however, some potential buyers choose to schedule a pre-listing inspection instead. A pre-listing inspection is an inspection that is scheduled and paid for by the seller before the property is listed for sale.
The purpose of a pre-listing inspection is to identify any major problems with the property so that they can be repaired or addressed before the home is put on the market.
Scheduling a pre-listing inspection can benefit both the seller and the buyer. For the seller, a pre-listing inspection allows them to make any necessary repairs or improvements before putting their home on the market. This can help the home sell faster and for a higher price.
For potential buyers, a pre-listing inspection can give them peace of mind knowing that they are buying a property that has been thoroughly inspected and is in good condition.
What a home inspection includes
The home inspector will look for any major defects or problems with the property, and they will provide you with a detailed report of their findings. The inspection will cover the following areas:
- The foundation
- The exterior of the home
- The roof
- The electrical system
- The plumbing system
- The heating and cooling system
- The interior of the home
- The attic
- The crawlspace
Home inspection checklist
The following is a home inspection checklist of items that should be included in an inspection:
Foundation: cracks, settlement, water damage
Exterior: walls, doors, windows, gutters, downspouts
Roof: shingles, flashing, gutters, downspouts
Electrical: outlets, switches, breakers, wiring
Plumbing: leaks, drains, vents
Heating and cooling: furnace, air conditioner, ductwork
Interior: walls, doors, windows, floors, ceilings
Attic: insulation, ventilation
Crawlspace: foundation, framing, insulation, ventilation
What a home inspection does not include
Home inspections do not include an evaluation of the following:
- Radon gas testing
- Mould testing
- Septic tank pumping or inspection
- Water quality testing
Home inspection cost
Home inspection cost varies depending on the size and age of the property, but it typically ranges from $300 to $500. The best way to get an accurate estimate of the cost of your inspection is to contact a few different home inspectors in your area and request a quote.
Will there be follow-up costs?
Sometimes, the home inspector will identify problems requiring additional testing or repairs.
For example, if the home inspector finds evidence of termites, you may need to hire a pest control company to treat the problem. If the electrical system is not up to code, you may need to hire an electrician to make repairs. The cost of these additional tests and repairs will vary depending on the severity of the problem.
Home inspection report
After the inspection is complete, the home inspector will provide you with a written report of their findings. The report will include a description of any major defects or problems found, as well as photos and recommendations for repairs or further investigation.
Home inspection tips
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when scheduling and preparing for a home inspection:
Schedule the inspection as soon as possible after your offer has been accepted.
This will give you plenty of time to make any necessary repairs or improvements before the home is put on the market.
Be present for the inspection.
This will give you a chance to ask questions and get a better understanding of the condition of the property.
Prepare for the unexpected.
Even if the home is in good condition, there may be a few minor defects that need to be repaired.
Don’t be afraid to negotiate.
If the home inspection report reveals major problems with the property, you may be able to negotiate a lower purchase price or have the seller pay for repairs.
Get multiple quotes.
Home inspection costs can vary depending on the size and age of the property, so it’s a good idea to get a few different quotes before you choose an inspector.
What to do if your inspection report lists dozens of issues
If your initial home inspection report lists dozens of issues, don’t panic! Most of these items will be minor defects that can easily be repaired. However, there may be a few major problems that need to be addressed. If this is the case, you may want to consider negotiating a lower purchase price or having the seller pay for repairs.
The Home Inspection Contingency Plan
If you’re buying a home, it’s important to have a contingency plan in place in case the home inspection reveals major problems with the property. A contingency plan is an agreement between you and the seller that stipulates what will happen if certain conditions are not met.
For example, you may include a contingency that allows you to back out of the sale if the home inspection reveals significant problems with the property. Alternatively, you may negotiate a lower purchase price or have the seller pay for repairs.
Including a contingency in your offer will give you some protection in case the home inspection reveals major problems. However, it’s important to remember that contingencies are negotiable, so be sure to discuss your options with your real estate agent before making an offer.
What if the seller won’t allow an inspection?
If the seller refuses to allow an inspection, you may want to walk away from the deal. A home inspection is an important part of the home-buying process, and it’s not worth taking on the risk of buying a property without one.
Can you do your own inspection?
While it’s possible to do your own home inspection, it’s not recommended. Home inspections are a complex process, and it’s best to leave them to professional home inspectors.
A home inspection is an important part of the home-buying process. It will give you a better understanding of the property’s condition and can help. you identify any potential problems. The inspection report will also provide you with a list of recommended repairs or further investigation.
It’s important to remember that inspections are not perfect, and there may be a few minor defects that are not discovered during the inspection. However, these defects will typically be minor and can easily be repaired.
Can a real estate agent help with organizing an inspection?
Yes, a real estate agent can help you schedule and prepare for an inspection. They can also provide you with a list of recommended home inspectors and other local contractors in your area.
Can home inspectors offer other services?
Yes, some home inspectors offer additional services such as radon testing, water testing, and thermal imaging. These services are typically not included in a standard home inspection but can be added for an additional fee. If you’re looking for these services be sure to ask the home inspectors you get quotes from.
Questions to ask a home inspector
Before you choose a home inspector, it’s important to ask a few questions to make sure they’re qualified and have experience inspecting homes in your area.
Some questions you may want to ask include:
How long have you been inspecting homes?
Do you have experience with homes in my area?
What type of training and certification do you have?
What is included in your inspection report?
How much does your inspection service cost?
What are the most common problems you find during inspections?
Once you’ve chosen a home inspector, ask them about their findings after the inspection. If there are any major problems, you may want to consider negotiating a lower purchase price or having the seller pay for repairs.
The bottom line
Preparing for an inspection is an important part of the home-buying process. By taking the time to gather all relevant paperwork and ensuring that the property is in good condition, you can help make sure that the inspection goes smoothly and that you’re fully informed about the condition of the property.