As soon as the seller has accepted the buyer’s offer, the buyer will usually arrange for an inspector to come out to the home and examine it for problems, defects, and safety issues.
Why do I need an inspection?
The inspection will give you an accurate picture of the home’s condition. The inspector will examine the exterior and interior of the home, checking the condition of electrical, plumbing, ventilation, structural, and finish elements throughout, as well as the condition of appliances that will be transferred to the buyer at the time of purchase. An inspection generally takes a few hours, and at the end of the process, the inspector will provide the buyer with a report of all the issues discovered during the inspection.
Also, most purchase and sale agreements include an inspection contingency. This gives the buyer the right to use the results of the inspection to negotiate with the seller to cover the cost of repairs, or to back out of the deal altogether. Under the terms of most inspection contingencies, the buyer has the right to back out of the purchase and reclaim his earnest money
What issues will an inspector look for?
While you should always rely on a licensed inspector for a professional opinion of a home you intend to purchase, it can be helpful to know what sort of issues to look for. Some of these issues may be minor and easily fixed, while others can require expensive and difficult repairs
Can I back out of the deal, even if the inspector doesn’t find a major problem?
It depends on the terms of your contract. Some inspection contingencies allow the buyer to back out the deal for any reason after viewing the inspection report. Others require the buyer to cite any “deal-breakers” in the report, and to
then give the seller the option of addressing the issue before backing out of the deal.
One caution about using the inspection contingency as a “get out of jail free” card — if you’re not serious about your offer, the seller is missing an opportunity to work with other buyers while working with you. The inspection contingency is an important form of protection for the buyer, but don’t abuse it by making halfhearted offers.
How do I find an inspector?
We have a list of referrals click here or you can do your own research to find a licensed Home Inspector on your own.
How much does an inspection cost?
Inspections usually run between $300 and $500, depending on local rates and the size of the home. The inspector may also suggest additional follow-up inspections by specialists, such as a sewer scope to verify the condition of the sewer line from the home, or a structural engineer to give a more detailed report on cracks or bulging in the home’s foundation. These follow-up inspections may also run several hundred dollars in cost, if needed.