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Home Inspection: Everything You Need To Know

home inspection

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So, you just put an offer on your dream home and the seller accepted your terms. You are bursting with excitement and can’t wait to move in. Before moving in, and before signing any sales contracts, a home inspection is needed to determine the items that may need attention in your new home. Let’s take a look at what a home inspection is and its importance.

What is a home inspection?

A home inspection occurs after an offer is presented to the seller and accepted but before any sales contracts are signed. This inspection is a visual observation of the house and will help to identify any safety concerns, health issues, and even mechanical issues the house may have. An inspector will look for things that are not functioning properly or, not up to code with the state. It is important to note that a home inspector is not looking at the cosmetic items of the home.

A home inspection is crucial as it could save you thousands of dollars in unexpected repairs. 

What does a home inspection look at?

Inspectors have a list of things to check in the home, their job is to find defects and there are a number of major things they look for. This includes items such as:

  • Water damage
  • Roof damage
  • Plumbing
  • Pest infestation 
  • HVAC system issues
  • Foundation or structural issues
  • Fireplace operation
  • Steps, stairways, or driveway safety

An inspection is not a pass or fail exam, and again, it is important to note that the professional is not looking at the appearance of the house. The inspection is more detailed and will usually include checklists, summaries, photographs, and notes. The most important aspect of the home inspection is the recommended repairs and replacements. This will allow you the potential homeowner to determine if you want to move forward with the purchase or, potentially negotiate with the seller due to high-cost repairs that are needed.

How to negotiate after a home inspection?

After the inspection is complete the buyer and seller can negotiate the contract that was originally present or, the buyer can decide they no longer wish to move forward with the purchase of the home. Depending on the issues that were listed in the report the buyer could request the seller to complete and pay for the necessary repairs on their end or, they can even offer a credit from the seller so that they can complete the repairs. 

A good real estate agent can help to negotiate these terms further on the buyer’s behalf. There are instances where the seller can actually walk away from the buyers’ requests so it’s important to have an experienced real estate agent in your corner to help with this. 

Hiring a Home Inspector

Typically, as the buyer, you will be the one to hire the home inspector. You will want to arrange your own inspection so you can vet the inspector yourself and ensure there is no prior relationship with the current homeowners. The typical cost of a home inspection is around $300 – $500 depending on your location and the experience of the inspector. This cost is paid for at the time of the service. 

You can find home inspectors through the Dibbs marketplace which allows you to get quotes from multiple professionals in your area. You can then interview each potential home inspector and ask about their experience, training, and expertise areas. 

We would recommend taking a look at reviews as well and if you are still not sure which direction you would like to move forward with ask for references. There is no shame in doing your due diligence as this is an important step in the home buying process. 

All in all, home inspections are crucial to keep homeowners safe and are an important part of the home buying and selling process. Set yourself up for success with a good realtor and prior knowledge of the process to help with negotiations and potentially a better sale price.